Well, according to the Chinese solar terms, we’ve now moved into summer.  And once again I’m writing about the benefits of tuning into the energy of the season, whilst we’re still in circumstances that make that tricky. Perhaps the transition of “Stay Home” into “Stay Alert” gives us a little more opportunity to be outside.  However, we’re still living with the reality of a pandemic so this summer is likely to be an odd one. But, as I’ve said before, it’s so important for our health and well-being to tune into the natural world and the seasons, so here’s my take on summer, updated for life right now.

Red gerberas

Summer is the season of warmth, light, and flourishing. It is the peak of Yang energy and a time of fulfilment. Think of the plant, which after spending the winter below ground as a bulb, powered up in spring, to finally reach its full potential in summer.  It is finally able to be what it was always meant to be.

And this goes for us too. Summer is about warmth, love, joy, passion, compassion and enthusiasm. It’s about reaching fruition, maturity and finding fulfilment. And it’s when healthy relationships with others are vital.  These are based on loving, sharing, communicating, understanding and accepting; where we give and receive love and respect.

So how does that fit with what’s happening at the moment and how can we make the most of this summer?  At first glance, it might feel like we’re so far away from what we’d normally do at this time of year. Some people are isolated, sad, and angry.  Future plans have been thwarted, gatherings are limited, and the potential for change seems stifled.

But there are things we can still do to tap into this wonderful season and, to me, these are even more vital right now:

Tips for a healthy and fulfilling summer

  • Get outside, safely, and tune every sense into the natural world

  • Get moving – summer is as all about the blood, the heart and the circulation so give them a helping hand

  • Find some fun – park the pandemic, however briefly, and do something happy, silly and fun

  • Find your passion – for your partner, for your life, for something new. Or work on getting to a place where this is possible (with a coach if needed!).

  • Make your hopes and dreams happen – even if right now, you’re mainly doing the prep work

  • Be social – online, offline, 2 metres away, up close with your bubble, with friends and strangers – we still have options

  • Be compassionate – let’s try and walk in another’s shoes and treat each other with understanding and empathy

  • Remember, we’re part of a whole, right across the globe – let’s help and support each other

Putting this into action

So in summary, my advice would be to try and engage with the joys of summer, even if that means being a little creative this year. For me, I see two main challenges here.

Bringing plans to fruition

A big one, particularly in terms of coaching, is the potential harm of not fulfilling our hopes and dreams and failing to bring our plans to fruition.  I believe it’s so important for us to grow and develop.  Life becomes very difficult if we feel thwarted, blocked or stagnant (indeed smooth flow is the very essence of physical and emotional health in Chinese medicine).  It really is possible to keep a positive momentum going, even under lockdown or restrictions, and where the future ahead feels a little uncertain.

The toxicity of unharnessed anger

Another potential issue is the anger, ill-feeing and xenophobia that seems prevalent.  Not only are they toxic emotions, both to the person holding them and who they’re directed at, they take away our ability to be nourished by the love, joy, fun, passion and compassion which are so key to this time of year.  Perhaps easier said than done at times, but we should try to find some shared humanity.  Instead of seeing threats, we should attempt to feel love and compassion for the people – and flora and fauna – with which we share this country and planet.

Now, this can be particularly challenging.  I’m certainly not immune to the anger and despair at the events happening right now, both home and away.   When I feel like this, I often try and shut it out, and ignore it so I can return to my calm, content life of privilege.  But, for the past year or so I’ve been feeling that, instead of burying my head in the sand, I should try and harness these emotions into a positive force.  That means getting involved, on whatever level possible, to try and create a world and society where I want to live.  I’m pondering this a lot right now, spurred on with by words such as these:

“Use anger like a fuel to change things.  Don’t opt out when you hate the establishment – it’s what they want.  Opt in, organise & demand.”
Jess Phillips, May 30 2020

None of this is easy.  I know how difficult I find it and I’m not sure what I’ll do.   But I do know that if all the good people feel it’s too much to cope with, then we’re in trouble.  If you’re trying to work some of this stuff out for yourself and need a helping hand, do get in touch.

Seasonal Blogs

You can read my previous seasonal blogs at: