In Chinese Medicine theory there is a fifth season – Late Summer. Melbourne seems to be experiencing an endless summer at the moment. Late summer is a transitional time between Summer and Autumn; the mornings are cool, the days are not so ferociously hot and there is a sleepy peacefulness in the air. Let us take a look at the emotions of late summer.
This in-between season correlates to the Earth element, the colour yellow, the Spleen and Stomach organs and the emotions of sympathy and worry. The ease with which you are able to to flow with the transitions between seasons will offer insights into how well the Earth element resonates within you.
Late Summer is the time when nature takes a well deserved rest. It’s been a busy few months of growth, development and activity. Abundance is everywhere. Now we can sit back and relax, enjoying the warm care free days before the preparation of Autumn begins.
The digestive energies of the Spleen and Stomach are heightened within us and the Earth energy grounds us. This is when we come back to our center.
Functionally the stomach is responsible for receiving and breaking down food thus beginning the digestive process while the spleen plays an important part in supporting our immune system and storing blood. In Chinese Medicine the Spleen and Stomach not only provide the nourishment and defense for our body but they also support and nourish our mind and spirit as we transition through life.
Together the Spleen and Stomach provide stability and security both physically and emotionally. They help us digest life’s lessons and keep us grounded. When our Earth energy is in balance we are predictable. Our souls are nourished and its easy to adapt to changing conditions. Giving and receiving come easily, we have compassion and are able to connect to those around us.
The emotion associated with an unbalanced Earth energetic is sympathy or worry, which can manifest as over-thinking, or anxiety. Like the Earth a worried mind goes round and round without stopping. Having so much energy in the head is taxing on the digestive energy and leaves us un-grounded.
People with a yang imbalance in the Earth energetic will have a tendency to focus on the needs of others at the expense of their own and will often have trouble with receiving help themselves. They tend to over cater and will always find something or someone to worry about.
People with a yin imbalance on the other hand are generally unsympathetic to the needs and suffering of others. They will put themselves first at the expense of all else. They have a tendency to seek attention, drawing on others’ energy. At the extreme they become narcissistic and full of self importance with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.
To maintain a healthy, balanced Earth energy during Late Summer it’s important to look after the digestive system. This is the season to eat simply, staying away from too many raw, cold, greasy or sugary foods. Some foods to support Earth element are carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin and sweet corn, passion fruit and berries. Keeping a consistent daily routine with regular meal times, exercise and sleeping patterns also helps us stay in balance.
Take a minute to check in with yourself, how solid on the ground are you feeling today? How easy is it to just go with the flow?
Check out the other post in this series here: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer