How to maintain balance for a light and bright Summer and feel joyful
A conscious choice to feel healthy and joyful is a good starting point. Take time for yourself, go for a long walk in nature and listen to the sounds around you. Contemplation on Yin and Yang, darkness and light, opposite or contrary forces but they may be complementary and interconnected in the natural world. Yin is the receptive and Yang is the active principle, that manifest in the annual cycle (as winter and summer) but also in the landscape (as north facing shade and south facing brightness). Also our psyche follows the ancient principle of duality, as happiness and sadness have power on us. However we can find ways to train our mind, change perspective and do not take things personally. Take every person, thing, place, emotion, thought to your heart, because everything holds the possibility for our heart to expand with love and compassion.
In traditional Chinese Medicine the Heart is related to the Element of Fire (you can read about it in more detail in the previous blog post - "Find Balance in the Element of Fire") and described as the emperor of the body. All other organs are serving the Heart. We do need a healthy dose of fire, that we nurture and make sure the flame burns brightly. It is visible and shining through your eyes and complexion. On the other hand, make sure that the fire does not rage out of control.
Externally: Overheating the body is a massive problem in summer.
Tip #1 - Rest, relax, restore, enjoy your afternoon nap or siesta, talk less and find a quiet place for meditation
Tip #2 - to prevent heat stroke or exhaustion drink at least 3 liters (100 Oz) of filtered water throughout the day even if you are not thirsty and avoid alcohol
Tip #3 - do not schedule outdoor sport activities, choose carefully what kind of sport you do during a heat wave
Tip #4 - take cool showers, stay in air-conditioned spaces and wear loose clothing that is preferebly lightweight, light-colored and made of natural fabrics
Tip #5 - check on your family, friends and neighbors and do check the local news for health and safety updates
Internally: When the fire is constantly "move" in the body, it causes inflammation, anxiety, panic attacks, high blood pressure, short breath, insomnia and excessive sweating. We can bring our awareness to the heart and consciously build a home around it. In TCM the blood symbolizes the Hearts home. If you want to give your heart a safe container to be housed in, slowly change your eating habits.
Great food brings vibrancy to the heart and builds a new, strong, healthy home, we call body. The bitter taste is excellent in summer. Use more bitter green leaves in your homemade organic meals. I love rucola (rocket), chicory, watercress and dandelion leaves. Red peppers, beetroot and goji berries are also perfect.
But also all red fruits are amazing for hot summer days. Cherries, all kinds of berries, pomegranates, Chinese red dates, watermelon and red grapes. All the antioxidants, that give food the red and deep purple color with bioactive polyphenols help to detoxify the blood.
Slow metabolism is a sign of a stagnant and toxic liver and unfortunately that is the answer to many health issues as Eczema, Diabetes, Acne, Bloating, Psoiriasis. Viruses and bacteria causing damage on their own but also create even more harm when we feed them with gluten, sugar, eggs and dairy. The way to healing is a vegan, gluten free diet with lots of vegetables and fruits. Fresh juices are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that feed, cleanse and strengthen the liver.
Move your body
Good circulation and easy flow of blood are essential and highly recommend at times of high stress to prevent a rise in blood pressure. Good blood flow makes you happy, makes all your organs, tissues and muscles oxygenated so you automatically reduce inflammation and heat in your system.
Tip #1 - Healthy blood flow through Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong
By making sure your blood is healthy and happy, that is full of nutrients and it can flow evenly throughout your body, you will experience more joy, peace and harmony. Healthy eating goes hand in hand with healthy movement and healthy thinking. Moving meditation, like yoga, walking meditation, Qi Gong and Tai Chi are great tools for allowing distance and perspective on your life.
Tip #2 - Guided meditations for a good night sleep
The Heart is where "Shen"(traditional Chinese medicine), the consciousness resides. When you feel restless, have difficulties to fall asleep, feel anxious or even panic, you know, your "Shen" needs extra care and and home to settle.
Try Yoga Nidra, guided meditations or take a healing sound bath before you go to sleep.
Tip #3 - Everything in moderation
Talk a bit, but not too much. Eat a bit, but not too much. Laugh a bit, but not too much. Be sad, but not too long. There is a saying "In your heart there is love, do not love too deeply. In your heart there is hate, do not hate too deeply, because too much of everything will attack the Shen." - Sun Simiao in "The One Thousand Ducat Prescription Book"
If you strengthen your heart physically, emotionally and spiritually might mean, you drop the armor of protection around it and become at ease with yourself. Self love is not a selfish act. Stay well grounded in reality and in touch with all the potential of growth and expansion that this precious life has to offer.
To support your healing process integrate a gentle yoga class in your daily routine. Click below to book a private yoga class with me.
Wishing you all a healthy, relaxed and happy Summer!