Spend Your Free Time with Intention: 4 Ways to Find Serenity This Summer

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Gabby Bernstein Instagram beach day photo | Spend your free time with intentionIt’s been six months since I had my son, and my life is about to ramp up big-time when my new book, Super Attractor, comes out in September.

So this summer I’m taking the opportunity for downtime! In this blog post (which I updated for summer 2019), I’m sharing some of the practices that I’m using to find summertime serenity.

4 ways to spend your free time mindfully

Check out this video, where I offer up some ways to find serenity this summer. Even with work and family obligations, it’s likely you’ll find yourself with at least a little more downtime than usual. Maybe you’re taking a vacation, or maybe you’re just leaving work a little early on Fridays.

Whatever you have available to you, I have some ways to spend your free time mindfully this summer. Check out the video I recorded a few summers ago, and keep reading to see the tips broken out in more detail.

1. Set the intention for summer serenity

No matter how much downtime you have this summer, I want to encourage you to use it wisely and intentionally. Spend your free time relaxing, having and deepening your stillness practice.

Bringing serenity into our summer is a choice we make, and it begins by setting the intention. When we make that intention, we actually start to show up for our desired outcome.

But if we don’t set the intention, we just won’t do it. We’ll just keep working hard, feeling stressed on vacation and spending our long weekends thinking about Monday. We won’t actually allow ourselves to slow down and practice stillness.

Tweet: Set your intention to step into serenity @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie 

Slowing down and practicing serenity isn’t just some nice little luxury. It’s crucial for your nervous system, your happiness, your well-being and your relationships.

2. Be proactive about going outdoors

Gabby Bernstein taking a walkI live in the country most of the time, and I love to take walks through the woods and fields. Immersing yourself in nature is a fast way to feel more spiritually connected and serene. Simply sitting in your backyard or walking through your neighborhood is enough to reconnect.

If you’re in a city, make it a point to go to parks, visit the beach or take walks early in the day, before the streets get super hot and crowded.

Be intentional about going outdoors in whatever way feels good to you. It’s also awesome for your health! Research shows that spending time in nature reduces the risk of stress, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

3. Strengthen your spiritual practice

I always trust in the direction of the Universe and know that I'm being guided | Gabby Bernstein | The Universe Has Your Back card deckThe best thing you can do to access serenity is to strengthen your spiritual practice. Maybe you can go a little deeper with your meditation practice by committing to meditate daily or by exploring new kinds of meditation.

  • If you’re new to meditation, start with my Beginner’s Guide to Meditation.
  • This summer I’m practicing Kirtan Kriya, a simple Kundalini practice that balances your mood, improves your memory and strengthens your mental clarity. Try it out! If you like it, do it for the next 40 days for amazing benefits.
  • Turn your walk into a meditative experience with this 6-minute guided walking meditation.

Summer is also a great time to start a journaling practice. Putting pen to paper is a powerful act. Give yourself the opportunity to create this habit and you’ll never look back. Check out my guidance on how to attract your desires through journaling!

Get my free guided meditations!

Attract everything you want with Gabby Bernstein's free guided meditations
It’s my mission to make meditation accessible to everyone. That’s why I created a FREE album of 4 guided meditations. All you have to do is get comfortable, press play and follow my guidance.

Your free meditations include the Manifesting Meditation, Releasing Romantic Illusions Meditation, Body Love Meditation and Cord-Cutting Meditation. Click here for instant access!

4. Read the books you’ve been meaning to get to…

Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain | Spend your free time mindfully this summerSummer is the perfect time to read those books that have been piling up on your nightstand or in your Amazon cart! You can check out some of my favorite spiritual books for ideas.

One perfect book for summer is Living in the Light, by Shakti Gawain. In the blog post linked above I share the beautiful story of how I came across this book.

Shakti had an incredible way of distilling complex spiritual ideas into very clear writing. In Living in the Light, she teaches us how to connect with our inner guide and bring awareness to every part of ourselves. What better way to spend your free time?

As I mentioned above, by the time fall hits I’ll have a new one for you. Super Attractor, my next book, will be published on September 24th. You can preorder the book now and get my FREE 2-hour Manifesting Jumpstart Workshop as a bonus gift!

