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How to Romance Your Body This Summer

By Astrid Longhurst June 28, 2022 Lifestyle

Summer kisses come one at a time. First, the warm breezes that puff around my shoulders and warm my heart. Next is the sweetest fragrance of wild honeysuckle that hides in the hedgerows. Then come the buzzing of bees as they search for their next fulfilling encounter with some gorgeous wild flowers just waiting to be seen.

Day by day, the delights of summer fall into my senses, weaving their seductive ways and leaving abundance behind them. And I, too, find myself falling into summer’s sweet embrace as the heat of the sun enchants my body, soothes my mind and romances my soul.

Summer reminds us not to play small. Her brilliance calls us to light up everything and everyone wherever we go. Summer doesn’t care for the people who say, “You’re too bright, too big, too much… Stop shining for a while, why don’t you?”

She simply blazes her magnificent beauty regardless. Summer lights up everything in her path, every stone, every blade of grass, every bud, every crack in the concrete, every wildflower, every leaf and every meandering cloud who dares to dim her awesomeness. I find myself besotted by these beautiful summer days.

Summer Teaches Us How to Shine Out Loud!

Summer teaches us to shine out loud and own our brilliance. The sun never apologises for shining – it simply shines. Some may say that the sun is too hot, too much, not enough or that they prefer the autumn days where life is more mellow and doesn’t challenge them in the ways that summer does.

And whilst I adore all of life’s beautiful seasons, it is the summer that holds a special place in my heart. I feel completely free as my body surrenders into summer’s passionate embrace. I slow down and melt into the bliss of the moment as I notice a butterfly flutter by and smile as I watch flowers lift their heads to follow the sun’s every movement.

Even though I know that the summer cannot stay with me forever, I can hold her memory forever in my heart, allowing the thought and feeling of those endless summer days to shine brightly when the days are dark and the light is hard to find.

And the sweetest thought is to know that on those days when I can’t see the sun, I know that she is shining her majesty in some other part of this beautiful planet, warming and delighting someone else with her warmth, love and promises of abundance.

5 Beautiful Ways to Revitalise, Recharge and Reconnect with Your Body, Mind and Soul This Summer

#1: Create an Inner-Mind Spa

Summer’s languid days invite us to slow down, to take time out, to stop and literally smell the roses. However, sometimes, our minds are too focused on being busy or we may have worrying thoughts which prevent our body from truly relaxing and letting go.

No matter where you are in the world, you can create an eternal summer in your mind. A beautiful way to do this is to find a photo, picture or video of a place that always makes you feel rested and relaxed. It might be somewhere that you have already been. Or, it may be a fantasy place that you long to visit.

The key is that looking at this image gives you joy and makes you feel good. Allow your eyes to be drenched in this picture and then close your eyes and imagine that you are there. Really envision yourself in the scene that you have been looking at and allow yourself to feel how you would feel if you were there.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to look at holiday brochures of the Maldives. I imagine myself walking on the soft white sand, feeling the warm gentle water lapping over my toes. I imagine myself gazing out at the endless turquoise horizon and feeling the soft summer breeze play gently with my hair.

In that moment, I am there. My heartbeat has slowed down, my breathing is deeper and more relaxed. I can feel my shoulders dropping and my belly seems to soften. My body interprets this “imagined” experience as real and acts in alignment.

This is because the subconscious mind doesn’t know what is real or imagined. It simply acts on the images we are giving it. For example, if you imagine that you are biting into a big juicy lemon, you may actually experience saliva forming in your mouth as your body responds to what the mind is “seeing.” This is powerful when it comes to promoting your own health and wellbeing as we have the ability to influence our body through the imagery we create in our minds. The key is to feed your mind what you most desire to feel.

#2: Stretch into Summer

Our bodies love to move. Even a little movement can make a huge difference to how your body feels. When we stretch gently, we create more space within our body. We release tension and allow our body to return to its equilibrium. The warmth of a summer’s day can aid in our experience of stretching as it helps to warm the muscles and prepare our body.

Here are two beautiful stretches that I love and can be done easily from a seated position or standing. As with all movements, listen to your body and only go as far as your body desires to go. Breathe into the stretch and allow your muscles to melt into the position.

As someone who has had chronic arthritis for over 20 years, stretching has really helped me to feel more connected with my body. The key is to love the feeling it gives you… Start gently and hold the stretch for around 5-8 seconds. You can hold longer stretches as your body gets used to it.

The Summer Melt (Side Stretch)

Sit or stand with your feet about hip distance apart. Breathe in and raise both arms above your head, clasping both hands together. Exhale. Take another breath in and gently reach over to the right side, only going as far as is comfortable.

Exhale and breathe normally as you hold this stretch. Think of creating as much inner space as you can between your ribs and your hips. Release the stretch and return your arms down to your sides. Rest and then repeat on the left side.

