Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Summer Is for Experiments!

Summer Dreams

Do you have designs for the summer?  Dreams you would like to come true?

A change of season is the perfect time to realign with your true purpose and hear your heart’s dream.  Be wild, be willy.  Be lazy or adventurous.  Experimental or sentimental.  Volunteer, help a neighbor, or get more sustainability.  Recall long-lost fantasies or chart a new course.  Let the summer unfold a new you and a new me.

It’s easy to lose track of our goals and get the wrong things done.   For example, your aim may be to be aimless, but you get busy instead.  Or you fritter away the time losing site of that one important goal.  It’s happened to me and I bet it’s happened to you.

So before summer escapes you, now’s the time to get clear!  What are your summer dreams?

This summer isn’t going to get away from me.  I have a six-week break coming up and enough goals to fill a year.  They spilled into my journal and now have jumped upon this page.  How tidily they’ve lined themselves up as one-week focus periods.  This is my plan.

1. Meditation Retreat

My number one summer priority is a one-week personal retreat focused on Loving Kindness practice.  A digital sabbatical will be the awesome secondary gain.  I’ve done several long retreats, so one week is a piece of cake.  Nevertheless, I know it will still be challenging to disconnect.

2.  Writing Marathon

I’m curious to see what I can accomplish if I focus primarily on writing for a week.

3.  Healing Extravaganza

There are few different programs I would like to concentrate on during my healing week. I’ll be working through the exercises in You Are Not Your Brain for one.  I’ll also be exploring methods using the felt-sense, exploring Tibetan yoga exercises, and possibly revisiting Qigong.

4.  Simplicity Storm

My life is relatively simple, but I’m curious if I can simplify it more.  To that end, I’ll be reading The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having It All.  I’ll see what I steps I can take during my simplicity week and also map out how to continue.

5.  Aimless Week

The biggest challenge of all.  Live less by the clock, following my whims, enjoying the moment, soak up the sun.  Journaling, drawing, looking at my own mind.

6.  Miscellaneous Resisted Tasks

The things I continually resist:  cleaning out my email inbox, organizing my finances, household projects, and more.

Aside from my personal retreat time, gardening, exercise, daily meditation, spiritual study, and blogging will be woven throughout.

I’m probably biting off more than I can chew.  But better to have big dreams and accomplish at least one or two.

What are your plans for the summer?  Do you have any special dreams or wild experiments in mind?

Image:  ©Sue Alexander, Inspired Type

Thank you for reading.  If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  And I would love to hear from you in the comments or on the Always Well Within Facebook Page. Thanks so much for your support!  Warmest wishes, Sandra


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  1. Hi Sandra,
    So much to celebrate here! Your photo..Summer..allowing for dreams and experiments! Your plans sound fabulous:)
    I believe in unfolding, so I set an intention for Feeling and allow that to be drawn into my life. I am currently *living* a wildly fun a friend on my boat for one month, enjoying sharing space and thoughts and the beauty of nature surrounding me: the ocean, the hills, the sky..awesome! From all of this my goal is to continue to create my life: my most recent lesson is to practice a combination of receiving as joyfully as I give..and the patience of planting seeds and allowing them to grow while I explore and enjoy the World:) I also focus on experiencing Summer with my children and ways we already know we love..and in new and different ways! Oh, yes..let’s allow for our dreams to become reality..and to continue to dream past even that:)

    • Happy Sunday, Joy! I always look forward to your Sunday post. 🙂 Intention and unfolding > what a delightful pair. My summer plans probably look like a bootcamp in comparison! I hope some unfolding will also happen along the way in between all the ideas and plans. I celebrate your connection to the world around you, always a great inspiration, and wish you and your children, and pup a summer filled with magical dreams.

  2. Hi Sandra
    I’d love to have a few “aimless weeks”!! But I have an international move to organise, so I doubt I can allow myself that…maybe just a few Aimless Days 🙂
    You have lovely plans for the Summer; my plans are:
    build a habit of exercising for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning – I’ve been doing it for the last few days, and it seems to help me have more stamina during the day, so I want to get the habit established
    write on my blog
    pack and organise move to UK so that everything flows smoothly
    Happy Summer!

    • Yikes! Moving to the UK! That’s a major “project” in and of itself. I wish you well building your habit exercise. It’s always been one that I resisted, but I have it down fairly well now. So I’m cheering you on!

