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August ends up being a busy month for most people.
Between family vacations to back-to-school prep to coordinating one last barbeque of the season for Labor Day to preparing for the last quarter of the year…there aren’t many moments of stillness in this month.
You already know that our mental, emotional, and physical well-being are intertwined. Don’t let the busyness of August urge you to navigate it mindlessly. Savor moments. Make memories. Take care of what you need. Pay attention to what you feed yourself—words, food, and beverages.
Spend time in nature.
If you are an extrovert like me, your summer plans might include getting together with lots of people or accomplishing activities. If you are introverted, summer socializing can feel a bit exhausting. No matter your inherent nature, we all need time to process conversations and enjoy quality downtime. What better place than Mother Nature to savor some solitude to replenish.
The days are still long in the month of August so make the most of sunlight. Avoid being out in the peak heat time of the day as it can aggravate pitta dosha. But whenever you can—during the cooler times—walk barefoot on grass. If you can find a natural water body, a stroll along it can have a soothing effect on the mind. If you have a park near where you live, walk amongst trees. No phones or music or podcasts or EarPods—just you and your inner voice enveloped by the healing effect of Mother Nature.
Surround yourself with like-minded people.
Life is both a gift and unpredictable. Why squander it over those who make you sad, sick, or angry? I understand that we don’t always get to choose who stays in our life, but to the extent possible, find your group of like-minded people who push you to become better. People who hold space for you and remind you what compassion feels like. Your cheerleaders and your confidantes. The ones who make you feel visible and heard. The ones you learn from. Avoid the gossip mill and trolls as small minds do small talk and never inspire us to grow.
Check-in on your relationship with alcohol.
In the modern world, celebrations and summer are synonymous with drinking. Nothing wrong or right with drinking. But knowing your limitations and relationship with alcohol are key.
My husband and I used to be friends with this couple who had a drinking problem. In the beginning, no one said a word because adults are allowed to make their choices. But slowly, their weekend binge drinking turned to pouring a few glasses of wine or pegs of scotch every night of the week. They would lose their balance and talk utter nonsense at the end of every gathering. The woman would make untrue statements about others that were hurtful. I’m not even sure if she was intentionally mean or made erratic word choices under the influence of alcohol. When a few friends tried to help, they didn’t appreciate the intervention. I’m not sure at what point they went from enjoying a few drinks to becoming alcohol dependent. But hanging out with them started to feel draining, so slowly people started to walk away from them.
Don’t let alcohol take over your life and relationships.
Forgive those who have hurt you.
Not even once do I mean that you should forget the wrong done to you. I won’t tell you that this pain happened in your life so you could evolve and help others. What I mean by forgiving is that don’t let others hold power over you. The anger, the pain, the fiery rage only hurts us. The doer is out there living their life without pausing for a second to reflect upon the damage they have caused.
In Yoga Sutra I.12, Patanjali explains that to achieve a state of yoga, or focused concentration, one must utilize both practice (Abhyasa) and detachment (Vairagyam). I use practice and detachment to work on forgiveness. You will feel cloudy on some days. You will revert to anger. It’s okay. Identify your thinking patterns. Move on from holding onto them. Show up to forgiveness. Focus on the goal: practice detachment from the pain and the one who caused you hurt only for the sake of your own healing.
Don’t let your ancestral baggage drown you.
Sometimes we get so busy paying bills and playing roles that we don’t pause to think about what we really want. What kind of toxic behavior we might be bringing into our personal and professional lives because we haven’t unpacked the ancestral baggage. The beliefs and coping strategies that worked for our ancestors don’t have to be the only way.
For example, as a woman of Indian heritage, it’s hardwired in me to collect graduate degrees and pick a profession that offers financial security. But healing and storytelling are my dharma…something that unfolded over a decade ago. When I chose to quit my job as head of marketing and pursue a career as a speaker, coach, healer, and writer, I found myself confronted with many obstacles and challenges. Paycheck. Paycheck. 401K. Medical insurance. Stable paycheck. I had to acknowledge, honor, and disconnect with the experience of my ancestors. I had to work on my limiting beliefs and clear some of the ancestral wounds before things began to shift for me.
Healing is a lifelong investment. Trust me; you are worth it.
“Keep taking time for yourself until you are you again.” ~ Lalah Delia