Receiving the “Sri” of Summer

Happy Solstice. The sun is at its peak and thereby marks the start of summer.  

Summer invites us to receive more: more heat, more luscious green colors, more bird songs, more outdoor, more down time and more space (at least if you live in a urban area!). Summer is also a time where a lot of us celebrate: festivals, weddings, graduations, larger social gatherings…

“Sri” is a Sanskrit word that depicts the inherent goodness and blissfulness that life and nature ultimately are a direct expression of. In summer, it is easier to see, feel, and receive the nourishing and delightful experience of “Sri” directly. 

However, receiving Sri requires being available. And being available requires space. Lightening our schedule or even taking time off is an active creation of space.

Space to Receive the “Sri”
When we take time off, we can reconnect to those we love and ourselves. We can receive and enjoy the time we spend with them. It becomes also easier to truly be available and take in what we receive, instead of rushing from one activity to the next, one social gathering to the following. Suddenly, there is time to meet new people, have fun, connect to nature more deeply, and go on a new adventure. 

Receiving Sri, however, won’t happen if we keep ourselves busy with plans all summer. Our dear mind likes to plan and have us think we need to be efficient with our off time. (Can you also raise your hand here 😉 ?).
Planning is certainly necessary to an extent, but too much planning kills the capacity to see, first, and receive, second, Sri

In my younger years, when I travelled from Denmark back to France in the summer, I would plan thoroughly my schedule to make sure to see everyone amongst family and friends and visit all the places I used to affectionate. My schedule was so packed I did not really had space to notice if I truly wanted to see this person or actually go to this place. Maybe not so surprisingly, when I got back to Denmark, I would need a new vacation to recuperate from the busy holidays I was returning from and would feel a little resentful at the people I saw.  

I know it is common for a lot of us when we travel or schedule a vacation: we plan, follow the plan, and miss a great deal of the fun… and thereby the deep resourcing a vacation is all about.

Over the years, I have learned to prioritize differently. I do make plans to see some folks and go places, but I also make sure to keep some unplanned time so I can be spontaneous to rest or connect with some old friends. As a result, I enjoy my time more fully, I feel more present with the people I see when I see them, and I feel way more resourced when I get home and ready to go back to my everyday life. 

“Sri” is always available 
Summer is nature’s way to show us clearly that life is good, utterly creative, and something worth celebrating. Even when summer is over, the Sri continues to live through us as we let it fill us up for a whole season, and deep inside we now that summer will come again.

Sri depicts not only the happy-go-lucky side of life and the warm days, but infuses all of it. As I was relating to an old friend I hadn’t talked to in two years the other day, and as I told you before, the experience of loosing my mum last October has taught me a lot. Although it has thrown me on an unprecedented emotional roller coaster, put me through deep grief, and still continues to disorient me, I came to experience her death as a profoundly touching, spiritual experience. To this day, her death continues to teach me a lot on the interconnectedness of life and death, me and others, the visible and the invisible, and that all of these apparent oppositions hang together because of love – and that is Sri to me. 

So, this summer, I invite you to create some extra space for yourself and receive the Sri life has in store for you… As poet David Whyte puts it: “Everything, everything is waiting for you.” (read the full poem here.)

This summer, I hope to see you at various “Sri-reminder” events coming up: Drop-in Yoga retreat in week 29, Yoga & Poetry weekend retreat in Sept, and opportunities to train and deepen your yoga studies this fall and next year… 

Much love, 
Cédric

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