Late Summer

Late Summer is the season that resides for a few weeks between Summer and Autumn.  You can feel the heat rising off the earth, and the cool air settling in from above. The scorching heat of summer has passed (well, not quite this year…) and Autumn has not yet settled in.

This is the season of Earth and the abundant harvest.

What seedlings did you plant in early spring that are now ripe for the picking?

I don’t know about you, but I started the year determined to live this year as the year of being curious and courageous.  Boy did I get what I asked for!

Early this year, I had an accident to my left arm which brought up a lot of fear of not being able to play violin again.  It was agony, and yielded a lot of perspective on what is important to me in my life and how I navigate crises.  We have all been forced to adapt and think outside the box in terms of what being social means, what community looks like, what “work” is, and what love, support and caring means, and also what is “enough”.  (Enough is a very Earth-centric issue!)  I’ve taken a good look at who I am, why I am, where I come from, what I want to be doing next, and the places where I am and am not living with integrity and courage of the Heart.  Due to my Heart’s answers to the previous sentence’s questions, I left my relationship of 14 years and am now living alone for the first time in what feels like a lifetime, relearning what it means to be me, my place in the world, and so on.  I certainly got my wish in terms of exploring what it means to be living with courage and curiosity.

All this to say: Have you gotten your fruits from those seeds that you planted and nurtured all these months (aka: wishes)?  What gifts have they yielded for you?

Now’s the time to look within so you can savor and be nourished by what you have received all this time.
If you are feeling unnerved by all that is going on, you are not alone!  Help is available in the form of self-care practices that are free and readily available.  If you have the cash, I highly recommend utilizing this blend as it is specifically made to help you navigate this potent year.

This is also a great time to check in with how you are nourishing yourself.

Are you eating foods that bring vibrance to your life? 
This time of year brings fruits like apples and pears, and squashes – all sweet things.  Bake or poach the apples and pears and make soup from those squashes.

Here’s a soup that I cannot wait to start making again now that it is the season for it!

It’s time to reduce your consumption of raw/fresh foods in terms of salads, smoothies, and so on as these items ultimately hinder your digestive processes and lower your immunity!  Switch from iced drinks to hot teas (not-caffeinated) and make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.

We all need to keep our wells and reserves in tip-top shape for the coming months and that’s what the foods that are now in season will do for us.

Are you sleeping enough?  Too much?  How is your sleep quality – on a scale of 1-10? 
Now is a great time to re-evaluate and adjust your sleep schedule, address quality issues, and routines, if at all possible.  (I don’t know about you, but I’m on the wackiest sleep schedule right now!)  If you are still struggling with getting good sleep, book a “quickie” session to get some straightforward herbal tips that are appropriate for you.

Are you moving enough? 
I know I’ve been struggling with that since work-from-home began and it’s been making me a little nutty. I need to get outside approximately three times a day, and I just can’t seem to get out enough for long enough.  I’ve started a qi gong set that takes 15 minutes in the morning, right after my daily reading and meditation.  It gives me a lot of oomph, and when I start to feel crabby in the afternoon, I get out for a good long walk.  There are many qi gong sets available on YouTube, and this one is in that aforementioned 15 minute range (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u05R-BlJYbg) You can get the video that I have, here’s the link: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/fullsequence/331734129

Last but not least: are you being cognizant of what you are ingesting that is not food? 
Social media, news, other people’s energy, and so on?  How are you taking care of yourself so that you do not betray yourself and violate your own boundaries and well-being?  How are you talking to yourself?  Are you being kind and compassionate to yourself, to others?  Now is a good time to exercise speaking up for yourself to re-assert your boundaries as honoring and loving your Self, your Heart, your Shen.

Struggles during the Earth Season
Honoring of Self as an act of self-love is something that I constantly struggle with.  As an Earth element, a woman who was raised to be a people-pleaser, and as someone who is working through healing the effects of secondhand alcoholism, this issue (self-love) seems to be the the theme of my life.  Yet, there is no better time than the season that we are in to really dig into these lessons, look within and do the work that is asked of us!

Earth nourishes and has motherly compassion (sympathy).  When out of balance, Earth seeks more and more and more, or refuses to give, in order to receive endless sympathy or reject it altogether.  Let’s honor what we need when we need it, and not feel dragged down by life’s bounty turned burdens.

An example of the bounty turned burden is the gardener who winds up with more zucchini than they know what to do with, and they are desperate to get rid of it and eventually come to loathe the abundance of their garden’s offering.  Or when a joy (such as a hobby, exercise practice, or relationship) becomes fraught with frustration and angst.  Imbalance in the Earth element can manifest as constant worry-worting, ruminating, mulling over the past, complaining, not speaking up for our real needs, and the desire to have everything in its place in our lives (control issues).

The lesson here is that you take the time to nourish your inner being, have compassion not just for others, but most importantly: have compassion for yourself.  This is the best time to have the unconditional love of Mother for ourselves.