If you want to improve your physical health and well-being, check out my roundup of 7 books that will help you heal your gut, eat without anxiety and feel great.

How do you find summer serenity?

Spirit Junkies, I want to hear from you! How do you spend your free time in the summer to make the most of the season? What do you want to commit to this summer to deepen your stillness practice and really chill out?

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  1. I am going own my serenity by doing some night time colouring when the kids go to bed because I find that it relaxes me and calms my mind.

  2. I intend to enjoy a calm and fun summer with my husband and stepdaughter. We will enjoy our time together and strengthen our family bonds. I´ll sue the time they´re sleeping since I like to wake up earlier to connect with God and enjoy me time.

  3. Thank you so much for sending this affirming message!
    I’m a full time mother figure to two teenagers, and a part time mother figure to another teen. Owning my serenity and making it my top priority every day is something vital to my overall happiness and effectiveness. During the weeks we don’t have the kids, I am taking it easy. Slowing down. Getting out in the boat. Walking in nature. Sipping and savoring my coffee extra long. Drinking it out on the patio in the morning. Working outside instead of in the office. Yoga outside. The more time i spend outside, the happier I am, and the more peaceful I feel. Also just did the Desire Map and am doing the Desire Map Planner as a way to create my life based upon how I want to feel. Summertime spurred this on, and I’m loving it!
    Thank you for all you do to create a more loving world.

  4. Hi Gabby,

    Thank you for sharing this post about staying connected during the summer. I am on day three of the fourth day Kirtan Kriya challenge and wanted to share that as I woke this morning with no real plan where to start, the chant was already going in my head and I knew what to start my day with.

  5. As I reside in Australia… its winter here. But, the weather is mild and its possible to go outdoors. As I try to become stronger in my belief of leaving everything in God’s hands.. His power and love is amazing. I have a lovely garden, 50 roses, so im busy pruning them and just enjoying the fresh air, the blue sky and the miracle of plant growth. Like the roses, I would love to grow in the assurance that the Universe has our backs, giving me a feeling of calm and joy. My mind tends to be at peace out there.. and I actually talk to the Universe (God).
    Thank you for listening and thank you for all your wise, loving words.

  6. Thank You Gabby, I needed to hear this today. Ive been waking up each day and just going through the motions. I need to live with more purpose. The first thing Im doing after reading this email and checking out all the suggestions youve taken the time to write about is Im going to sit in stillness and think about what I want from my summer, then Im going to set some intentions. I have some bigger things I have to walk through this upcoming week or two and I need my mind to be prepared mentally and spiritually. So thank you again for all your work and guidance.. and enjoy your little man this summer I love that stage of infancy because everyday there is growth and change. Thanks again Gabby for all you do.

    1. Thank you for showing up and sharing. Sending lots of love your way as you feel into your intention setting. <3

  7. I find serenity in everyday moments .. watering my plants , loving and walking my dogs , taking deep breaths in the midst of what feels like crazy , closing my eyes to reset my center , drinking a cup of tea or coffee that I prepared for myself as I sit still for few minutes .
    Thank you for being you !!

  8. My intention for the summer is to stay aligned with my heart and follow it as closely as I can. I intend to maintain and deepen my spiritual practice each and every day.

  9. Love this post today! I have been meaning to find new ways to enjoy my beautiful backyard and this is just another reminder for me to get out and enjoy! Thank you Gabby!

  10. Thanks Gabby! I was involved in a small private group that Shakti lead back in the ’90s in Marin right after she wrote this. I recently thought of her & now you are giving me another message to remember her brilliant work. And amen to a relaxing, outdoors summer. I definitely set that intention yesterday for July & Aug.

  11. Thank you for asking this thoughtful question. I like to drink a glass of ice water. Get some sunshine in stroll on the sidewalk. Get some moonlight in stroll down the sidewalk. Meditate so I invite into my summer experience inspiration, delight, surprise, safety and wonder 24/7. Trust the Universe will hug me each day and help me balance. Peace!

