The lowest high temperature forecasted for this week is 97 degrees. Otherwise, we’re looking at 100 degrees or more. And it’s only the middle of June. I don’t know about you, but that makes me sigh. A lot.
So, if I teach what I need to learn, I’m about to reveal a lot about myself! As if human behavior hasn’t already revealed its ugly self over the last few years (see January 6 hearings being broadcast), we here in Central Texas are in a “heated” environment that most certainly can exacerbate people’s worst reactions. In other words, we must watch out for the actions of ourselves and others when everyone is overheated, overcrowded (especially by pandemic standards), impatient, and tired. Drivers are in a hurry to get to their destinations. Shoppers want to get their errands done. Children get crabby faster. Public water holes (and watering holes) and tourist sites are busy, busy, busy. All of these can lead to more hair-trigger reactions and spiky anger.
My suggestion, to myself and all of you, is to use this very hot summer as a time to sloooooow down. Much as we take the winter months and icy chill to “hibernate” into reflection and rest, the summer can be the same practice, although it may take a different form. Plan trips---vacation or grocery store---with your skills of patience and self-comfort in mind. Practice non-resistance to unconscious, irritated people; let them be while you keep your boundaries intact. Reorder priorities and stay cool when you can. I’ve found myself remembering the habits and pace of people in countries closer to the equator. They have adopted slower, more languid rhythms that are different from our faster lifestyle. We can learn from them.
How is this a spiritual practice? It incorporates our total being---mind, body, and spirit: the discipline of self-observation, and compassion for ourselves and others in trying conditions.
That’s it. Stay cool, stay patient and calm, slow down. This season will pass. Until it does, we will do and be our best as often as we can.
With love and blessing,