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  • Monica Marie Jones

The Summer Camp Strategy


When was the last time you remember experiencing true joy? Several of my clients and I found that we had an answer to this question in common. Some of our most joyful memories came from attending summer camp in our youth. Interestingly, much of the work that I’ve done in my career in the youth development field is rooted in research that took place at a residential summer camp for adolescents from around the world. This work has inspired and informs my current approach to coaching and facilitation. One of my long-time clients found that while she had met and exceeded her business goals, she was in a place where she was seeking more joy. I asked her to think about the last time she felt overwhelmed with joyfulness, and to describe the conditions that made it so. I wasn’t surprised when her answer was summer camp. I connected the components of summer camp with research that I’ve been doing for years now on healing from grief, trauma, and depression. I began this research when I was on a quest to improve my own mental health because I wanted to find alternatives to taking medication. Essential components of the camp experience include sunshine, water, fire, nature, play, and singing songs. All of these are elements that are proven to enhance our mental and physical health and wellbeing. Once we identified these aspects, I invited her to think about how she might recreate similar experiences in her everyday life. The mere thought of it all sparked a blissful breakthrough before our session ended and her joy journey began. I invite you to do the same. Once you identify an experience that brought you supreme delight, pull out the components, and plan for how you can align them with your day-to-day experiences. Here is The Summer Camp Strategy that will support you in recreating your unforgettable happy place. Find Your Sunshine. Some of the literal benefits of time spent in the sunshine include enhancing our mood, improving our sleep, and increasing vitamin D which aids in strengthening our bones. More figuratively, I love to engage in environments and relationships that feel like sunshine. Who are people or where are places in your life that give you warmth, rest, and strength? Discover Your Heart Song. Whether you are doing it for self-soothing or celebration, there are several benefits that singing brings. Songs evoke emotions. Feeling intense feelings in this way provides an opportunity to pause and think about the things that incite so much pleasure, passion, or purpose that our hearts would burst into song if they could. What makes your heart sing? Feed Your Fire. My most memorable and well attended coaching events are those that include fire. These include gathering around a bonfire for stimulating conversation, burning things we want to release, or simply enjoying connection and deep self-reflection with like-minded souls near a fireplace or fire pit. For a fire to grow and maintain its warmth and beauty, it needs oxygen and a form of fuel. Who or what sparks and fuels your growth? This week I challenge you to analyze the times where you felt overwhelmed with the emotion that you desire the most. What were the conditions that made it so? You may not be able to go back to that exact circumstance, but you can recreate those factors in small ways in your everyday life. Use The Summer Camp Strategy to spark the beginning of your joy journey. Manifestation Affirmations I am investing my time in environments that spark joy. I am investing my energy in relationships that reciprocate warmth, rest, and strength. I am fueled by people and places that support my growth.

Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide

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