Summer. Fire. Passion. Love. Spontaneity. Fun. Connection. Sunshine. Happiness. Joy. Gratitude. Celebration.
All these things are abundant as we celebrate the longest day of the year. Where daylight hours exceed night-time darkness. Where heat rises and and remains for days and weeks at a time. Where we have fun and express our passions and spontaneity.
Summer is governed by the fire element. This is the time of year when things are at their most expansive, the longest hours and the warmest months mean the growth of food is at its most productive and the garden is full.
A nod to winter in summer?
But we also must acknowledge the water element during this time. Without the rest and the hibernation over the deepest darkest days of winter this expansiveness and growth would not be possible.
During this warmest time of the year when all natural habitat is well rested but now hungry we start to see more activity as see animals come out to feast, bees and insects pollinating our flowers and food.
During the peak of the summer we take cool showers, we have a swim in the ocean, we sit in the shade, eat cooling foods like cucumber and watermelon, we drink lots of cool water. At the peak of summer we see the brightest blue skies as well as the abundance of yellow, oranges and reds of the sun, fauna and food. Blue being the colour of the water element and winter this beautifully highlights the direct connection and importance of balance - Yin & Yang - one is not possible without the other.
Now is a good time to concentrate on taking care of the heart, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually too. Letting go of old emotions that have been weighing heavy on the heart.
If we have a box and its full of rotten food, then somebody gives us more food to put in the box, but this time the food is delicious and we want to save it, but don’t have enough space because all the space is taken up with rotten food. The first thing we would do is empty the box and clear out all the rotten food to make room for the fresh delicious food. The heart space is exactly the same, if we allow this space to remain full of old hatred, impatience and anxieties then we will never have space for love, joy, happiness, compassion and gratitude. The situation would worsen as we start to feel frustration, resentment and bitterness because there is no room to enjoy these wonderful new emotions and experiences.
Qigong is perfect for clearing heart space and old energy.
We can clear the heart space by massaging the heart area as well as the chest and the lungs, we can also clear the heart and pericardium meridians too, we can use flowing Qigong movements to sweep away old energy and gather new fresh energy. When all these pathways are clear, the energy, blood and oxygen are much more able to fo flow freely improving cardiovascular health too.
We have an abundance of bright delicious vegetables that are all the colours of the rainbow and are amazingly good for heart health too. However, red foods are more prolific during summer time. Red peppers, radicchio, radishes, red onion, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, red apples, watermelon! It’s so easy to forgot the gifts of summer when all these food are available to us all year round. Try and get these food locally and really savour them while they are in natural abundance during this time.
This is also a perfect time to allow the bare skin to breath and not be covered from head to toe in synthetic materials. It's a great time to top up your vitamin D supplies for the year. There are lots of scientific studies to show how protective the sun and vitamin D is against certain cancers and skin conditions as well as mental health, but we also have to pay attention to warnings like sunburn, this is our cue to retreat and cool off - again we can recognise Yin & Yang in this process.
Because the weather is warmer we gravitate outside more at this time of year and we tend to socialise more too. We redress the balance of not seeing our friends and family during the darkest, coldest months of the year and use this warm and light time to arrange more parties, barbecues, gathering, celebrations, have more fun and laugh more. We are pack and herd beings, we need this contact and intimacy to replenish bonds and nurture the soul.
Summer is the time to realise and make happen all your plans and ideas. Winter saw us thinking, sitting back and pondering on ideas and thoughts and the dormancy allowed us to replenish our energies. Spring saw us have a vision or idea, making plans, taking notes, being creative putting things in place and the very beginnings of action. Now summer makes all these ideas and plans come to life as we move to put all things into practise and make our dreams become reality. This could be a new business venture, a trip, or strengthening your social bonds and relationships.
Some of us love this expansive hot time of year and almost mourn the end as we move into late summer and into autumn. For those that find the heat unbearable there is a relief that it is finally over. Which ever way you feel about summer - love it or hate it - its always a good idea to be fully present as these changes and transitions happen both around you and within you. Although this time of year will come round again it won’t be quite like this time, this moment, it will be unique.
See it, feel it, and be with it.
And have fun!