  3. Your balanced plan looks perfect—and I must say I like #5 of the plan the most. For me, I am plan on hiking and motorcycling in the mountains, regular writing and photographing, bicycling, several summer concerts at the Denver Botanical Gardens, more time with my granddaughter and a little time to work on a mosaic art project I’ve been postponing. And plenty of time sitting outside on the patio in the early morning and late evening to think about all that is good in my life :). A little of everything. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    • Winsomebella,

      As I read your comment, I feel more and more attracted to #5. Maybe I will scrap all the rest – especially #6 – and just go for that! 🙂 This especially speaks to me > “And plenty of time sitting outside on the patio in the early morning and late evening to think about all that is good in my life :).” Enjoy all these beautiful activities!

  4. Thanks for a thoughtful post, and for making me think about this. I am going to have to meditate on it. It is always best just let to let things unfold, I have found, but I it is also good to have some intentions. Sounds like you have a great summer planned. We want to hear how the various weeks progress!

    • Debbie,

      I see you are an unfolder too like Joy! Maybe that’s a hint to me. Since I woke up with all these ideas in my head one morning, in a way they unfolded for me too. I certainly hope to sneak some unfolding in between the intentions and activity! I hope all unfolds beautifully for you this summer.

  5. Love this post, Sandra . . . and your new look.
    The lotus in the masthead is a PERFECT FIT for Always Well Within.

    All your plans sound terrific ~ Meditation . . . Writing . . . Simplying . . . Getting Organized . . . Aimlessly Pondering, Wondering, and Wandering . . . Gaining Brain Mastery.

    Sounds like a terrific “sabbatical.”

    BTW: A book that you might enjoy your simplifying week ~ Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James

    • Thanks for your enthusiastic feedbac, Nancy! I really appreciate it. I love the symbolism behind the image of the lotus and I find this one particularly striking. Maybe it will be enough to keep me from tweaking my blog design for awhile. 🙂 Well, at least a few days!

      I’m really looking forward to my break. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out. Be well!

  6. I’m on an aimless solo retreat in a spa resort on the beach as I’m writing this. I did lots of meditation retreats as well. 3 months in a row once, one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Now it’s more about following my energy and spending time in a beautiful environment by the beach which has been a dream of mine. Every day I’m grateful. Obviously this is only for 2 months, but I feel something is opening up. I can’t put my finger on it, I don’t have to. The funny (and interesting) thing…, since I’m here the visitor and page view count on my (other) blog Completely Coastal has jumped significantly, and I’m posting less than usual. This is such a timely post for me!! All the best for your summer endeavours!

  7. Amazing, Ms. Buddha. What an incredibly opportunity to spend 2 months in a beautiful environment following your energy and see where it leads. I’m so happy for you! Sometimes what opens is beyond identification! That’s really interesting about how your blog counts have been going up. It sounds like you are getting very congruent in a sense and that may be what’s coming across. Thanks for the drop by all the way from the coast!

  8. You have given me a whole new concept for ordering my goals. Instead of all of them at once, I like the way you have chosen one priority per week. That seems to have more potential for staying focused and achieving more success. I’m going to try it! Thanks for the great idea!

    • Galen,
      I’ve never done it before like this, but the idea popped into my mind. I like the idea because it gives me a whole week to immerse myself in the “project” or experience at hand. That gives me enough time to master it to a certain degree so I can carry it forward in my life one way or the other. I think it also just fits because I have six weeks. Not sure it would work as well during my regularly scheduled life, but you never know.

      If you try it out, let me know how it goes.

  9. H Having just returned from a long weekend with lots of uninterrupted writing time built in, I can attest to the wonderful exploration that writing without distraction brings. Can’t wait for another chance for a similar writing spree. I’ll also be looking at “You Are Not Your Brain” as I have one coming in the mail!

    • Dean,

      I love the testimony for uninterrupted writing time! Sounds delicious. Hope you like the book as much as I did and do. I’m excited about continuing to work with it.

  10. Hi Sandra,

    The one I love the most, along with some other commenters, is #5, aimless week. We could also call that goal-less or plan-less week. It sounds delicious to simply let life unfold. Mine has been a bit regimented recently, so I’d like to dial it back and just flow. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Hi Gail,

      I hope I can handle a whole week of aimless! To be honest, it would probably be good to do more of that to help break out of my habitual way of doing things and tune into the moment. On the other hand, great masters like Suzuki Roishi had very structured lives and found great freedom in them. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for…! Hope you can find some aimless time for yourself.

