Publisher - June 2022

“She smelled of sun and daisies
with a hint of river water.”
—Katie Daisy

As I read and edited all the stories on the following pages about brave women who have put themselves out there in the world, finding or making adventures everywhere they go, it made me want to embark on a summer adventure. The funny thing is, out of all the places, activities and adventures these women have taken on, and there are some amazing ones, the thing I’m most jealous of: They have managed their lives in such a way that their adventures have come true.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, here I sit, stressing on how I will take one little week off this summer without having to check into work every day. So, when I read about these women, my take-away is freedom—the absolute ability to leave the daily grind behind. These women have broken away from what is expected, what is deemed as responsible, what is safe and what is “normal,” and instead, blazed their own trails.

No matter if we travel all over the world, or make our way in the confines of our communities, I believe we all blaze our own trails; they just take us different places, whether near or far, long or short. However, sometimes I feel like my trail is blazing me. Perhaps this is where the term “burn-out” comes from—when your trail turns so narrow and monotonous that it begins to burn you—its own blazer? (I just had an a-ha moment, I hope you did, too!)

As summer heats up, so should your blaze for life. However, if you don’t have the time, money or desire to set out across the world, why not create your own trail-blazing right here in the Lowcountry. I’m not talking about a stay-cation; I’m referring to feeling the freedom of summer all summer long. After all, look at the millions of people who consider their visit to the Lowcountry their trail-blazing, their escape to freedom, their paradise found.

Here are a few suggestions to find fragments of freedom
and fun right where you are:
Pretend and imagine: Popular artist and author Sandra Magsamen once longed to spend a summer in Italy, but work, motherhood and reason dictated otherwise. Her solution: Bring Italy to her! She turned her home into Italy by making authentic Italian dishes most nights for dinner, sprinkling the bright colors of Tuscany throughout her home, turning her deck into a special, Italian-themed delight to sit out each night under the stars with Italian music softly playing. She was surprised when it actually worked. The feel of her home truly shifted, and she and her family felt transformed and rejuvenated by the Italian touches incorporated into their daily grind. What is on your list of desires that you can’t make happen this summer? How can you put your imagination to work and make it happen anyway?

Do one thing no matter what:
If you read Marilyn Preston’s column on page 14, she recommends picking one goal for the summer and absolutely making it happen, no excuses! I agree, one big goal and stay focused. However, adding a few small shifts that add joy and help you feel like you’re living life should also be on the agenda. For example, we all live pretty close to the water, whether it be the ocean, sounds or rivers, which are known to soothe and calm the soul. Make sure you interact with water in some way every week. Walk the beach, sit by the marsh, go fishing, watch a waterfront sunrise or sunset, rent a boat, kayak or paddle board, take a nap on the beach, swim, dine waterside. No matter what, immerse yourself into this watery part of the world and take it all in. Water is powerful and healing; it will shift your inner freedom.

Make plans:
If a big trip can’t be on your agenda this summer, don’t fret. You can rejuvenate your energy with small plans, just as well. Plan a day trip. That’s right, leave in the morning and be home to sleep in your own bed. A few suggestions—Visit Charleston and walk the historic streets, taking in the beautiful homes built back in the 1700s. Actually, the same can be done in Savannah and Beaufort, too. Ride up to Columbia, SC, and take in the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Want to stay even closer to home, hop on the ferry to Daufuskie Island and escape to an earlier time of days gone by. If you need a city fix, head down to Jacksonville to take in haute couture shopping at Tiffany’s, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton and more. All of these things can be done in a day, without too much windshield time, and without tiring you out. Dipping into a different environment, even for a day, awakes your inner being and rejuvenates your creativity.

Summer is the perfect time to take mini-sabbaticals—even five minutes— during each day to dream about how you want your life to be. It’s hard to remember what we really want when we are frenzied with work, kids or stress. It’s hard to even make mini-plans, or evoke our imaginations, without taking needed downtime to free think and dream. Remember, it’s never too late to become what you might have been. Give yourself permission to take time to dream. Be sure to not put limits on your dreams—dream big! You’ll be surprised to wake up one day and see that your dreams are coming true.

I always go back to Mary Oliver’s quote: “What do you want to do with your one wild and precious life?” I want to feel alive and free and emblazon the words “wild” and “precious” into my mind. To do so, I must set the intentions to imagine, pretend, make plans and dream because when intentions are set, things change. I won’t be going on any exotic adventures this summer, other than to Edisto Island for a week, but you can bet that by setting my intentions, I will feel like I’m on top of the world.

How are you going to harness the freedom of summer? Remember, you have the power to make the most of it and turn it into exactly what you desire.

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen

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