Good Wednesday Morning!
My weekend picnic extended into Monday. And I certainly knew YOU'D understand. I couldn't bear to leave the magic and lessons & Mr. Big made it early (if you're foggy on the Mr. Big reference, add the HBO series, Sex & The City, to your play list).
I spent my first night, ever, camping alone, next to the ocean. We'll talk about this soon, but remember, for now, before we dissect your capability of being comfortable with your alone-ness, and paying attention to your life, and diving deep within to find the subtle music & symphonies .....
We're laying it all down, in the name of Viral Mindfulness Monday Series Two to picnic.
The Summer Picnic challenge is on people! Adjust your settings to full-on-summer-picnic-mode. I'm gifting a piece of art to the winner. An original watercolor entitled Om-Grown. To enter become a Viral Mindfulness Monday tribe member. Then throw your picnic and send proof with words, pictures, or video, to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're welcome to text pictures & video (with your name and email) to 801-654-2218. Subscribe to Viral Mindfulness Monday.
Back to Mr. Big.
I packed for my special birthday picnic & camping weekend, and opted-in to bravery by inviting the man I currently find most interesting, attractive, and potential-husband-material. I didn't know what to say, I was perfectly ready to picnic and camp alone, (in fact, my inner expert was ordering me to call him), so I left him a voicemail, and told him the truth.
"My car is packed. I've got gear and food, and a cooler, a tent, and I have room for you! It's summer and I'm off to Eat, Pray, Love. I've no specific agenda or travel reservations, and I'll be a couple hours within the area of Los Angeles. I'd love for you to join me. I can swing by and pick you up or send directions to meet me. I have everything you need. I'll check my phone once in the morning and at night ..... and ..... and ..... I have a crush on you."
He called and opted in to my invitation for a summer picnic.
You have 34 days before bold colors of autumn and change call you towards Winter. And I'm inviting you to picnic. Summer ends 23 September, 1:21 AM.
When Mr. Picnic and I said goodbye after 48 hours together, he thanked me for pulling him out of his world. For being kind and present. For touching him and being mindful and direct with my words & in my communication. I sketched and listened and watched him sleep. He told me stories from his life as I watched birds making lazy circles in the sky. We kissed, we laughed, and swam, and enjoyed the sweet flavor and texture of oranges, grapefruit, kettle corn & summer picnics.
He gave me his trust and adoration. And left lighter and fortified in the power of carving out time, even small increments, such as an extended-picnic, to fill your mind with things you love. He gave me romance on a birthday trip I meant to take a couple years ago (more about that coming soon). And his most mindful gift, as he practiced presence with Alexander Blue (my artist's name)—a green pencil sharpener right from his backpack. One he's been carrying around for years. I love nature & camping. He gave me his pencil sharpener :)
Extended picnics & camping always bring me back home to the simple and profound dependance we have on Mother Earth—the rhythm and music. She's gorgeous. A sound for sore eyes.
Mr Picnic & I came with 8 tips to enhance your extended-picnic.
- Never Leave Fun To Find Fun. This playful mantra's been traveling with me and my besties for a while. We're constantly notified & tempted to leave the present moment of pure fun, to chase some other idea we have that might be more fun. And it seems to always end in disaster or relapse (not fun).
- Laugh. Big, bold, belly laughing.
- What are you spreading to the neighbors? While on picnic or camping, you're bound to meet the neighbors. What will you share with them? Stories of nonsense and drama. Negativity. Entitlement, criticism or comparison. Why not try something a little more helpful and fun? I brought hacky sacks to gift away.
- Where Are We? After getting lost with Mr. Picnic, swimming in the ocean, and playing along a never ending stretch of beach. We made our way back home. Sunday was the hottest day of the Summer. Duh! As I looked at Mr. Picnic next to me, and kept looking for camp as we walked, interrupting Mr. Picnic's present moment with questions: Where are we, where's our camp? Do you see our umbrella? I don't see our umbrella. At this point he took over as mindfulness camp director and philosophized on the humor in our illusive hunt for a place called camp, or home, or where we are? He reminded me to stay present and let this moment be our home, our camp, and right where we are.
- Leave Fun To Share Fun. There's one exception to the rule. You do have divine permission to leave fun & share fun with others. But it must be a unanimous vote. We were in agreement & met the nicest neighbors.
- Be friendly and kind to people. It breeds magic.
- Direct communication is refreshing when relating to your picnic-mates.
- Find balance in conversation as you practice listening to someone. Look them in the eyes. Pause the questions and add plenty of body language cues that you're right there with them. And practice the flip side of sharing about you, your thoughts, your dreams, your wonderings, your observations, your curiosity—your life. Not the person you're following online, or the video you watched yesterday. Pay closer attention to your life.
I have a crush on Mr. Picnic.