  12. I have deep anxiety. My intention this summer is to try daily meditation. You have spoken of it’s benefits. I just don’t make time. “I am open to meditation and welcome a new practice in my life.” This is my daily mantra. Thank you.

    1. Know that taking small steps each day, even a few minutes, will add up to a major impact. Showing up here and sharing is a beautiful sign that you’re ready for some shifts. Sending lots of love and peace your way. <3

  13. Spending more time in self reflection and developing more time to my spiritual practices one of the commitments I made this summer is to the Spirit Junkie Master Class! Thank you so much for today’s LIVE talk!!

    1. This is fabulous Mary Ann! Thanks for joining today and being part of this amazing Spirit Junkie community!

  14. Wow. I needed this. Remember your story of the fat Turkeys when you were manifesting your baby. I had been asking for a sign or just a nod from the Universe for a while now, and today I got it. I hadn’t been following up with the blog for a few months and today I thought let me just look. And I see your Dragonfly, which is the symbol I requested. You can’t make this stuff up. To be honest I didn’t even know what a Dragonfly looked like. I had to Google it, but the picture on the card at home looks exactly like your picture about so whatever kind of insect this is. I’m glad I checked on the blog today.

    1. Love it! Know that the Universe has an awesome plan in store for you. Keep trusting that inner guidance.

  15. I actually went out for a paddle board this morning BEFORE work. (I usually only go at the end of a long day when I feel I’ve ‘earned’ it.) What a great way to start my day. I feel so refreshed as I sit at my desk…and coming across this vid after the fact is a great affirmation!

  16. Thank you Gabby! I am definitely needing to get back on my meditation cushion and I think my journal is coming out too for when I wake up each day, intention is beautiful thing. Enjoy this special time with your 6 month old little man. XOXO

    1. These beautiful practices are always there for you to return to. Sending lots of love your way. XOX

  17. I commit to REALLY think about what I say “Yes'” to, and to remember “no” is a complete sentence. And even though my “vacation” is going away to take care of my BFF, I commit to amping up my practices of meditation, forgiveness and gratitude. While I am there, I will take the time to revisit the Spirit Junkie Level 1 modules.

    Thank You for the inspiration, Gabby.
    Jeanne LaPorte

  18. Hi Gabby,
    I find summer serenity by being a Wildlife rehabilitator. Now sometimes this volunteer work is anything but serene but I’ve found that there is NOTHING more spiritually connecting to the universe than by being in the presence of a wild animal. Animals know so much more than we do and are so much more intuitive. These creatures ground me and give me a purpose. I absolutely know in my heart and soul that rescuing animals is my sole purpose for being here on earth.
    Even throughout the heartbreak, I feel that these animals have helped me just as much as I’ve helped them, whether it be raising orphaned babies or nursing them back to health.
    I am 100% grateful for all of the animals who have been in my life and will be in the future.

  19. I’m taking time to deliberately create the life of my dreams. I’m using meditation as a pillar and exercise is always there. I’m also doing something else, which is Lifebook by Jon and Missy Butcher through Mindvalley. Thank you for always inspiring and sharing your wonderful content Gabby!
    Love Tess

  20. I am so grateful for the summers in Maine. Winters are long and summers are short here. However, my home sits right on the edge of a lake so I get peace and serenity as soon as I get home from the city. I need lots of grounding so the remote location works perfect for me being outside, both on the water and on land. My intentions are always for balance between being away from home and being home. I let my emotional guidance system keep me in check if I’m getting off kilter.
    Enjoy the beautiful sunshine!-
    P’S. So excited for Super Attractor!

  21. Hi Gabby. You look great with that beautiful hat you are styling. Have a great vacation. I hope you are going somewhere that is a lot of fun.

    I plan to go to the beach, go walking, hang out at the pool and listen to some rock and roll. I will meditate and pray and reflect more. I will read a book and work Suduku puzzles. María and I plan to go on a winter vacation. All of these tings including having intimate moments with others and sharing our hopes and dreams helps me unwind and relax. Bernie

    1. This all sounds awesome Bernie! I love how music is an integral part of your life. Keep rocking and rolling my friend.

