I love each and every season because each one allows us to tap in to its unique energy. In Chinese Medicine, Summer is the element of fire and it's associated with the heart and the small intestine. It's about growth, expansion, and the best time to nourish the spirit. The emotion is joy, the sound is laughter.
While spring is about new beginnings taking in the new, summer allows us to assimilate this newness (like the small intestine assimilates nutrients).
Here are 4 ways to nourish yourself this summer!
1. EAT FRUIT!
It's the most yang time of the year with the most sunlight and warmth. Summer is the best time of year to indulge in fruit because it's both hydrating and cooling.
Make fruit smoothies with bananas, frozen mango and berries. Enjoy half a melon for breakfast or a bowl of nectarines, peaches, and berries for a cooling afternoon snack.
I don't subscribe to the school of thought that fruit has too much sugar. There's plenty of water and fiber in fruit to make up for it. Fruit is THE best source for phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties. I felt amazing (and my skin improved) when I increased my fruit consumption.
2. ENJOY THE SUN!
My dogs always seek out the sunbeam on the floor when they're inside. Sometimes I let them outside and Daisy will just plop down on the sunniest part of the yard (even if it's just dirt!). Dogs instinctively know the benefits the sun brings.
The best time of day to spend time in the sun is morning or late afternoon... when you can still feel the warmth on your skin, but it's not burning you. Spend 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and feel the warmth and joy penetrating your skin.
My mood is always better when I've sunbathe regularly (safely of course).
3. DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY!
Although it's always nourishing to the spirit to do what brings you joy, this is the time of year where the fire energy of summer allows joy to flow easier, deeper, and last longer. The heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element in Chinese Medicine.
Where do you find yourself being naturally creative? Who are you with when you smile and laugh the most? What makes you feel zest and passion in your life?
4. HEAL EMOTIONAL WOUNDS
When the heart and spirit are free, the mind is free. When the mind is free, you open yourself up to new ideas, new habits, and new ways of being in the world. This can also improve sleep!
Validating your feelings- whether it's in a journal or talking to a friend or professional- allows the wound to come to the surface. Sometimes we keep them buried down which will only hurt us more in the long run.
Once the emotional wounds are surfaced, many times they go away on their own. Other times, they may require action on your part such as a purging exercise of free writing and burning, reaching out and apologizing to a loved one, or simply prayer or meditation.
Apply these 4 things to your life this summer and no doubt you will feel more in touch with your spirit, and the joy and warmth summer brings.
To your health and healing,