Summer is a time of year that most of us in the Northern Hemisphere welcome. The temperature has risen, the sun is out (generally) and we are naturally drawn to spending time outdoors. In Chinese Medicine, summer is the time of ultimate Yang; of peak energy.
The element is Fire which is a symbol of divinity, transformation and passion, and as this is the only element that as humans, we can physically can create, fire reminds us of our individual creativity. On an emotional level, Fire corresponds to joy and excitement and our ability to give and receive warmth and love. Joy warms and activates the body; it opens the Heart and inspires people to connect.
This is the time to celebrate the incredible manifestation of nature; to rejoice in that which has become. We are surrounded by flowers, lush green fields and trees, and insects which set the air in motion. It is a time to be outside, gathering in groups and enjoying each other’s company at parties. Humans and plants flourish with the warmth of the sun. There is an uplifted, joyful feeling and a sense of safety.
The organs which dominate summer are the Heart and the partner organ, the Small Intestine. When the Heart and the Small Intestine are in balance, Blood is vibrant, allowing the Shen to be calm and anchored, you will sleep well, your emotions will be balanced and your eyes clear. You will have a warm and steady passion for life and your relationships with others will have a smooth and measured flow.
It’s easy to burn out in the summer however. If there is imbalance in your Heart or Fire element, you may feel anxious, flighty and have trouble sleeping. You will lack joy, may have cold hands or feet or have difficulty following through on projects. You might also suffer from night sweats, infections or be overexcited.
Ways to nourish your Fire to ensure a steady heat during summer
- Observe your own internal Fire. What are you doing daily to support your own energy?
- Connect. Relationships support the heart. Attend Summer gatherings, meet with friends and family.
- Exercise. Move your Qi/energy any way that feels good for you. It is important to raise your heartbeat and body temp slightly to manage any excess Yang/Stagnant Qi in the body.
- Wake early and go to bed later. Exercise in the morning if you can to utilise your natural Yang energy.
- Notice. Observe the beauty of the earth. Take time to stop and thank Mother Nature for all her summer glory.
- Celebrate the season. Find or create your own summer rituals to connect with the season and the earth.
- Meditate. Build a practice that allows space for the mind to find stillness to allow connection with your source, your intuition, your heart.
- Drink plenty of water. This will maintain the internal balance of Fire.
- Assess your yearly intentions. Focus on any areas that you are passionate about and let go of any that have withered.
- Deficient Fire? Wear something red. Create a Fire corner in your home using candles and fresh red flowers
- Fire in Excess? Disperse any harsh light at home with prisms or crystals. Return to any winter rituals that work for you.