The heart rules us during the summer months and its attending element is fire. The nature of fire is to expand and grow. Summer is the time in Chinese Medicine associated with relationships, passion, and joy. We see our friends more and delight in moving our bodies in the warmth. We expand during the season connecting with friends, family, nature, just as our garden ripens. We enjoy eating summer fruits and vegetables. This is a time of abundance. Every day I pick a few flowers and float them in water bowls.
In the summer we can introduce more cooling foods into our diet. We can eat lighter avoiding heavy, greasy, food and increase cooling foods (being careful that we don’t overdo it). Cooling foods for the body are: watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon, peach, orange, asparagus, lettuce, sprouts, bamboo, broccoli, cabbage, corn, cucumber, mushroom, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, watercress, sea weed, mung beans, cilantro, mint, dill. Keeping pitchers of peppermint tea, lemon water or cucumber water and eating in moderation refresh us.
A time of laughter, and also its companion, sadness. Knowing when to reach out to out to those in sorrow. There is a treatment in Chinese medicine that opens the heart by letting go of unresolved emotions. Summer being the best time of year to mend fences, rejoice and let go of undigested emotions that keep us from connecting simply to ourselves and the people we care for, freeing up room in the heart, space we can fill with joy and happiness not carrying old hurts with us into the future. Families and friends have found ways across growing divides by embracing the small things we have in common. The Heart enables us to make connections to the world beyond ourselves, embrace things outside of ourselves, and join our inner world to the bigger world.
It is my daily privilege to see the strength of people in the face of physical setbacks, the death of a spouse or major invasive disease: depression or cancer. Recovering strength by simply getting up in the morning and taking a walk. Some will run a marathon to mark another decade or find new employment after a long period. Now is the time to find nourishment and sustainment in the simple pleasure of friendship.
Wishing you and your loved ones joy and a Happy Summer!