Summer is a time of reflection. My last post ended with the sentences, “So let’s all let the sun and warmth remind us to embrace the waves of our hair, of the water, of our lives. Seen the waves lately? Let’s nourish our true selves, and ENJOY!”
Thinking about the waves in life, I decided to go sit outside and start writing and let the words flow out. What flowed onto the words of my journal was a powerful collective narrative inspired by the stories and experiences of recent graduates. This post is different than my usual ones, but I felt called to share it as some of you reading might feel comfort in the story’s message. I also think it will start a beautiful dialogue about how we can help each other find our way.
“I was walking along the beach for a coffee, talk, and a walk with a friend this past weekend. We had been talking superficially about life, but I wanted to share something deeper. Then we came across a beautiful piece of driftwood on the path, for which we stopped; I really connected to it. It was the opening I needed to share the feelings I had been holding in for a while during my twenties – how I felt like a piece of driftwood – drifting, alone (currently) and in transition.
What is one word that would describe summer for you?
For me, I think of SHINE! Perhaps it is because of the warm sunshine, or that every living thing seems so alive and free.
One of those things that I keep free and flowing during the summer is my hair. You see, those who have naturally curly or wavy hair will totally understand; no matter how hard you try to straighten your hair, heat or moisture cause it to go back to its flowing state. Therefore, in the summer, I spend less time straightening my hair, as there really is no point with the humidity and my love of being in the water.
So, I let my hair appear in its natural state. That is the way my hair wants to be.
A memory that comes to mind is of one Saturday morning at the family cottage when I woke up and greeted everyone in the kitchen. The first words out of my grandfather’s mouth were: “Wow, beautiful curls! You must have been up for a while to do your hair!” Actually, I had just risen for the day and hadn’t even touched my hair. My beauty secret was I just slept with damp hair after spending the evening in the lake.
My grandfather made me smile – and continued to tell me that people put in a lot of work and money to get what just happens naturally with my hair. What a beautiful way to start the day, which really taught me to appreciate our true selves.
Stopping to sit to enjoy the view is one thing. But sitting all day impacts our health.
Do you have to sit for long periods of time? How does your body like it?
Today, I’m writing this post standing up – with my laptop on the counter, as opposed to sitting down.
I hurt my back this week from sitting at the computer for too long. I got up after working at my desk for several hours, which can be typical given the nature of my work; that day, my body gave me a not-so-pleasant reminder that it doesn’t like to be sedentary.
The stiffness in my back was a wake-up call that made me painfully aware of how unkind I’m being to my body when I’m sedentary. According to research, “sitting is the new smoking.”
How can we rise up, to take care of our bodies, in a world that encourages us to sit?