The pandemic brought on a lot of rules, didn’t it? This is the first Summer that many of us are finally able to have freedom with our time and plans are back to 100% that I thought I would share one of my favourite approaches to having a fun Summer: the Summer of No Rules.
The Summer of no rules was the Summer of 2013.
I broke up with my ex-boyfriend suddenly in late May.
I was 25, and newly single. I was also newly declared a lawyer, as I had just been called to the bar.
While I had known for a while that something felt amiss, it was in the Spring that my inner voice telling me that I needed to end the relationship started to get louder.
It was one of the first times in my life that I was being asked to really trust my inner voice when it made no logical sense.
Grasping at straws to make a seemingly illogical decision to break-up logical, I ended up breaking up with him at the encouragement of another lawyer I looked up to, who told that if I was going to break up with him at some point, I might as well do it before my call to the bar because I “wouldn’t want him in the photos” looking back.
I regret not having given myself enough time to process the inner knowing that we needed to break up, but also see how perfect it was to have jumped right in and ripped the band-aid off.
The issue was that now, with the band-aid off, I had to find my footing.
Summers had become predictable and routine in the years leading up to this. The Summers prior had been unremarkable and maybe even a bit boring.
So with a fresh slate, a semi-broken heart, an openness to new experiences, and simply just wanting to have more fun, I began my Summer of No Rules.
Summer of No Rules entails this: focus on how you want to feel, stay open, and forget about making too many plans.
Instead, have an openness to saying YES to new opportunities or events as they come up.
Choose a word or two that you want to feel during the Summer. Mine was “Free.”
My first Summer of No Rules led me to spend a lot of time up at my family’s cottage.
Up until then, I had a lot of rules around how much time I liked to spend up there during the Summer, but that Summer, I decided to throw caution to the wind and spend as much time up there as possible.
What this led to were a host of new experiences, meetings, and fun simply by saying yes when usually I would say no.
A friend would invite me to someone’s cottage, which normally I might turn down if I didn’t know them. That year though? Yes.
I started dating this guy who also suggested going up to his cottage one weekend. Was it too soon?
My rules from before would have said so, but I said yes anyway, and we ended up having a fun weekend before that relationship eventually blew up (rebounds, right?).
I said yes to going to concerts. Yes to staying up later than I should have. Yes to taking longer lunch breaks at work. Yes to going to yoga classes in the evenings. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I ended up having a Summer full of FUN and levity, which is exactly what I needed after the break-up and after my first insane year in law.
It was one of the first times where I started to see that the Universe will provide us with the exact experience we need if we let ourselves surrender and flow.
Since that initial Summer of No Rules, I’ve had many other Summers that were marked with the same openness, flow and surrender.
They led to new loves, new experiences, new friendships, and new memories. More than anything, it led to a lot of fun and flow, which by Summer, I think a lot of us are craving.
If you are feeling a summer of no rules, here’s what to do:
- Figure out 1-2 words of how you want to feel this Summer. Radiant? Beautiful? Connected? Inspired? Expanded? Free?
- Every week, think of one thing that you will do that will help you to feel that way.
- Say yes to every new opportunity or invitation that comes to you, unless you absolutely cannot make it.
- Any time that you notice your mind have a preference about wanting to do something or not, lean in and say yes instead.
- Focus on making fun a priority! If you aren’t sure where to begin, try looking on Eventbrite for events that feel interesting to you, or go back to things that you liked to do when you were younger in the Summer.
- Write out a letter to yourself as if it is the end of Summer, once again, focusing on how you feel and what unfolded. You can begin it: “It’s Labour Day weekend and I’m feeling so grateful for this Summer. This Summer I…”