The Summer Solstice – also known as Midsummer and Litha – charges up our magical power and shines bolstering, purifying light into our hearts.
After all, what we focus on expands, so the more we feel grateful for all the stuff we love, the more lovable stuff we attract.
Here are 5 little gratitude practices that are perfect for the nurturing, expansive energies of Midsummer.
1. Light Incense to the Sun
As fragrant smoke wafts toward the sky, infuse it with your gratitude for the world-illuminating, life-giving sun. It’s an ancient tradition to watch the sun rise on Midsummer morning, so this would be an excellent time to (safely) light incense to the sun, but any time during daylight hours will do. Cinnamon, ginger, clove, frankincense, sandalwood, and cedar are all particularly aligned with the Summer Solstice and the sun. (Of course, be careful! So many landscapes are flammable at this time of year.)
2. Create “Stuff I Love About You” Cards
When you really think about it, your most precious treasures are your loved ones. So this Summer Solstice, tell them some of the things you adore about them! Find or create some sunshiny note cards, and write out some of the many things you love about those closest to you. For example, maybe you love their laugh, their generosity, and that thing they said to you that changed the course of your life.
3. Chant “Om Shanti Om”
The sound Om attunes you to the universe and the primordial roots of everything. The word Shanti means peace. Gratefully tune into the peace that is at the heart of everything this Midsummer by chanting Om Shanti Om. Maybe even get yourself a sunstone mala (prayer beads traditionally created with 108 beads), bless it in the Summer Solstice sun, and then speak the chant 108 times, using the beads to keep count.
4. Abstain from Criticism
When you find ways to praise instead of criticize, it’s such a weight off! It puts you in harmony with what is. And that’s such a powerful, pleasant place to be. So for the entire day of the Summer Solstice, try this experiment: let everyone off the hook, including yourself. Instead of criticizing (even in your own mind!) remember that everyone is doing the very best they can with what they have and what they know. Then see what other ways you can find to communicate what you need to say.
5. Feed the Birds
Scattering bird seed or hanging a bird feeder is a wonderful way to express your gratitude to the spirits of nature on the Summer Solstice. The birds, specifically, bring so many blessings by their very presence: from their music, to their beauty, to their vital interconnection with their habitat’s entire ecosystem.
Did you try one of these Summer Solstice gratitude practices? What did you think? Please share in the comments.