Cyclical Living: Summer Notes
Just as I teach clients to sync their lifestyles with their own internal monthly cycles, I also practice and teach syncing with the cycles of the Earth for healthier, more connected, and more meaningful living. Today (June 21st) is the Summer Solstice- the longest day of the year and the first day of Summer! I will be celebrating the occasion by watching the sunrise and the sunset today, reflecting on all the ways I have grown up until this point, and thinking about what I desire to both let go of and to cultivate in my own life.
Because the Sun is our source of energy here on Earth, you may notice the abundance of energy that you feel during Summer months. Summer is marked by the element of Fire and the emotions of joy! Between longer days with more sunshine, warmer temperatures, more time spent outside, and maybe even some vacation time planned, we feel the vibrance of life in full swing. We have gone through the cleansing and awakening of Spring and now we are ready to fully enjoy the abundance of energy we naturally feel during Summer months. Below is your guide for food, movement, self-care and ways of being for living cyclically this Summer.
LIGHTEN UP Due to the abundance of natural energy we feel during the summer months and the extra heat outside, we crave lighter, fresher, juicier and raw foods during this time of the year. Because so much is in season, it is a wonderful time to experience a variety of colors and flavors or nature. Fruits and veggies cooked on the grill or with lighter cooking methods such as steaming and sautéing will hit the spot. Also, be sure to HYDRATE to compensate for the extra heat this season. Add in fresh lemon, cucumber or fresh mint for even more refreshment. My favorite snacks during this time include chilled quinoa salad with EVOO, cucumbers and bell peppers and fresh watermelon drizzled with Myer lemon juice.
VEGGIES IN SEASONS Beets, bell peppers, butter lettuce, corn, chayote squash, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, jalapeño peppers, lima beans, okra, peas, radishes, shallots, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes , zucchini.
FRUITS IN SEASON Apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, currants, figs, guava, grapes, lime, honeydew, mangoes, melon, nectarines, plums, peaches, papayas, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon.
MEATS During summer months, we may feel as though we need fewer animal products and fats to feel satiated. Try eating lighter meats such as fish an poultry. Or go meatless for a season and see how you feel!
GRAINS Lighter grains such as corn, farro, millet, amaranth and quinoa tend to be favored by our bodies in summertime. A little grain goes a long way during the summer months.
We can take advantage of the long days and abundant energy of the season to indulge in joyful movement we love, spend more time outdoors and move with friends!
JOY is key here- this is a wonderful time to observe whether the activities you participate in bring you joy, and if not- find something new! We can utilize this peak of vitality to have fun with movement and nourish our souls with our daily practices. Think of those activities you loved to do during the summertime as a child! Playing as we did as children is a great way to connect to our inner joy.
OUTDOORS EXCURSIONS such as hiking, biking, walking, kayaking, swimming, etc. are fun ways to get fresh air and can even be done with friends to scratch our itch for more social activities this time of year. Walking near a body of water and then jumping in when you get nice and toasty is a fun activity to celebrate the cooling properties of water!
HYDRATE it's important to take extra care to hydrate this time of year, especially if you are being active outdoors. Aiming for 64 oz of water per day is a good estimate. Try drinking a glass or two of water first thing in the morning to jumpstart hydration for the day.
INVENTORY + CELEBRATION Summertime is a time when we reap the harvest of the seeds planted in the Spring. As the "peak of the year", it is a chance to take inventory of all the ways we have grown over the past seasons and celebrate where we are. It's a wonderful time to take inventory- what's working? What's not working? The Solstice is a powerful day to set new intentions to carry us through the rest of the year and let go of anything keeping us from moving forward.
GRATITUDE lots of sunlight means higher moods and happiness levels during this time of the year. We are primed to feel more cheerful and grateful when there is more daylight, so using this season to flex our "gratitude" muscle is a great way to turn this into a habit. If you don't already have a gratitude practice, this is a great time to start one- simply writing down 5-10 things you are grateful for each day!
CONNECT TO MASCULINE ENERGY The focus on the Sun this season helps us connect to our empowered masculine qualities. the Sun rules the masculine energy of our planet (the Moon being the feminine). Masculine doesn't mean the male gender- rather, it is that energy that is responsible for taking action, setting boundaries and orienting towards goals. What action do you need to take? Maybe action that you have been putting off or waiting until the "right time"? Now is the time! What boundaries may you need to set with yourself and with others to be in alignment with your Highest Self? What goals are asking to be set? Now is a great time to get our your calendar and begin setting dates and deadlines for projects over the next few months. Connect to the solar plexus chakra (a gorgeous bright yellow color) and explore your own personal power. How do you take action to use your power as a creator? This is great theme to explore throughout the Summer months.
INNER LIGHT reflect on the ways in which you shine your own inner light! When we shine our light we heal ourselves and this world. Connect to what is is that brings you joy and how you can share this with others though your words, thoughts and actions.
WAKE UP WITH THE SUN It feels easier to wake up early this time of year and make the most of our daylight hours. Why not start a new morning routine or re-vamp and existing one to bring more JOY into your life? Think about those things you wish you had more hours in the day to do, and try scheduling them in during the fresh morning hours.
SOAK UP SOME LIGHT Sunlight is crucial for our health and wellbeing. This is a great time of year to start a practice of getting 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day (depending on how fair your skin is). The aim is not to burn- simply to allow your body to soak up precious Vitamin D and regulate circadian rhythms of sleep and waking through sun exposure.
SWEAT Heat is detoxifying! Don't be afraid to sweat. Sweating is our body's natural purification system and a healthy way our gently assist our bodies in detoxing. Be sure to hydrate!
CONNECT TO NATURE with a higher motivation to get outdoors this time of year, it's the perfect opportunity to begin or strengthen your own practice of connecting to nature. Try going on a walk in solitude without any electronics to distract you. Focus on your senses- sight, sounds, smell, touch, taste- and truly soak in the experience of being in nature.
COLD SHOWERS sounds awful, feels awesome! This is a great time of year to experience the many benefits of cold showers- glowing skin, balanced hormones, and total invigoration! Begin by dry brushing your skin and then applying a body oil such as almond, sesame or coconut. Stand in the cold shower (as cold as you can handle) and begin rubbing your skin vigorously starting at the feet and working your way up. You will being to notice you no longer feel cold! Step out of the shower and pat dry, admiring your glow.