August 15, 2013

As the Summer Winds Down, So Should You. ~ Dr. Michael Finkelstein

Consider this skillful reflection:

This month’s “Fruit Moon” is also representative of the fifth season in Chinese Medicine known as late summer, which begins in late August and extends through the autumnal equinox.

Chinese Medicine associates this additional season with the ripening of earth’s fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, because this season marks the energetic transition from Yang to Yin, late summer is a distinctly lush and tranquil period in nature’s cycles.

It is at this turning point that the intensity, excitement and liveliness we embodied at the beginning of summer starts to dwindle and take a toll on our bodies and minds.

The over-exertion and lack of sleep resulting from the engaging, stimulating and novel activities of early and mid-summer, leave us physically exhausted and emotionally drained.

Therefore, late summer is a perfect time for us to relax and reground. This feeling of being depleted and utterly wiped out serves an important purpose, as it is beckoning us to listen to our bodies and take measures to restore our energy.

Do your best to not resist these messages, and instead acknowledge that we can’t always be on-the-go—constantly creating and doing.

When our bodies and minds are telling us that they are overworked and stressed, sometimes we just simply need to lie down.

As motivated and driven individuals, I am fully aware that this concept may feel unusual and even uncomfortable for many of us. It will likely be difficult to justify the idea of carving out time for relaxation and stillness, when there are responsibilities that need to be met and projects that need to be completed.

But, it’s important to realize that moments of calm are not necessarily empty or inactive. Rather, they cultivate a dynamic space of reflection that works to restore our inner balance, and therefore, play a crucial role in laying the foundation for future productivity and success.

Indeed, this fifth season of Chinese Medicine reveals to us that in order to be productive and creative, it is necessary for us to undergo phases of reprieve and serenity. So, in the upcoming weeks I encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself: Am I maintaining peace of mind and tranquility?  

And if you find this isn’t the case, this question should, at the very least, help you to pause and take the time to evaluate how you can engage in a quiet and still moment that will center your energy and perhaps refresh your spirit.

Remember, something as simple as taking a few minutes out of your day to breathe abdominally or bask in the sun’s rays can help you to achieve this beneficial moment of inner peace and stillness that will fortify you for upcoming challenges.

After all, the fruit delivered from labor and hard work is the sweetest of pleasures, but what good is it if we can’t stop for the moment to fully assimilate the nourishment?


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Assistant Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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