Summer introduces the perfect excuse to take that well-deserved break we’ve been meaning to grant ourselves. We’re conditioned to associate this season with chatoyant skies and clement after-hours. Blushing swells. Flower moons budding alive. At night the stars sit like white wood asters, reflecting a new truth: everything will be simpler for the next few months. Roseate and warm.

It’s a time for barbecues and sundresses. Bare feet and daisy chains. All the things that say, “Hey, let yourself breathe again. You work hard, you try, you take on more than you should. Have this smile, feel something like happier. Be alive. Be gold.”

There’s magic in that, in letting go.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t invite our minds to recline, un-complicate things for a while. Rest, keep our distance from common stressors. We need these moments of minimalism.

But, I also believe in maintaining an intentional relationship with the world.

There’s a brilliant depth to things we should want to be a part of. We should still have that thirst for conscious experience. An enthusiasm for enlightenment. Beneath the refracting, crepuscular rays and the ultramarine sea sparkle, there’s a pull asking us to get closer, closer, and learn something new.

So, here’s what I’m inviting each persona to try during this welcomed stretch of restoration:

The Confidant
Watch the documentary, Amy.
This is at the top of my must-see list right now. It’s so easy to glamorize the celebrity lifestyle, but the struggle of a genuine artist can be just as devastating as it is beautiful and I think it’s important we begin to reimagine our perspectives on creativity and each other.

The Beautician
Download the Charity Miles app.
A free opportunity to give your gym time a greater purpose. Contributing 10-25 cents per mile you walk, run or bike, participating corporations sponsor your workout, donating to the charity of your choice.

The Achiever
Join or start a Lean In Circle on leanin.org
Across the continents, people are banding together to discuss, support and learn more about a variety of significant topics. Whether in person or online, you’ll have a place to inspire and be inspired.

The Hostess
Take a floral arranging class at a local studio.
Spend an afternoon with fresh blooms to invigorate your heart and home. Practicing hands-on is a wonderful way to acquire a skill and challenge your inner entertainer.

The Stylist
Volunteer for the Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gowns.
All over the country, this non-profit organization is assisting wives-to-be in finding the dress of their dreams. Lending our time to causes bigger than ourselves changes the world, even our own, for the better.

The Intellectual
Subscribe to the TED Radio Hour podcast.
I am obsessed with this. I think it’s necessary to reflect on the human condition and expand our personal understanding of what it means to be here. Studying how we feel, search, grow and discover, each quick discussion will reshape the way you see everything from fear to technology, identity, success, memory, the future, etc. all in the minutes it takes you to curl your hair, drive to the coast or make dinner. My favorite episode so far is “Shifting Time.”

The Explorer
Witness the Perseid meteor shower on August 12th.
I think we’ve all looked up at the sky asking for more, for a miracle, to be wonderstruck. Picture fifty chances an hour to consider the wishes you carry and how to make them a reality.

The Dreamer
Read Binary Star by Sarah Gerard.
A short debut of literary fiction interweaving complex space jargon with the ideas of obsession and radical activism, this book will leave you devastated in the most dazzling way. The lyrical prose will haunt you for light years with its unnerving examination of deterioration as a young couple self-destructs with an intensity that mirrors that of a celestial death—it’s an incandescent burst of genius.

Taking the longer days slow, we can still watch chlorine water scintillate from poolside lounge chairs. We can take those road trips, dizzy hands falling out open windows. But while the seconds are solar-rimmed, bright-hot and full, let’s indulge in more than the typical ice cream cone. What if we reintroduce a sense of curiosity to our wistful expectations? And use this temporary flicker of excess sunshine to ignite a dedication to information. What if we nurtured our interests ever further?

Want more? Follow @brainpickings on Twitter, tune in to Last Week Tonight on Sundays and listen to any Sky Ferreira song, whose new album is said to release super soon.

Also, Comet comes to Netflix July 28th and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty is one of the most poignant memoirs to hit bookshelves.

How are you boosting your brainpower lately?

Image via Taylr Anne



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