Sweaty hair, coconut ice cream and the beach can only mean one thing—Summer! I always look forward to this season because it has an air of excitement and exuberance about it that just makes me feel carefree and happy! Or is that because Christmas holidays are just around the corner? Ok, probably holidays, but anyway!
In the Chinese five elemental cycle, Summer relates to the Fire Element. The energy of Fire is hot, vibrant and energising. It represents the growth and maturation that follows the rebirth and renewal of Spring.
Nature is bustling with the activity and vigour of the Fire element in Summer –
Fruit and vegetables that were growing throughout Spring are ripe and ready for picking;
Gardens are bursting with colour from flowers at full bloom;
Birds have hatched from their eggs and can be heard chirping in the trees (at 5:00am, mind you);
Insects and animals are out in full motion, making the most of the abundance that this season offers;
The sun rises early and days are now at their longest;
And afternoon thunderstorms with the Fire energy of lightning help to cool down the heat of the day.
The Fire element is the most Yang in energy and rules the heart. Fire is our spirit and is what allows us to express our emotions and ‘speak from the heart’. It is where warmth, joy, love, compassion and courage come from, which are all expressions of the Fire element. Summer is the time to be in the ‘now’; to be present and live in the moment. Autumn was spent reflecting and letting go; Winter was all about rest and regeneration; Spring was when we put our new plans into action; and Summer is when we can reap the rewards and enjoy the fruits of our labour!
Fire also relates to the nervous system and too much Fire can manifest as exhaustion, restlessness and insomnia, irritability, agitation and can even cause heart palpitations and other heart related problems. This is why it’s important to balance the Fire element with the Water element. During the Summer when Fire energy is at it’s peak we naturally gravitate towards holidays at the beach, swimming in pools, drinking icy beverages and eating juicy fruit.
Tips to help you swagger into Summer
- Ensure adequate air flow and ventilation in your home. Open the windows and turn on the fans to cool the air and get Qi circulating throughout your home.
- Choose furnishings and decor in cooler colours and tones to balance out the warmth of the season.
- Rise early to absorb more of the sun’s nourishing energy.
- Make the most of the long days and socialise! Go to that Christmas party and enjoy those cocktails! However, be sure to also give yourself some downtime to avoid over-exhaustion.
- Take a moment to appreciate your achievements and be grateful for all that you have.
- Enjoy water sports and do exercise that gets your heart pumping, but balance it with Yin activities too, such as yoga.
- Eat seasonal produce. This can include watermelon, rockmelon, berries, paw paw, mangos, nectarines, asparagus, beetroot, cucumbers, lettuce and mushrooms.
- Feel free to eat more cooling foods including salads and raw vegetables.
- Enjoy the occasional green smoothie!
Let the vitality of the Fire Element inspire you to follow your heart during the Summer! Do things that make you happy and that lift your spirit!