Summertime is a great time to focus on Spirituality. Our kids are out of school, and we can finally get out into nature after a long snow covered winter. Below are 10 of my family’s favorite ways to stay spiritually fit during the summer months.
1. Get Out in Nature – Go for a walk, take a bike ride, lunch at the park, and talk about the natural beauty of the world. Scavenger hunts around the neighborhood are fun!
2. Coloring – Sidewalk chalk is great for outdoors, or try window painting on the rainy days. We also enjoy drawing and coloring our own mandalas – a great meditative exercise.
3. Meditation – Enjoy some quiet time where you focus on connecting to the sounds and energies around you, try a guided meditation, spend time in prayer or church. (Check out Amazon.com for meditations for children.) Yoga is also a wonderful meditative exercise that combines a physical element.
4. Caring for Your Body – Maintaining a healthy body is essential to spiritual growth. Teach your children about the importance of what we put in our bodies. Take a trip to the local Farmer’s Market, plan meals and cook together.
5. Have a Family Fitness Day – Visit local tennis or basketball courts. Take a ball to the park. Go swimming at the lake, a local pool or maybe even a water park. Make a day of hiking in a national park. The sand dunes in Northern Michigan make a great workout!
6. Enjoying Music – Our local park has concerts every Thursday evening during the summer. Sometimes we go to the park, and sometimes we sit in our backyard and listen while enjoying a campfire. Singing or playing instruments around the fire are also fun. Get everyone involved … you can make a drum out of almost anything. Or, make it more fun by making your own instruments!
7. Stargazing – This is one of my favorite things and is something I do almost every night – even in the winter. Name the constellations or talk to your children about the universe and how we are all connected.
8. Gardening – This isn’t my son’s favorite thing, but it’s important. Gardening teaches how to grow your own food, how to care for something, how to work (no one really likes pulling weeds), and also how to enjoy the beauty of what you’ve accomplished. Another fun activity is to create fairy gardens within your garden or plant flowers that will welcome fairies into your garden. (Check out Fairies 101 by Doreen Virtue. Chapter 5 talks specifically about Gardening and the Fairies.)
9. Volunteering – Summer is a great time to volunteer at places like libraries and local food banks, visit nursing homes and bring joy to those who may need a bit of extra help. This is a great way to teach compassion and humility.
10. Gratitude & Forgiveness – This one may be most important of all and is something that should be practiced all year long. Create a gratitude practice. We usually plan ours for dinner time. Each person shares something they are grateful for. It could be something as simple as the fact that the sun was shining today. There are also some days when it’s really difficult to find gratitude, and that is where forgiveness comes in. Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves and others so that we can find gratitude in our hearts again.
This is not meant to be an all encompassing list but should get you started on your own list of summer activities for keeping your family spiritually fit. I would love to hear your ideas! Please feel free to share in the comments below …
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