  22. I commit to making my meditation practice as regular as my journaling & gratitude practices and I am going to embrace & every moment of my 2 week trip to Greece this month!

  23. Switzerland is a beautiful country, the country where I live. I was born there. I’m very lucky. I commit myself to be grateful and take time to really meditate as much possible. While going to work or walking on the wood, while cycling and even shopping.

  24. This summer is about enjoying being present and searching for a job that will further my career and fulfillment. I am leaving behind the stress and disappointment of the last 18 months and channeling the energy into building a beautiful present. Truly focusing on the journey and sharing my light with the world.

  25. I’m from Europe and I finally booked a trip to visit NYC and California this summer, one of my biggest dreams! So to let more serenity enter into my life, I will fully enjoy this time away and be open to every opportunity to live something awesome 🙂

    I will also plan a spiritual retreat while I’m around San Diego, but I don’t know where to look. Any tips???

    Thanks Gabby and all the spirit junkie community 🙂

  26. My 2 girls are at camp for 7 weeks! I Will find serinity this summer learning to live without them by my side and taking more care of myself

  27. What we ask for now arrives, Universally,we are multidimensional beings,Being specific,and Grateful,Infinite Possibilites,Waves of Bliss bubbles, Thanks For Journey,wow,Riding on Cosmic Rainbow Wave of Divine SummerBliss.Shanandrah.

  28. Thank you for the video. Very inspiring.
    This summer I have to take some down time at work. Working 6 days a week. Worrying about work at home. My serenity will be to just relax enjoy my family and the weather

  29. I love this! I’m going to welcome serenity by making a deeper commitment to my yoga practice & taking time to just be in the moment.

  30. As I prepare to leave on a 3 week journey through Europe in the morning, I have my journal, Spriit Junkie Master Class on my iPad and “May Cause Miracles” packed. I am setting my intention to deepen my stillness by creating the space in my life to consistantly mediate and devote time to my resourses. Also I set my intention on opening to the Universe for guidance on deepening the relationship with myself, my family and friends.

  31. I am taking time off this summer to reflect, rest and write. My intention is to feel renewed and be inspired with self care at the top of my list. This last year kicked my ass and it’s time to chill out, take care of me and allow my creativity to replenish. I intend to honour myself, surrender to stillness and bask in serenity. I feel better already.

  32. I had a back-to-back day last week and was EXHAUSTED. I had one hour in the middle of the day that wasn’t scheduled, so I grabbed a book and spent forty minutes relaxing by the pool. It was exactly what I needed to finish the day strong.

    Thanks for the reminder, Gabby. Surrender into relaxing and recharging.

  33. Thank you Gabby for you spirit of encouragement!
    I took this week off to slow down all my very busy over stimulating life which I deflated in to bring care and kindness and relaxation of just being. I lost touch with the my bodies need for calm and rejuvenation and play and I am creating the space and time and commitment to myself because I truly love myself. I’ll be swimming and reading and doing my chi gong and loving my doggies
    Watching movies
    Walking and just taking time to meander without pressure and with presence. Thank you again for helping me see me and my life
    Love Melissa

  34. I am going to pay off a large chunk of debt this summer and this will help to build my serenity!

  35. I will enjoy the serenity this summer by being relaxed when my husband asks guests over to swim on Wednesdays after work. I will be prepared for the guests and enjoy entertaining them, rather than feeling “it is one more thing to do”. I will leave work early, so as not to feel rushed, and enjoy the prep time for my guests.

  36. My commitment for this summer is not to think about tomorrow. By enjoying today fully I will be ready for what tomorrow brings without thinking too much about it. Lots of Love! Thanks for always sharing your wisdom with us! Xoxo, Laura

  37. Hey Gabby! Perfect video for this summer. I set the intention last week to do a 32 day process of getting more spiritually connected. My soul has been speaking to me over the last year to slow everything down and listen….so I’m finally doing just that. There is a big message trying to come through so I’m cracking myself wide open to receive it! Perfect alignment with your serenity video ????????????

