Feel the Heat


Lean into it. 

One of my former adopted mentors used to advise us to feel our physical pain. She was the leader of a group of women who all were experiencing symptoms of systemic yeast syndrome, which, back then, in the late 80s,  was a newly recognized health condition. We members would often get headaches as a reaction to foods that we ate, as sensitivities to environmental, chemical and food substances accompanied the syndrome.

Feel the pain, she told us of our frequent headaches. Lean into it. 

Summer heat is a bit of a pain to me–if I allow myself to slip into that categorization of it. Summer is my least favorite season, winter my fave. As I walked slowly down a sidewalk this morning, carrying none other than a hot cup of joe, I thought of the times in recent years I consciously chose to feel the heat of my least preferred  season. The many times I leaned into it. Have you ever tried that? It’s an interesting experience. Instead of immediately fanning yourself, instead of cursing the temperature, feel the oven-like shock of a hot car. Feel stepping into the searing heat of a July sun. Suspend time for a second or two and feel it with every cell of your body. Let it permeate. It’s intense. Yes. Try suspending judgement and instead just sensing it.

Here in Nashville, we started out with a somewhat, mostly mild June. One of those lovely, rare cool-ish kind that seems to deliciously delay the heat of summer.

Those days are over.

Each summer, nearly, I write a post here about embracing the heat and stopping our useless, toxic-energy  complaints. It’s just weather. Embracing and accepting that which we cannot change is a transferable tactic not only to the blaze of summer sun, but also to so much that comes with the territory and the privilege of living life. And here’s the thing, I’m afraid that more heat, and more dramatic weather, is a part of the life we’ve inflicted upon ourselves with our lack of environmentally conscious choices. All of us.

There is so much we cannot change about life. Like summer heat. Kinda coulda-woulda-shoulda. But, we can choose to put away the drama of our self-inflicted angst and say: Yes. This. It’s not my fave. Nothing I can do about it. I surrender. And then, something happens…Within all those experiences I label less than optimal, I find myself celebrating the little virtues that surround the season of heat, for example: a forced slower pace; the green panorama of earth; popsicles, pools and picnics. And while summer’s heat, with it’s stated virtues, is still not my preferred weather, I realize I’m the one who is making it up in my thoughts, choices, and life–to live in misery or joy. I can celebrate something, that on the flip side, I could also choose to bemoan and demonize.

Lean into it. 

My above iPhone photo of The Natchez Trace Parkway was an honored selection of Big Picture Classes

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