Summertime Joy!

Summer Energy is Here!

Despite this rainy week my friends, summertime is arriving in all her glory!  The sun was out for a few minutes this afternoon and there it was--bustling, brilliant, magnificent summer!  Opening flowers, buzzing bees, everything alive & flourishing!  Lately I have been waking up at 4am to the boisterous birdsong outside my window.    This is a season of activity, opening, connection, and yes, a little bit of chaos!

Summer time means expansion, a riot of up and out and all over.  Look outside and you will see everything in nature is reaching to connect.  Nothing wants to stay in its place.  How quickly our gardens and yards get unruly! The plants are reaching for the sky, tangling with each other.  The other night I went to bed and I noticed that a vine had wormed its way into my window—reaching up toward the curtain rod and arching over my bed!    As I pruned it back, I had to laugh.  “I love you too little vine. “

In Chinese medicine we associate the energy of the summertime with Fire.  It’s an expansive energy, light and joyful, spontaneous and every changing.  Watch a fire—burning gently one moment, roaring the next, leaping and moving, jumping from log to log.  It’s a lot like watching a group of people having a good time at a party!   Laughter erupts and is suddenly contagious.  The conversation will quiet one moment, and then out of nowhere the room will buzz.  This too is the energy of summertime.  It's also the energy of joy:  Both the “cozy fire” quiet joy of sitting on a bench with an old friend and the expansive heart feeling we feel when we are surrounded with all the people we love in one place.  It’s the spark we feel when we are engaging in our passion  (“She has a fire in her belly”) and the bonfire like riotous joy we feel dancing our heart out.

The Chinese medical classics tells us that in order to live well we need to live in rhythm with nature.  This is an ancient wisdom that is embraced by many traditions.   And yet, modernization and our go-go-go cullure that often has us disconnected from the very rhythms of life.  Sometimes simply allowing your work weary heart to shift into summer time energy can do wonders for your body, mind and spirit.  Soak in the sunshine—it will fuel you through the fall and winter when it comes!  Here are 6 ways to help embrace the warmth of summer!

6 Ways to Live in Harmony with Summertime

  • Host a party or a BBQ.  If you have been quiet and less social this winter, make time for fun and being around people you enjoy!    Or at very least, make some room on your schedule for some of the fun summertime events that are being planned in your community.
  • Make time for quiet connection too.  Plan a date night with your sweetie or schedule time for a walk or dinner with a dear one.  Call up an old friend on your commute just to hear her voice.    
  • Play!  Hit a tennis ball around or throw a Frisbee with your kids or dog.  (Dogs are great at summer time energy!)  Rediscover Red Rover and Kick the Can! Pull out your favorite party game and bring it to the pool.  
  • Get your silly on!  Dance like no one is watching, sing your heart out, blow bubbles out your car window in a traffic jam
  •  Explore your passion.  Whether it is music, books,  travel or your family, cooking, politics or art--find time to do the things that make your heart sing. 
  • Reach out to others and share your gifts. Volunteer for a cause you care about or simply visit the lonely neighbor down the street.  Connection with our loved ones or strangers who are suffering, bringing your own beautiful heart to a difficult situation or simply chipping in to a community effort can do wonders for your whole sense of wellbeing. 

Don't Burn Out!  

Be careful not to “burn out” with all this summery joy!  One of the dangers of summer is we can overdo it.  Too much of even a good thing can leave us depleted or scattered.   Make sure to listen to your body, work in times for quiet, rest and peace.    Make sure you are getting adequate rest to fuel your fun!  Sip some watermelon fresca by the pool and read a good book, take a nap in the sun, or simply slow down and pay attention to your body if you notice that summer is taking its toll.  (Even the birds rest in summertime!). Scheduling an acupuncture treatment can be one way to tend your self.