‘Focus on your potential, instead of your limitations’ – Alan Loy McGinnis
Summer is the time of year when the sun is at the height of its power – its flame is fully ignited, bursting with energy and radiance. During these months you are most likely to feel vibrant and alive, naturally at your most active and making the most of days filled with more light and warmth before you begin your descent into winter once again. The energy of summer is expansive and symbolises rejuvenation, growth, joy, spiritual-awareness, and passion.
Summer is the time to assimilate your lessons, communicate your inner hopes and intentions and take action to make them become a reality. This energy propels you onward with such momentum that it is hard not to connect to your deepest desires and ask how you can express your full potential. In doing so, you also support others to grow to the fullest realization of their potential.
Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year
In Australia this year the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, falls on December 22nd. Being the longest day of the year, the sun is at its most powerful. After Midsummer the sun begins to wane and the journey into the harvest season begins. Winter will soon be returning. Solstice is a call to look back and be ever thankful for your harvest and everything that you have to be grateful for in your life.
It also serves to remind you to look forward and begin preparations for shorter days on your horizon. The ancients knew that life came from the sun – it was life giving, life supporting, and without it life would be lost. Hence fire was an important part of Midsummer celebrations, as it represented the sun. Folks would feast, dance and jump the fire for luck and fertility.
Let your light shine
Midsummer is a time of renewed energy and the renewal of the self. As the sun is at the height of its power, you too have the capacity to shine brightly. With warmer days and longer nights, you naturally want to spend more time outside and be more social, which helps to plant the seeds of your intentions. Your self-expression is at its peak during these months. Passion and desire is heightened, and you have more energy to carry you through your days.
Where to from here?
As another solar year completes its cycle, Solstice invites us to pause and reflect on where we have been and take stock of where we want to go from here. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, Summer Solstice naturally falls at an auspicious time as we embark on a new calendar year, prompting us to reflect on the previous year and set intentions for the coming year. Consciously aligning with these energies can offer an even more powerful opening to new growth and harmony.
Summer and TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer relates to the Fire element, which is represented by the colour red and the organs of the Heart, Pericardium (the protective covering of the heart), the Small Intestine and San Jaio (the ‘Triple burner’, which assists with the assimilation and excretion of food and fluids).
The central organ of the Fire element is the Heart, which is thought to house our consciousness, or ‘Shen’. Our consciousness contributes to our mental-emotional activity, including thinking, feeling, memory and imagination. Therefore the Shen is considered to be the source of our self-awareness and is an important contributor to our emotional harmony. Each of the other Fire organs also have a Heart-Mind connection.
When out of balance, the Fire element can experience nervous energy and agitation, over-excitement, insomnia and poor self-image. When in balance, the Fire element feels joy, fulfilment, enthusiasm, spontaneity, sensitivity and passion. The highest expression of the Fire element is Love – of self and of others. Coming from this place, it is easy to tap into your inspiration and live out your full potential.
Summer offers a varied and abundant choice of foods – there are fruit and vegetables of every colour to brighten up your meals. Beware of too much cold food or liquid, as it weakens the digestive organs. Coldness causes contraction, which interferes with digestion. It is good to eat less and lightly on hot days. Heavier food s such as meat, eggs and excesses of nuts, seed and grains, can cause sluggishness. You may like to warm the body with hot-flavoured spices so that you feel the effects of the heat less. Try adding a little red and green hot peppers, cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, horseradish and black pepper to your meals.
The wheel keeps turning…
Summer serves as somewhat of a rebirth – a wonderful time of renewal of self after the turning of the wheel over the past year. Autumn signified a decline in daylight hours and temperature, offering a chance to let go in preparation for the colder, darker months of Winter. After a time of rest and reflection during Winter, Spring saw the beginning of a new phase of growth and a final opportunity to cleanse , clearing the way for your true self-expression during the next phase – summer. It’s like the child has become an adult, however as part of your growth you must accept that once again change is on its way. The wheel keeps turning.
Awaken early and reach to the sun for nourishment as gardens do. Work, play, travel, be joyful and go ahead and shine!
- Feast with friends and share your intentions and desires.
- Eat less and lightly on hot days. Try adding some hot peppers or spices, or warming foods such as ginger and horseradish to your meals.
- Spend time daily feeling into your spirit’s needs. Be cautious not to get too carried away in the mind or the excitement of the season. Being in nature or plenty of grounding will help.
- What are 3 lessons you are grateful for experiencing during 2015?
- What would you like your life to be like in 2016?
- Try this visualisation to help you manifest your hopes and wishes for the coming year. Take a few minutes to visualise what it is you would like to achieve. See your life in action as if you are already there. How would you be behaving? What would you be doing, thinking or feeling? What is your environment like and who would be there with you? Feel it in every cell of your body. Repeat as often as you can to help strengthen the neural pathways of the brain so that it is not just imagined, but actually becomes your reality.
Each new cycle offers an opportunity to create a new outlook. Summer solstice is an especially potent time of year to get clear on your intentions – to begin setting the scene for the story you really want to create. If you hold firm in your heart what it is that you wish to achieve, nothing will stop you from success.
‘If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it’ – Jonathan Winters