  11. My summer plans are :
    1). Learn more about WordPress and my new website and social media.
    2). Take a family vacation with my youngest son, 17, and perhaps my oldest 23, and my husband to Key West, FL in August.
    3). Continue loving life through new (small, daily) adventures and gentle yoga.

  12. Sonia,

    Your new site is gorgeous! I’m so proud of you. You’ve really taken a big step forward on your writer’s journey. I’m wishing you success. Vacations are so crucial to our sanity. I hope you enjoy yours tremendously. Those new, small, daily adventures have grabbed my curiosity! Maybe you will share about them on your blog…

  13. Hi Sandra, looks like you’ve got a lot of great plans for the summer! I love your week of aimlessness. I have never done this, and I would love to at some point in the future. You know my plans, I’ll be reporting from the trenches 😛 Hope your summer experiments are fruitful and wonderful!

    • Hi Lynn,

      You have one huge experiment coming up this summer and beyond! I can’t wait to hear your reports.

      It’s funny how the week of aimlessness seems to be appeal to so many of us. We’ve really lost that aspect of life in busy modern culture.

      Wishing you well in your transition.

  14. Oh Sandra,
    Your plans seem so enticing..I feel like coming over and joining you in them 🙂
    But I love how aimless week can lead to aim-full ideas! Rock on aimless week….among all your other plans too!
    My summer just got over here. The monsoons are here. Haaniya’s school is back on…and lots of moving is on the cards. This summer went in packing, moving, selling all personal belonging..I mean ALL!. I’m literally living and planning to maybe become a nomad for a bit..I hate being tied down to a place…. 😉 I wish we all never needed passports and id cards…and could roam free as we wished…now that is one plan I wish could come to life..more on that in my next post 🙂
    Lots of love, hugs and healing energy for your summer plans,

    • Z ~

      That would be delightful to have you come join me!

      I can’t believe the huge transition you are going through. Lynn too. Change is in their air. I’m amazed by your interest in being a nomad. That really takes guts, but it does help loosen our attachments, which can be a very good thing.

      It seems like everyone is enticed by the idea of an aimless week! It is a great way to let aim-full ideas germinate.

      I’m with you in spirit. May all go smoothly my newly nomadic dear friend!

  15. Hi Sandra,
    Wow you sure are up to a lot of good! I just finished a 1/2 marathon in Seattle and I’m currently in Portland planning our day of fun. I have way to much fun and adventure planned and need that writing week you’re talking about!

    I also need to do some revisiting of a few uninteresting but necessary tasks. Thanks for this inspirational list. Happy Summer! woo hoo…

    • Tess,

      I don’t know why! It all just came to me one day. Those uninteresting but necessary tasks can really be practical and useful. I’ll need to find a way to juice them up a bit.

      Can there be way to much fun and adventure. 🙂 That’s your signature!

  16. I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever made someone’s “to-do” list ;D It’s funny and flattering at the same time!

    This is the year I promised myself that I would change my relationship to money, and that will continue in full force this summer, while I try to cobble together a living as a writer. No rest for the weary, etc.!

    • Oh goodness, I never thought of reading your ebook as part of my “to-do” list. Maybe that does sound a little strange, but you know I mean it in the most flattering of ways. I’ve already have taken a few sneak peaks, of course! I’m so excited to read and see how much further I can go.

      I admire your goal of changing your relationship to money. That should be on my plate too! Wishing you well with your writing endeavors!

  17. Thanks Sandra–I feel an inspired thought after reading your post! You’ve given me the idea of going on a writing marathon/retreat. That really resonates with me. I have so much inside of me to put on “paper” but not enough time lately! Hmmm . . . I need to make that happen . . . Thanks again.

    • That makes me so happy, Sean! I think it’s good to shake things up like this sometimes and try different approaches. I’m lucky to have a six week break that gives me the time to try it out. I hope you find a way for that writing marathon!

  18. Hi Sandra!

    I’m big on list making too, and I love it that you’ve got these weekly explorations going. My favorite creative manifesto by Bruce Mao includes this: “Love Your Experiments”. (I may do a design for that someday.)

    I’d like to do a Have Random Aimless Fun Week.

    Happy Summer, and Thanks for the image love! :~) xxoo

    • Sue,
      I’ll take that creative manifesto to heart and love my summer experiments! That would be a great design theme. “Aimlessness” seems to be winning the vote. May we all have more aimless time so true vision may emerge! With a side of fun too.

