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SUMMER, THE SEASON OF JOY + FIRE



As we transition from spring to summer along with the elements of wood to fire and the emotions of anger to joy, the seasonal shift feels natural, progressive, and tangible.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is the season of laughter, joy, connection + communication. Akin to the fire element which symbolizes heat, passion and transformation, this is the most yang season of all, influencing everything that's around us towards a positive, bright + masculine quality. Note: in eastern philosophy, characteristics like 'feminine' + 'masculine' have much less to do with male/female binaries, but more to do with oppositional qualities yin + yang. In order to understand these polarities, it is also important to note that there is no one without the other, and they are each believed to be of the other. Everything in the universe holds both yin + yang qualities; everything exists along the spectrum.


As the fire element corresponds with the yin + yang organs, the small intestine + the heart, excessive fire in the body can manifest as inflammation, constipation, dry lungs, nosebleeds due to dry nasal passageways, anxiety + poor sleep due to restlessness, whereas deficient fire can manifest as dullness, sluggishness, watery bowel movements, body chills + poor circulation.


In TCM, we're always looking to balance the elements. Some ways we can work towards achieving this is through mindful movement practices that both stir up excitement + challenge while still grounding + regulating our nervous systems, consuming red-coloured foods, bitter foods + cooling foods (less to do with food temperature, but a yin-like quality of coolness) like tomatoes, watermelon, bitter melon, cucumbers, chrysanthemum tea + lotus root, as well as by balancing solo quality time to internally reflect + restore with social quality time to externally connect + integrate ourselves in community.



Inspired by these teachings, here are a few ways I will be balancing my fire:

  • consciously choosing to thoughtfully respond, rather than react or misspeak in the heat of the moment

  • cutting back on coffee, sugar + alcohol this season, which are all classified as yang foods (and by the way, I love coffee...)

  • incorporating more of my favourite yin foods, such as tofu, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, potatoes, fish, zucchini, sesame + black sesame, pears + cheese

  • setting aside time for creativity such as curating playlists, vision boarding, home decor + reading/writing poetry

  • checking in regularly to notice any disagreements between my thoughts + my feelings (that yin-like, internal quality time)

  • leaning into community by reaching out for support + care with less guilt + fear  before my own cup runs dry


What about you? What do you notice about yourself or the world around you as we welcome in this summer season? What are 3 ways you'd like to consciously balance your fire?

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