  38. Sweet Gabby,
    I really LOVE this artwork in the background!!
    My intention is to perform in the nature and earn a LOT of money,
    while doing this. 🙂
    My intention is to move outta town and be the great musician whose work is being supported — massively. My intention is to do Kundalini every day, pray every day and follow the path that unfolds in such a strange and exciting way.
    Greetings from the forest in my mind and the city around my body.

  39. Meditation just about every morning, focusing on positive aspects and listening to Esther Hicks, more love towards my body, watching more vlogs like these, concentration on feeling happy.

  40. I will allow more serenity into my life by doing more meditations and reading books that will serve me.

  41. Thank you Gabby B…I have been allowing more serenity into my life by slowing down, taking advice from you in your vlogs as guidance, and I’ve also written out about 25 affirmations from the Spirit Junkie alarm clock that just these past few days I have started to read daily – whoa what a difference this has made to some internal shifts for me!

    Sometimes I really feel we want to change but do not have the exact tools we need to do so, so we try some and often times bluff our way through (I speak for myself) but the willingness has been there all along. Some of my favourite ones are “I’m as successful as I choose to be” “it is ok for me to accept help from a man” (that is my own written one), “I don’t need to compare myself to others, because I know we are all awesome” “if I don’t like my circumstances I can change them” “I trust my positive energy leaves a powerful imprint on the world” “I practice good self care” “I am supported by life and life supports me” and this one has been super for me at healing from resentments I didn’t even fully realise I was experiencing “Attacking others is an attach on myself, I choose to release this now” “new career opportunities are available to me” “today I give up gossip, my word is impeccable”. Etc. The other recent discoveries I have had are Aromatherapy for emotional healing and support, of course kundalini yoga (not so recent discovery) and Tosha Silvers books!! Letting the Divine Take The Lead is just lovely….as are your books too but it is nice to have different perspectives from different people. I cannot wait to read ‘The Universe Has Your Back’. X

  42. I will allow more serenity into my life by making more time to meditate, read books that help my personal growth, and turning my faith over to God. Thank you Gabby ????????

  43. I will allow more serenity into my life by making more time to meditate, read books that help my personal growth, and turning my faith over to God. Thank you Gabby ????????

  44. I am going to practice Serenity by practicing the Student Handbook in The Course of Miracles 🙂

  45. I will be celebrating my 65th birthday – YAY! – next week in Cancun, Mexico! I did NOT say “YAY!” up until recently. Going into “Senior Citizen” mode for the last 5 years has been a struggle. I have listened to some of your work Gabrielle and really admire you. I may be older but my spirit and heart is much younger than my years. I appreciate the work you are doing and how much you are helping and leading others. Who knows, I may come to your event in late July. I may be the oldest one there but damn f*$#’ing proud of it. (what a journey! – Whew!)

    My intention this week and this summer to “chill-a-ize” and begin the practice of being more self-compassionate, loving and kind to MYSELF.

  46. Such great words Gabby!
    My daughter is getting married end of July, exciting planning lots of details. My intention plan for me is to do a 5 day juice feast relax take it down a notch allow spirituality in. Thats for mid July preparing myself to fully present at my daughters wedding!

  47. It’s been made clear that my self care practice is lacking. I made the commitment to myself to love and care for myself more this summer season. Thank you Gabby for being the sweet loving voice showing me that my choice is the right one for me.

  48. My intention for this summer is to mindfully leave work at work, spend more time in nature, meditate, and spend more time with family.

  49. I will own my serenity by being more disciplined for self-care time. Meditation, preparing healthy food, journaling, exercise, sleep: the serenity will seep in!! <3 <3

  50. My intention is to slow down and focus on what I’m feeding myself—and that means literally and spiritually! When I get stressed, I tend to rush through things and gobble everything up without discretion. I feed on negative thoughts, and lots of empty calories, too. So, my intention is to pause and ask why I’m doing what I’m doing, and how it serves me…to carve out time to re-calibrate. Happy summer, spirit junkies! Here’s to independence from outdated habits.

  51. My intention for this summer and always is to make time for stillness, restful moments, appreciating nature’s gifts.

  52. My journey of serenity started this summer when I made the choice in May to not teach summer school for the first time in 15 years! It has been so wonderful to take care of and focus on me for a change, what a great experience its been! Looking forward to continuing on my 40 day journey as well.
    Have a great 4th everyone!

