Summer Harmony : Part II
The sun is our active creation energy. With the powerful light and heat of the sun, we are able to sustain life on this Earth. During the summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest peak in our sky, we experience a day of prolonged light and a surge of life force energy, driving us to move and create. Ancient cultures had ways of synchronizing themselves with the rhythms of nature by recognizing the qualities and effects of each season. Summer solstice is traditionally a time of bountiful harvests and deep social connections, celebrated with festivals, bonfires, singing, dancing, and feasting. Our collective lens shifts from the internal, reflective frequencies of the dark winter to the extroverted, connection-seeking energies of summer. Acknowledging the changing of the seasons, and recognizing the effects of each season on our bodies is key in achieving harmony. One way to begin this synchronization with nature is to nourish yourself with the bounty of the season. The earth has a tendency of providing what you need, when you need it. For example, summer seasonal fruits and vegetables like cucumber and watermelon have cooling energetic effects on the body to assist in maintaining a balance with the environment's warmer temperatures and higher sun. In addition to providing a balance in energetic effects, foods that are grown and consumed within their season tend to be the most nutrient-dense and often do not require extra fertilizers to grow. Eating foods grown outside of their season can lead to overexposure, which may result in food sensitivity-like symptoms like gas or bloating, fatigue, and congestion. Consider including some of these beautiful summer offerings in your meal preparations this year:
Zucchini ~ Cucumber ~ Tomato ~ Tomatillo ~ Watermelon ~ Blueberries ~ Raspberries ~ Mango ~ Okra ~ Corn ~ Beans Of course, this is only a fraction of the summer's bounty! Enjoy any and all of the seasonal fruits and vegetables you can get in your area! Cooling herbal remedies can also aid in maintaining an energetic balance and help relieve your midsummer heat exhaustion. Carly Feldmeier of Nurturing Through Nature has kindly shared a few delicious examples of herbal preparations to enjoy in the summer sun: Iced raspberry leaf tea with orange juice/peel and mint Iced lemon balm tea with blueberries and local honey Iced hibiscus tea with fresh melon Foods and herbal preparations to balance the qualities of summer nourish our body and soul, creating a harmonious flow with the rhythm of the season. The long warm days of sunshine allow us to live a more active social lifestyle, and draw us into the great outdoors! An Ayurvedic recommendation is to avoid the peak of the day to keep from mentally and emotionally overheating. 10am-2pm is when the sun is at its peak.