Remember when you were in grade school and summer was just around the corner? You could smell the changing season in the air. In Gilroy, where I grew up, the smell of garlic was a little stronger, the breeze a little less brisk, and neighborhood barbeques were in abundance. The months of July and August seemed like a lifetime. Two months of complete freedom.

I filled my days with swimming and riding my bike (usually to the 7-11 or movie theater to meet my friends) and strategizing which friends' house would be our next hangout. The kids in the neighborhood would come over to my house for swim parties and everyday was filled with excitement for what the next day would bring. When I think back to those summers it's as if time stood still, allowing opportunities for unexpected happiness to come into my life.

Now that I'm an adult, the summers go by so quickly. I no longer ride a bike or have swim parties, but there are still a few things that I really look forward to: more sunshine and longer days, less traffic and shorter drive times with schools out of session, giving tourists directions who find themselves in my neck of the woods trying to find their way back to Fisherman's Wharf or Golden Gate Bridge, and a buzz on the streets from locals who are committed to enjoying life and putting themselves out there. Vibrant and colorful is the San Francisco citizen.

This is the first summer in a long while that I've taken the time to slow down and really enjoy each day. I've been rewarded with warmer days, impromptu conversations with interesting people I meet on the street or at the store, traveling, and most importantly - a renewed outlook on my life. I must admit that there have been days in the past month where I felt less than productive (e.g. no blog posts since June), but those days have been followed by bursts of energy like no other - a perfect flow - where the frenetic pace of the world is perfectly in tune with the inner workings of my mind. I am learning to have faith in the process of creativity.

As I reflect on this summer so far, I feel grateful for the season, for the new people I've met and for the old friends I've reconnected with. I am happy to have learned the valuable lesson that it's when we let go and trust the process, that we are rewarded with abundance. The summer is a chance to reprogram our minds and see life in Technicolor. Spending time in nature, and relishing the company of our friends and family refuels the spirit and makes everything brighter.

I invite you to reflect on the year so far. Have you changed in some way? Have you learned something new about yourself? Have you ventured outside of your comfort zone and challenged yourself? If your productivity has slightly waned, don't fret. Taking the time to recharge your mind and body means more energy for the fall. 

In this last month of summer, take the time to enjoy the simplicity of the season - this wonderful in-between-time of the year where the days are longer and anything is possible. Make a commitment to yourself to try new things, meet new people, and slow down long enough to hear the life-giving beats of your heart.