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Make It A Quick Change Summer



Use the summer months to break free from your usual scheduled life and change your brain.

When children enter a new school year after summer break they are transformed. Maybe they are taller or tanner, have straighter teeth or they have new abilities, ideas or friends. Whatever they have experienced over their months long vacation, it is guaranteed that a metamorphosis has occurred. I can remember the feeling of returning to school, excited to start a new year as a changed person. Even as an adult, I continue to associate summer with transformation and growth. I  get so energized by the thought of being freed from our family’s scheduled school year activities that I feel and behave like a different person; I deliberately create change in my life. I am inspired to try new things and start fresh — it’s exhilarating. The type of changes I am talking about aren’t time-consuming, expensive or elaborate to achieve – they are simple, but powerful adjustments that transform. Most of my ideas can be achieved immediately and the effects can be felt just as quickly. Here are my tips for a quick change summer –

 

Your Body:

Start with your face. It’s the first thing you see when you look in the mirror and your connecting point with everyone you interact with – a change to this area is powerful and can create a personal chain reaction of growth and transformation (you feel good, you’re more confident, others treat you differently, you feel good – on and on). A new hairstyle can change the way you choose to dress yourself, improve your overall appearance and self esteem and even make you look younger. Something as simple as changing the way you part your hair or getting bangs can help to reveal a new self image. Trying new eyewear, different makeup (or less makeup) can also make you feel changed.

Change up your wardrobe. I do this every summer. I go through magazines and Pinterest, looking for new silhouettes, sandals styles, beach hats, etc., that I can add to what I already have in my closet to refresh my look. I think of dressing as a fun creative challenge that I use to express my unique vision. Even with the most basic linen pants and t-shirt combo you can always add a surprise element like a brightly colored sandal or a big chunky ring.

Move your body in different ways. If you normally walk for exercise, dust off your bike and give it a spin instead. Go for a short ride through your neighborhood after dinner – no set route, no friends –  just coast along by yourself and feel the air, listen to the sounds and take in the beauty around you. Even a 20 minute ride can leave you feeling different. Sometimes I also turn on music (anything as long as you can dance to it) and do free form dancing for at least 10 minutes. My kids laugh at me, but I break a sweat, stretch muscles that I normally don’t and lift my mood.

Get a check up or routine test. Whether it’s a colonoscopy, teeth cleaning, eye exam that you’ve been meaning to schedule, but haven’t – get it done and check it off your list. The feeling of accomplishment will reduce your worries and make you feel a little bit more in control.

 

Your Mind:

Read a different type of book. If you normally head straight for the new fiction stacks, redirect yourself to the history section. Find a great autobiography or architecture book to substitute for your usual romance novel – whatever you can find that is very different from your regular choice can create a feeling of change. New information is exciting and can spark an unexpected interest or hobby.

Become an expert at something small. One summer I decided that I was tired of eating unsatisfying omelettes. I hated the ones I ordered in restaurants and was completely frustrated by my own. So – I went online and read and watched nearly everything I could find about the secrets to making an incredible omelette. I bought a few dozen eggs, a new whisk, and I got to work. I made omelettes for nearly every meal for several days until IT happened — I mastered the art of making the most amazing omelette. It’s small, but it’s a skill that has brought me confidence, satisfaction and pride – which is actually pretty big. Whether it’s learning to arrange a beautiful bouquet, giving a professional massage to your dog, or learning how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet – pick a thing that you can focus on and accomplish in a reasonable time period and you’ll feel the positive effects of this change almost immediately.

 

.Your Heart:

Help an animal in need. I have found the benefits to volunteering at our local animal rescue organization to be immensely transformative. If you can help out by fostering, walking dogs, or transporting animals from shelters to their foster homes – you’ll become a helpful part of the movement to get homeless pets in loving homes. Summer is the perfect time for this as the kids are off from school and the entire family can get involved, which is great for bonding as well. You’ll feel good, and you get to hang out with puppies and kittens, which is amazing. Check with your local shelter or your vet for referrals.

Drop a kindness bomb on someone. Whether it’s a senior neighbor who lives alone or a complete stranger – do one extra kind thing that goes above and beyond what anyone could ever expect. Again, this doesn’t have to be time consuming or elaborate, just thoughtful and surprising. I remember one day I was digging down deep in my purse looking for quarters for a parking meter when a woman came up to me and, before I could even realize what she was doing, she quickly inserted 3 quarters into my meter. I was in shock. She said, “Have a great day!” and walked off. That was an incredible moment that inspired me to do the same.

 

Your Home:

Change the flow.  Rearranging your furniture can have a surprisingly powerful effect on a room and your mood. Moving a sofa to a different spot or a bed to an opposite wall changes the way your mind and body function in relation to its surroundings. Letting your kids swap rooms for the summer or eating dinner on cushions placed around a coffee table for a night or two can create little surprises that are exciting and energizing. Even if it’s a more daring change than you’d normally choose, it’s just for the summer. Give it a try.

Treat your ears to something new. If you’re having a dinner party, cleaning the house or just hanging out with the kids – try listening to music that is outside of your usual selection. Native American flute and traditional Japanese or Spanish guitar are a few of my favorites – their unique sounds carry me to a different world and relax my mind.

Try not trying. Host a Friday night neighborhood get-together on your front yard. Put out some folding chairs, a bowl of pretzels and an ice chest filled with cans of Budweisers and Cokes. Shoot out a few emails and hang out with whoever shows up.  Make it purposely low key and relaxed. It’s about reaching out and making connections, not worrying about being judged and breaking a sweat over the details. On a beautiful evening you can attract a happy crowd in no time.

Create tiny rooms in unexpected places. My mother had an incredible knack for surprising us kids with her pop up creations of tiny rooms. The most memorable was the time she temporarily transformed one half of our two car garage into a bistro. She put out a round table with a red and white check vinyl tablecloth, bentwood chairs and a bar cart on the side that held brightly colored aluminum cups and tiny bottles of fizzy water. When the garage door was open, we could ride our bikes on the driveway, splash in the plastic pool, sunbath and then go into “the bistro” for a break from the sun and a snack. It only lasted for a week in the summer, but the experience was truly exciting and left with me a permanent desire to create that same kind of magic for my kids when possible.

 

I hope my ideas leave you inspired to change your world this summer. Please let me know if you give any one of them a try. I would love to hear from you.

 

XO, Camilla


Discussion

  1. Joan  June 20, 2018

    Loved your omelette! Please make me another one this summer. Was never an omelette fan, but yours is A+!!!!,

    • camilla  June 21, 2018

      Thanks! Of course! XO

  2. David  July 2, 2018

    Love this photo! That’s living.