Summer where I live can be a tumultuous time. The humidity rises, sweat starts to pour, tempers can get a little frayed but then the clouds begin to roll in, thunder booms and lightning crashes…..the rain begins and there is relief. Other days the rain doesn’t come, but a chorus of cicadas and the sound of the sea soothes the feelings of heat and remind me to embrace where I am and the many beautiful blessings of summer.
What about you? What does Summer mean for you?
I love to honour seasonal transitions during the year and pay attention to the themes of each season. I believe that when we pay attention to the seasons, when we observe our local environment and when we look within it helps us to foster a connection with our environment, helps us to align our diet and activities and reminds us that there is a season for everything, that life is a series of seasons and transitions and that we are a part of the web of life, not separate from it.
The Summer Solstice
The traditional beginning of summer is marked by the Summer Solstice – a celebration that reminds me to reflect and give thanks for the gifts we are given each day by the light and energy of the sun. It is also a time of the year when I am drawn to reflect upon the light that lies within us all.
I was born near the Summer Solstice so perhaps this is why this is such a poignant time for me to reflect and remember. As I reflected on another year of my life that has passed, something stood out very clearly to me. If there is one thing that I have learnt that has helped to transform my experience of life, it is this – that I am responsible for my experience of life, for the quality and for the contribution I make to this world. We are each responsible for this. I have learnt that there is a light that shines within me – others may have told me this but it took a while for me to see it – and to know there is an amazing depth, strength and potential.
This light is not only in me, it is in each of us and I am so blessed to be touched by the light of so many radiant beings. I have learnt that peace, love, and joy are possible and that they begin with me, however I can’t just merely wish for the world to be more peaceful, loving and joyful – I need to be that peace, to embody that love and feel and share that joy.
I have also learnt that my light shines into the world more brightly when I take responsibility to care for myself – I see this in others also, the greater the care and self-awareness, the greater the light and impact a person radiates into the world.
Summer for me is a season to embrace stillness, to go a little slower, to revisit and embrace the practice of self-care, to renew my intent for the upcoming year and to refocus my vision to live a beautiful life and contribute to this world.
The energy of Summer
The beginning of summer is associated with the fire element in Tradition Chinese Medicine. Fire has an intense, passionate and creative energy that many of us feel in summer, but left unchecked fire can destroy and exhaust all that it consumes. Feeling the heat begin to rise in summer, feeling the intensity of fire within and without gives me yet another reminder that self-care will ensure I enjoy the potential of summer without being exhausted by its intensity.
How do we develop a practice of self-care?
One of the first things to embrace is the idea that self-care is essential, and that self-care not only supports your wellbeing but it supports the wellbeing of others around you. Consider this – when are you most sensitive, most compassionate and loving towards others? Is it when you’ve been run off your feet, focused on the needs of everyone else, desperately wanting to make your mark on the world, desperately trying to help an important cause? Or is it when you are feeling peace and calm within, when you are well rested, when your body, mind and spirit are nourished? If we truly want to give to others, if we truly want to contribute to a more beautiful world then we need to begin with caring for ourselves.
Please ask yourself….
What would a summer of self-care look like for me?
Do I value self-care and incorporate it into my life?
What acts of self-care do I already embrace?
What challenges me about practicing self-care?
It is my deepest wish that we each come to know ourselves and appreciate the light that lies within us all. May this light shine fully into this beautiful world, and may we acknowledge the light of others. Life is a precious gift, we are touched each day by precious moments and we each have an opportunity to give precious gifts in return to our world – our light, our gratitude, our love, our awareness, our calm and our peace. May we each take responsibility for our life, for practicing self-care and for our contribution to the world.
Do you need support with creating a practice of self-care? Please let me know I’d love to support you on your journey.
In an upcoming post I will share some of my favourite ways to practice self-care and I will also be sharing regular reminders on the Share, Grow and Heal Facebook page.
May your beautiful light shine brightly in the world.