06/19/2013 09:33 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2013

Mindful Living: 5 Ways to Savor Summer

Summer is here -- the season we have waited for all year! How to make the most of it? Here are a few tips that cost nothing, and can really add to making this summer season even more memorable. Dive in; the water is fine...

1. Walk a little slower; look a little closer
What if you gave yourself an extra five minutes instead of rushing to get on with your day? The goal is to notice something new on your route, or even to look at something familiar in a deeper way. Maybe it is saying hi to the vendor as you pick up your morning coffee. It could be catching the subtle variations in the green of the leaves on a favorite tree, the tones of the bark, or how it looks after a rain. The sound of birdsong taps into another sense - listen for the calls that are most audible. You may hear them for the very first time when you move a little slower. There is life all around you. How does it feel to notice it?

2. Experience something new
Summer is the perfect time to try that thing you've always been curious about.
• Mindfully explore a new part of your city.
• Check out nearby festivals or fairs -- music, food, comedy, theatre...
• Dare to wear a color that is out of your usual range.
• Savor some fabulous food from an unfamiliar country.
• Meet friends in an unexpected venue.
• Take in a free concert in the park, and listen with eyes closed.
• Do something you remember loving from your childhood.
• Find a reason to dance!

Be present to what is out there. Your only limit is your imagination.

3. Come back to yourself
FOMO or "fear of mission out" is pervasive in our culture. While checking out the new, it's important to recognize that you don't have to do every single thing. Listen to what calls you and put your energy there. As we rush ourselves, and the people in our lives, from one meeting to another, even from one fun destination to the next, it is easy to get caught in the frantic desire to not miss out. This creates a focus on external activities, often at the cost of inner calm. Remember to make some time to be. That could look like many things: cuddling up with a pet in the late afternoon sun, meditating to reconnect with something deeper, listening for the silence between the sounds, or just taking a few deep breaths during the day. What bring you back to you?

4. Know firsthand how nature nurtures
Whether you get to travel to exotic places or if your plans are closer to home, get yourself into some nature! No matter if it's a park or a paradise, you can notice the feel of the breeze on your skin, the dappled light at the end of the day, the sound of crickets in the distance and the beauty of a sunset. Take it in and find your rhythms moving in time. You will start to feel restored.

5. Grow your gratitude
It's so easy to forget that it is a gift to wake up to another day. How many of us take this for granted? One way of making the most of each new day is to be grateful for the big and especially the little things in life. What we focus on grows, so by noticing the good stuff, we can actually experience more of it. Summer is the perfect time to savor all the beauty, wonder and special moments that are available right now. What are you grateful for in this moment?

What are some of your favorite ways to savor summer?

For more by Randy Taran, click here.

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