Summer Yang, And the Living is Crazy!

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For some reason, year after year, in spite of knowing better, we continue to try to cram ridiculous amounts of activities into the 10 weeks of summer.  I recognize that there are multiple reasons for this, but from a Chinese medicine standpoint, it is also related to the yang of the season.  Yang is an energy that is associated with heat, light, movement, and creativity.  By definition, summer has all the aspects of yang: our days are longer, the temperature tends to be much warmer, and this pushes us to be much more active.

In general, this isn’t a bad thing.  But in our fast paced world, we are often forgetting to pause and take time to be quiet.  There are camps, vacations, family obligations, things we want to do and those we have to do.  Trying to balance all of this can end up making the summer exhausting, and leave us wishing for school to start again, if only to have a routine back.

If your family is anything like mine, the entire summer is scheduled by early June.  While all of those activities are things I look forward to, what I miss is the ability to be spontaneous, the ability to know that there is a weekend with nothing on the calendar.  The idea that I can just “be”.

With that in mind, I encourage you to try to build that time in to your schedule.  Even 5 minutes of checking in with yourself, sitting quietly with the eyes closed, can make an enormous difference.  It can allows us to connect with where we are, how we feel, and whether we are doing a good job at taking care of ourselves.  Here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Avoid putting on the radio or TV when you are alone, just take in the quiet
  • Don’t put everyone else first, make sure to take time for yourself
  • Do something daily that nourishes you, read, take a walk, eat really good food
  • Get to bed on time and make sure you balance all of the activity with rest
  • Laugh!
  • Make sure you are really connecting with those in your life, share, listen, comfort and be comforted by them.

I hope you all have a wonderful, nourishing, restful summer!

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