  53. I will allow more serenity by staying in the moment and enjoying what I am doing. Not worrying about the future at work or home.

  54. I set my intention to slow down this summer and practice more self care by saying no to so-so invitations and saying yes to more time in nature.

  55. Selfcaredays, long walks in the forest, meditate, read my favorite books and spending time alone and with my family pet and friends. Yoga in the sun.

  56. I have been practicing meditation more deeply this summer and will continue to do so. It has opened up my mind to more clarity on the things that matter most to me, which is my family. Focusing on making the time I have with my husband and five children the best it’s ever been by bringing an attitude of gratitude and joy for them. My kids comment daily on how they’ve never seen me happier. I’ve truly never FELT happier. I used to live in the future dreading the things to come with constant anxiety, therefore never being present with my family or anyone else. I am here, that is a miracle and a gift from God. I now try to live each day with that attitude and thought.

  57. I will find my serenity by reading my self help books and trusting that everything is working out for me. I will also work on releasing the desire to control everything.

  58. This summer I will elevate my serenity by staying true to my meditation practice on vacation and living in prayer. So many times when I leave for a couple of days I fail to stay consistent with my spirituality people practice – my actions come undone and then guilt steps in because I feel disconnected. I will not feel guilty that I am taking time this summer & I will ensure my practice stays on point.

  59. I will step into my serenity by truly giving myself one week for me. I leave for Greece July 8-15, without kids…I am recently separated and have worked on forgiveness to be able to truly put my children first in our lives by being able to co-parent without any resentments or anger inside myself. I have found thru my parents divorce and my own, that these two do not allow me to live with grace and serenity. Now I will take my alone time to honor myself and the work I have done. I feel TOTAL anxiety about taking the time and money for myself(more bc I’m worried about my family judging me, which is a lifelong pattern, no matter what action I take). Please give any advice!! xo

  60. This is a tough one for me but I get it. I struggle with down time. Thank you everyone enjoy!

  61. Serenity i have lost till my law studies. This summer im free because i finish studying… But i dont find my serenity anymore-lost in the studies????… I have to find it…thank u gabby for all your posts books etc-they help me to find me and my serenity????

  62. User my serenity by shutting of my work email and trying (key word there) to leave my thoughts and feeling about work at work. I just took a long almost 2 week break from work and feel that I did pretty well. When I begin to think about going back to work, I took a couple deep breaths and released the feelings. Today I will try to do the same but I feel as tomorrow comes closer and when I awoke this morning it was hard to release the feeling of not wanting to go back to work! I’m praying that as time goes on I can get better at this practice!

  63. I am inviting more serenity into my life by having full faith and trust in the universe, expecting miracles and as a result, allowing any lingering clouds of fear to gently disappear day by day:)

  64. My summer serenity intention is to BE IN THE NOW and stop planning/obsessing about the future. I just need to let it go and allow my future to unfold for me. I receive miracles! ?????????????????

    Thank you Gabby!!

  65. The key to my serenity is self care. I’m going to take care of myself with 2 x’s a week of my kundalini yoga practice, continuing my meditation practice and good old detaching with love from any drama and lower energy. I’m going to take care of me. ????

  66. My intention for this summer is to make the most of my time, to chill the f* out, and to spend more time focusing on MY OWN emotions and progress. I feel so lost after the last few months, but I hope I will be able to find my own way again.

    I always tend to trust that Universe has my back, but at the same time I know something doesnt feel right. Maybe what I need to do is to set the intention to take some active action.

    1. I love this. Yes, exactly this. Enjoy serenity by leaving open space to allow all good things to flow. Peace, serenity, joy.

  67. Nice video and message thank u! I actually have some downtime this summer and usually I am running around and Giging Etc so I have been working on 1. Not feeling guilty! And 2. Not comparing myself to my friends who are running around and gigging! But I wanted downtime to focus on some other things, really be able to be at and enjoy our beautiful home in the country and play lots and lots of guitar and drink rose and be with friends! So thank you for helping me own that! That’s what I will be doing. Xoxo

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