reaping late summer’s harvest

posted by on Balance, Elements, Energy, Heart, Mental Clarity, Seasons, Stress

Over the past couple of weeks, you may have felt the weather shift. We’ve come into the time of late summer—after the peak of summer, but before the leaves of autumn fall.

According to Angela and John Hicks, co-founders of the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, this is a time of remarkable balance: “What is most striking about this season is the sense of time standing still. The peak of yang is over and the days are getting shorter but the leaves are still on the trees and the weather can still be warm. The melancholia of autumn is yet to begin. It is a time when yin and yang are finely balanced.”

In the natural cycle of the five elements, Earth acts as our provider, our mother. It’s the soil that nourishes the plants, which in turn nourish us. Earth is our center, the root, which supports all of the other elements. Now is the time of harvest, the act of giving and receiving—reciprocity in the truest sense.“The fields are filled with nourishment representing the fruits of our labors. … it yields an abundant harvest to those who adequately cultivate and care for it.”Lonny S. Jarrett We should take a few moments every day to give thanks for an abundant harvest.

In our lives, a balanced presentation of the Earth element is someone who is not only able to work hard, but also able to reap the benefits of his or her efforts. It’s being able to feel satisfied and “nourished” by our accomplishments and relationships. Can you support others without being smothering or feeling resentful? Are you able to ask for help when you need it? If someone offers you help, do you accept it or push them away? Most importantly though, the Earth element is about being centered, stable, and “home.” Earth has the comfort and security you feel when you go home. On the contrary, if the Earth element is out of balance, we may feel mentally foggy or distracted, ungrounded, unsupported, lethargic, “heavy,” or worried (the kind of worrying or ruminating that’s super unproductive—like a hamster wheel spinning the same thought over and over).

“Madness is to think of too many things too fast, or of one thing exclusively.” – Voltaire

In accordance with the season of late summer, ask yourself:

Are you satisfied with what you have cultivated and ‘harvested’ in your life, or are you always hungry for more?

Where do you get your emotional support? Do you have someone you can turn to if you need help?  Do you feel like your relationships have a reciprocal nature of giving and receiving?

What nourishes you? Where is “home?” Where have you put down roots? How would you describe the feeling of “going home?”

What grounds you when you feel uncentered? What motivates you when you feel stuck?

Remember, now is the season to give thanks for all that you receive. Take a moment to reflect on what nourishes you on a day-to-day basis—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

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