Summer is the time of action and manifesting one’s full potential from the cultivation of winter’s collection of vital resources. Health and wellness are more about laying the groundwork and foundations for ease in transitional time and for the a “season of growth” from the changes you participate in.
“…to recognize when the season has come to its apogee,
when the commitment must be made and the harvest brought in.”
– David Whyte, words about Harvest
As the great power and radiance of the sun’s energy is ripening and transforming your actions into growth, your potential into ripening gifts, your tree begins to bend with the sweet fruit of your efforts and the seeds for a hopeful fruitful next year. The grasses have dried, cured with seeds for the coming growing season. Through your actions and efforts, you can enjoy this season’s harvest and prepare for soil for a nurturing foundation for next spring.
As Fall arrives, the natural seasonal cycles and activities you observe in nature actually trigger activities very similar in your body and mind. If you are “in touch” with your body’s rhythmic nature, you will be able to follow along in a delicate and mindful way as you prepare for the transition for a “long winter’s nap.”
As Mother Earth cools, you may begin to notice how her heat and provisions begin to be drawn inward. We see this in the slowing flow of rivers, in the cooling air that decreases its moisture and temperature, in the light of the day that lessens its productive time, and in trees that begin to rustle their colorful leaves in the Fall winds.
Interesting, as we see these qualities in nature, they are experienced inside. Such as the body’s “external-ness” in summer to capture the light and nourishment of the sun for activity, growth and productivity, the body begins the process of withdrawing its activity and vital resources in the Fall.Especially the resources and qualities for a restful nurturing foundation for the next season of growth. Because of this slowing, withdrawing process, it is essential to feel the pulse, or signals, of the body’s seasonal transition and participate in practices that promote the cultivation of internal rhythms, which allow release, recovery, rejuvenation, and restoration.
This inward journey begins with the Fall Equinox, which is seen and felt with the change in the balance of day and night, and completes its journey around mid December when water crystallizes to ice and snow.
During the change of season and reversal of physiological support, it is important to recognize:
- Stability through the element of Earth, our connection with our feet, awareness in the bones and low belly.
- Internal heat experienced in the low belly, or lower dantien/kunda (versus external heat felt on the skin in summer).
- Clarity through a “gentle ‘cleansing’ of the vital fluids and organs, and the cultivation of gentle meditative qualities during the day, called dharana.
- Space through unpacked days – allowing moments to pause in daily activities and demands.
- Rhythm through a practice that allows one to touch into the vital source of Prana, or Chi, and the pace of the day.
It is interesting that the common denominator in the above mentioned comes from living from our bones and from awareness in our practices that cultivate and maintain this essential living principle for health and well-being.