The Summer Shoulder Release Stretch

This is a lovely stretch which helps to relive tension in the shoulders. The shoulders tend to carry anxiety which can build up if we are not aware. Sit or stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bring one arm across your body and support it with the other arm just above the elbow.

Allow your shoulder to drop down as you stretch. Keep your neck long and breathe normally as you hold the stretch for around 5-8 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

#3: Enchant Yourself with Beauty

We have been through some challenging times over the past few years. Every time we watch the news, there seems to be another tragedy or disaster somewhere in the world. Many people are suffering with depression and feeling low in spirit. However, we need to feel good again, not only for our own health and happiness, but for the people we love and care about.

When we are in a state of thriving we can be an asset to the world and help to make a real difference for good. One lovely way to romance your body and mind with the summer is to allow yourself to be enchanted by beautiful things. Take a walk out in nature and feel the soft summer air caressing your skin. Let your mind absorb all the beauty around you.

Watch as the evening light stretches out long fingers of shadows on the grass. Marvel at a beautiful sunset and allow yourself to connect with and feel a deep appreciation for this glorious world we live in. Summer invites us to shine a light on all the things that we love and give thanks for all of the abundance that we have. When you are in gratitude, you cannot be in fear or lack at the same time.

#4: Be Like Sunshine and Shine Your Light

At the age of 62, I feel that I am only just beginning. There are so many things that I want to experience and create in my life. In my early years, I so often held back. I feared and doubted that I could really do the things I wanted to do – that I was good enough.

However, as I have grown older, I have fully understood the importance of following your dreams and shining your light out brightly into the world. Indeed, this is what I help my clients do in my signature coaching courses and training programmes.

If you have dreams or adventures that keep calling to you, it’s a great idea to take stock and write down all the things you would love to experience or create. Don’t censor these in any way – it doesn’t matter how crazy they may sound – just write them down. Then write down small baby steps of action that you could take to honour these dreams every day.

For example, if you want to go travelling in far away places, you might want to start researching where you desire to go and what you want to see or experience. The secret is in allowing our dreams to show up in our lives and to keep shining our light on them and ourselves.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a dream inside of you that you need to bring into fruition?
  • What calls your soul and makes you feel alive?
  • What is it that only you can bring into the world?
  • What did you love to do as a child, and are there ways that you could experience this now?
  • Is there a new career or training course that you would love to sign up for?

George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”This resonates strongly with me. There is always time to make a change, think a new thought, walk a different path, sing a new song and experience a new way of being who you are. We need to romance ourselves with our dreams and allow them to illuminate our own unique path, no matter what age we are.

It’s all about allowing ourselves to be all that we can be and to shine our light out into this world. Be like sunshine and light up everything that you come into contact with. The world needs more people who are shining brightly so that they can illuminate the way for others.

#5: Reconnect with Your Wild Heart

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”Susan Polis Schutz.

These days, I am led more and more by the call of my wild heart. Our wild hearts are the part of us that are eternally free, passionate and long to experience life in ways that make us feel fully alive. They are ageless, timeless and unlimited. The wild heart cannot be hemmed in or told what to do for too long. She will long to break free and run with the wolves, or soar with the eagles. Follow the call of your own wild heart by seeking out those moments of liquid gold – where you feel free, in love with your life and a little (or a lot) wild!

When you romance your body, mind and soul with your wild heart there is a sense of connection and coming home to our authentic self.

Follow these lovely guideposts to help you to reconnect with your own wild heart:

  • Challenge your old beliefs, ideas, values and opinions by asking yourself if this is actually your belief or have you appropriated it from your culture, parents, society etc.
  • Listen to your body. Our bodies contain a deep wisdom that we can tap into to help us to heal and to know what is intuitively right for ourselves. A lovely exercise to do is to track your own sensations and emotions and allow yourself to simply be with the feelings. Ask your body what she is trying to tell you and be open to sensing the answers.
  • Get creative. What do you love to spend time doing? Maybe it’s painting, gardening, sewing, reading, dancing, cooking, blogging, making jewellery, designing clothes, starting businesses, writing, teaching etc. The wild heart is happiest when immersed in something that you love doing.

I wish all of you the most magical summer wherever you are in the world. No matter if your days are dark, conjure up the feeling of summer in your bones and allow this feeling to spread into every cell of your body.

As Albert Camus (The French philosopher) once wrote, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”Fabulous!

Do join me on Instagram for more beautiful ways to romance your body, mind and soul. It would be wonderful to meet you there!

What do you love most about summer? Is this a special season for you? How do you channel summer’s warmth in your life? Do you have a special summer ritual?

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The Author

Astrid Longhurst is the Founder of the Institute for Body Confidence Coaching, Author, Energy Fitness & Body Confidence Expert. Astrid’s signature Body Confidence programmes help women to fall in love with their bodies. Her vision is to shape a new global body culture and community of love, health and wellbeing.

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