:: Newsletter ::Summer Rejuvenation By Willow Lune, CMQ
Summer is finally here! The Summer rings in officially on June 21st at 4:26am PST -- the Summer Solstice. Solstice, from Latin meaning sun stands still, is when the Sun reaches its northernmost extreme and stands still on the horizon. But this is not the time at all for us to stand still.
Summer is a time of celebration, of incredible bounty, of heat. Fire is the Element of Summer, and is the time to burn away all that we have outgrown, and fuel all that our inner selves have longed. Growth, joy, and spiritual awareness are the focus during this season.
Summer is also a time to cleanse. For example, clear out any lingering toxins around the house, whether they are in your detergents, your toothpastes, or your pest controls, and replace them with healthy alternatives. (The Ecology Center www.ecologycenter.org is a great place to find simple solutions.) Or use the Solstice as an opportunity to let go of unproductive habits, and pick up new joyful routines. Or try simplifying one area in your home by reducing clutter.
As we awaken to the Sun's fiery power, we are inspired toward healthy rejuvenation. The following are simple tips that you can use for body, mind, and spirit rejuvenation this Summer.
Come alive with play and travel. Get out for a walk. Enjoy a long hike in your nearby woods, or take a short walk around your neighborhood to look at the flowers in bloom. Ride your bike to work. Go swimming. Relax.
Let your diet be in harmony with the season. Drink plenty of water. Eat lightly with colorful organic fruits and vegetables from your local Farmer’s Market. Add extra minerals such as seaweed, and oils such as flax. Although it may sound counter intuitive, avoid too many iced drinks. (Too much cold food can result in indigestion.)
Summer is the time to nourish the Heart, so why not take this opportunity to create positive affirmations? These are positively-phrased statements that you make either aloud or to yourself. Scientific studies have found that positive emotions are associated with better immune function, reduced rate of chronic ailments, and lowered production of the stress hormone cortisol. You can repeat your positive affirmation, or mantra, anytime: during meditation, on your commute to work, or upon waking in the morning.
Feel your spirit soar with a new practice. Have you tried Qigong? Qigong is a centuries-old art that uses movement, breath, sound, and relaxation to correct imbalances in the body and restore harmony. It helps to reduce stress while building stamina and improving balance, posture, flexibility, and mobility. (Contact me for class schedule.)
Try a self-guided meditation. The following meditation is perfect for Summer.
This meditation helps us to develop a healthier relationship with ourselves.
- Sit comfortably and with your back relatively upright. Practice slow abdominal breathing.
- Notice any sensations in the body, and relax any tension. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath.
- Then on each exhale, begin repeating a phrase (silently or out loud), such as:
- "May I be well," "I feel confident," "I accept myself," or "I am working to heal my body."
- Think of your heart being like a still forest pool, and the phrase being like a flower that you gently drop into the water. Let go of any expectation you may have. Simply stay present with your emotions, and be open to the influence of the phrase.
- Visualize yourself becoming the phrase –– becoming well, feeling confident, accepting yourself, healing your body, etc. Allow yourself to smile with this newfound affirmation, filling every part of your body with radiant energy.
- When you feel it's time to end, let go of any phrases or images you've been using and just sit quietly for a few minutes, enjoying the fruits of the practice and letting yourself become more aware of the world around you.
Of course, you may wish to find your own ways to celebrate the Summer. Whatever you do, remember to open your heart to the bountiful possibilities of growth, joy, and spiritual awakenings. Have a happy Summer!