GOLDEN DAYS OF LATE SUMMER
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, late summer, related to the Earth element and the Spleen/Stomach digestive system, is a short distinct season marking the transition between yang (spring and summer) and yin (autumn and winter), spanning a few weeks from late August.
Nature’s bounty is at peak abundance and it's prime time to harvest, kick back and enjoy the fruits of our labours. It's a time when fruit and foliage reaches full ripeness before beginning to droop towards the ground. A time when the light softens and becomes more golden, and the days gently shorten. Overall there’s a sense of lessening. The holiday season is over and school’s back – although we’re often thrown a few unexpected morsels of prime sunshine – that one last dance at the party! Late summer is a place to reward ourselves, replenish after summer's outgoing energy, to re-centre, nourish and find our balance. A time of coming to ground, coming home.
For some it can be a tricky time as we long for the summer warmth, activity and social connections to continue, maybe even fearing the coming cold and dark. Others feel relief that the intensity of summer is over. Whatever you feel about this transition, take the time to be present with the changes that are happening around and within you. The transition comes every year, but never in quite the same way. See what you can lessen in order to create space to marvel at our the earth and our fellow earthmates, we are incredibly blessed to share space with all that our beautiful planet has to offer us.
Late summer is the perfect time to learn and do what nourishes and grounds us - physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. The Spleen/Stomach connection invites us to think about what we digest on a daily basis through the news, social media, the people around us and see how we can bring more balance. We can seek out people, places and practices that make us feel held and supported. Familiar territory, home turf, comfort.
A balanced and well-nourished earth element helps us transition through change, effectively digest food and experience, both give and receive generously, feel appropriate sensitivity and sympathy with others, and find safety in routine and familiarity. Imbalance can manifest as digestive issues, high or low appetite, sugar cravings, tiredness, low energy, lack of motivation, over-thinking, worry, feeling lonely, overwhelmed, directionless or scattered. In an everchanging world, it's so much easier to feel ungrounded.
SIMPLE TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE TIPS TO STAY EARTHED
Use grounding practices especially focusing on strength in the legs and big muscles of the body (I utterly recommend Linzi Rodina's reset - I've been doing it for a year now and can honestly say it's been a game changer in so many ways. Physically - she gets those big muscles working, mentally - the early morning routine, repetition gives me focus and clarity, and emotionally - Linzi's support, wisdom and laughs are a welcome consistent in unpredictable times, and so much more! Check her out www.linzirodina.com
Establish routines - especially around cooking and mealtimes
Don't take on too much! The earth element loves to "digest" experience.
Eat lots of earthy root vegetables.
Tend to your home.
Get out into nature and feel the solid, supportive earth beneath your feet.
Have acupuncture!! :-)
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
As we enjoy nature's bounty this time of year, let's remember we're in a reciprocal relationship.
We might feel overwhelmed by the big business destruction of the natural world, but we can look after our own backyards. We can observe and appreciate the local rhythms of nature, volunteer time with local nature projects, spend quality time with our pets, keep a caring and curious eye out for our urban wildlife neighbours - good for them and good for us. We know that regular connection with nature and wildlife supports our wellbeing too.
“The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive” Thich Nhat Hanh