……..One of the most important tools for self-care is to slow down. Especially in the heat of summer as the energy amps up and the heat rises. On the wheel of the year, we just moved through the Summer Solstice, which was June 20th, the longest day of the year. As the sun reached its highest point in the Northern hemisphere, the softness of Spring has faded, and the heat of Summer is beginning to blaze hot. Perhaps you’ve been feeling it?

……..Even though we may be a bit uncomfortable as the temperature rises, this is a valuable time to reflect on the first half of the year, and what we’ve learned, accomplished, let go of, and/or gained, and look ahead at the months to come, set goals and give gratitude. It‘s also a great time to celebrate the opportunity to stretch out our toes a little and let the sun kiss the skin that doesn’t see the light of day very often.

Here are a few fun ways to practice this month‘s theme of Honor (Respect + Appreciation).

Here is a brief story from SWAN’s Marketing and Production Assistant, Tamara McDermott, about how a flower in her garden taught her a sweet lesson in Honor (Respect + Appreciation).

……..As a fun way to look at these themes, I have a short story to share with you about a flower that grows in my garden, and that has taught me something new about abundance this year. The flower is calendula. It is an herb that has amazing healing properties, but it’s also quite radiant and vibrant as its blossoms are bright yellow and orange. If you want to use the flower heads to make teas or other remedies, you pinch off the blossom when it is in full bloom and dry it. I have been doing this since mid-April and learning just how much this plant has to give. Each time the blossoms are harvested, new flower buds spring up and within a few days you have a whole new round of brilliant bright flowers. So, the more you harvest from this plant, the more it blooms. I’ve already harvested 9 rounds of blossoms, and summer is only just beginning. If I continue to water and feed this plant, and harvest the flowers, it will continue to bloom and bloom and bloom.

……..There’s so much about life that is like that too. We are living in a world full of abundance. In nature, in our families, communities, and workplaces, there is always so much to give and to receive. And life asks that of us. To not be afraid to give our gifts abundantly, and to honor and respect the gifts of others. To live in reciprocity with each other, and with the earth. And we can do this in such simple ways like the few I have listed above.

……..When we normalize acts like these, the world opens up. Life, work, play, it all becomes much more enjoyable when we live in a state of abundance, honoring, respecting and appreciating those around us, ourselves and this planet.


I hope you have fun finding new ways to appreciate and honor the abundance of life!


With joy and appreciation,