  19. Hi Sandra — the commitment I’ve made to myself for this summer is to spend more time at parties and social gatherings and a little less time in the cave working on various projects. I want to collaborate and connect more than I’ve done in the past. But of course that hopefully won’t be just a seasonal thing.

  20. Chris,

    That’s a wonderful aspiration. It can be so easy to get lost in our caves! May your connections and collaborations flourish beautifully.

  21. Dear Sandra,

    First off, what a beautiful theme! It seems every time I come over to your beautiful space here, I am greeted by a new, wonderful look! This one I must say is truly stunning!

    And what wonderful activities you have set out for your summer season. What a wonderful way to live fully, live joyously and live consciously.

    As for my “experiments” for this summer…hmm.. I have not given them much thought yet. Gardening jumps to mind! That is definitely a first this summer—having a vegetable garden—and tending to it. I have also just come back from a week long vacation and I guess more than anything else I plan to extend that time of “being” as much as possible. In essence I want to just continue to be conscious of doing only things that bring me and the world joy, making sure that I share and invest my energy into the most appropriate for me areas.

    …I do have a re-ocurring thought of less time online…but we’ll see how that goes…

    Happy summer 😀

    • Hi Evita,

      Thanks so much for your super positive feedback on the latest look. I’d like to take a break from fussing with my theme as much as I do and settle on a look for awhile. This may be the one. I like the “stunning” impression you feel!!!!!

      I really love the wish you have of continuing the sense of “being” you had on vacation and also being sure you only invest your time and energy in the ways that really resonate for you. That is a great inspiration.

      Gardening is one of my favorite meditations. I wish you well with your new adventure. Yes, then there’s always the question of online time! May your summer be blessing with joy.

  22. Dear Sandra, this is INCREDIBLE!!! I love your list and felt like a high percentage of it could be my list. Throw in a high dose of time spent “with” nature, and some of my creative projects (like filming nature for our documentary, which I LOVE doing) and my list would look quite a bit like yours.

    I LOVE the “aimless week”. I think I would put it at the end of my list to use as a “letting be” or cleaning out time from all the other weeks. It is something that I am having to reincorporate into my life on a daily basis, as well as longer segments. When I lived “wild” it was always just a part of how I lived, but here in society I have to consciously take time to “just be”, with no agenda. And I’ve not it for some time. It is MUCH needed right now in my life.

    My husband and I are currently in a place of rethinking our WHOLE lives, questioning everything we have been doing, and everything we might do differently. And we look at it ALL as if we had no limitations: financial, time, age, etc. As if all things are possible. We focus on what we might like, ask for it, put it out there, and then ask the universe to show us how to make it possible.

    We too are very drawn to the minimalist life-style. So I am going to check out your link there. We are having a HUUUUUUGE garage sale this summer to get rid of or give away all that feels like clutter to us. I have NEVER been surrounded by so many “things”, and we are probably far below what most people own. But still it is waaaaay too much for me. I feel the clutter of it.

    We are taking a couple of weeks in the fall to “just be”, aimless, and to realign so that we know without doubt where we are headed and what we are doing. I think it is essential because if we don’t do this, most of us end up living in “reaction mode”. Life whizzes by and we are simply reacting to it, hanging on for dear life, trying to find our way in the mayhem. I don’t want to waste my life in that way. It is essential now, on the planet, more than ever, that we stay awake,

    I am so grateful to you for this inspiring list, dearest Sandra, and I will be thinking of you as you go on this sacred journey. I applaud you for taking this time and doing so with your eyes and heart wide open. That is just beautiful.

    Much love to you, always.

  23. Dearest Robin,

    It’s always wonderful to see your sparkling face and hear your magical words. How wonderful to be in synchronicity with you! I’m amazed by how you and your husband are questioning everything! That takes great courage.

    I too am really keen on this sense of just being that you speak of and it seems so many people are drawn to this idea of aimlessness – at least for a bit. It will be interesting to see how this evolves with you and with me. Is it possible to be and to do, I wonder? To be a do – be? LIke doo-bee, doo-bee, doo! Is it always just one of another. Is there a middle way. So many wonderings about this! I look forward to hearing what you and your husband discover over the summer.

    Big hugs,

  24. @No10w

    I read this post just before my holiday, and while away I worked on a plan to apply this to my work (I have a small plant nursery). It’s working so well for me, I’m getting lots more done-or it feels like I am! Now thinking about applying it to other areas of my life!
    Many thanks-I enjoy reading your tweets and the links!

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