"...the Earth element governs the change in the seasons, and ... thus the Earth element’s season, by definition, is the transition point between all seasons. By this logic, a weakness in the Earth energy of the body (which governs our Spleen, Stomach, and digestive function), could lead the body to be susceptible to outside illnesses when it is dominant–the time between all seasons." – from "Why Do I Get Sick When the Seasons Change?" by Marcie Griffith Bower, Lic.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM
The next transition or "between seasons" period begins July 20 and lasts until August 6 when Fall begins according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Just as it's wise to live in harmony with Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, let's not ignore the "between seasons" periods! One of the five for the year is about to begin.
We are an inherent part of nature. We are not separate from it. Logically speaking, living in harmony with nature will assist us to have physical bodies that are in harmony in all its internal systems. We will eat in a certain way, exercise in a certain way, sleep and wake accordingly, give, love, contemplate, and nurture ourselves in alignment with the ways of the Earth season in TCM. Not only our physical bodies will benefit with health and vitality thereby preventing illness, our mental, emotional and spiritual aspects will be kept on balance and thrive as well. See also our blog post of July 15, 2016.
The element associated with this transition period is Earth, the color is yellow, the organs are stomach and spleen, and it's now the time to think about harvesting what we have sown throughout the summer. It's a time of "decrease" or slowing down and at the same time, abundance, when we can:
- realize the fruits of our labor (in the relationships we enjoyed this summer, in our exuberance of life, in the care of our hearts, both literally and figuratively);
- begin again to nurture ourselves in whatever way that looks;
- to intend to digest not only our food very well but our thoughts and emotions enabling them to reach our minds and spirits;
- start slowing down and gathering in all that we have created throughout the Summer;
- recognize the bounty of the earth as harvest is about to begin and to see how we can be bounteous in our lives in our giving to others;
- contemplate the harvest aspect of our lives to see the areas that are bearing fruit and which are not; then to determine in the Fall (beginning August 7) which ones can be let go or given focus;
- determine what is truly necessary in our lives and what is superfluous and a distraction then take steps in alignment with our discoveries; this is important as we prepare to enter the Fall season where letting go is paramount;
- observe and mirror nature at this time of year; the metaphor of the cycles of nature has much to teach us; now is the time to begin contemplating how the seeds we plant (both physically and metaphorically) reap corresponding harvests; we can contemplate the seeds we have sown and realize that every harvest bears the seeds for the next one.