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Living with Summer

Summer is a time of expansiveness and freedom, of light and warmth of joy and fun. More than any other time of the year we expose ourselves to the elements and come together to celebrate and to play.

In Chinese Medicine Summer represents the element of Fire, which encompasses the Heart, the Pericardium, the Small Intestine and a uniquely Chinese organ called the Triple Burner.

The emotions associated with Fire are joy and sadness. Just like Fire the beauty of Summer is ephemeral and intangible; flowers bloom and fill the world with a blaze of colour, but they are short lived and soon fade. Likewise, Fire can go from a tiny flame to a raging inferno in what seems like no time at all.

This is the nature of Fire and Summer. There are highs and lows. You may find at this time your moods are more variable – swinging precariously from happiness to sadness. Particularly in the UK, this can often be reflected in the vagaries of the weather, with joyful balmy summers days being followed by miserable rain.

Another thing you may notice is that you find decision making more difficult, our you can't quite sort things out in your head. This is to do with the Small Intestines role of sorting at the mental level. Finally be cautious of inappropriateness at this time. The expansiveness and freedom mentioned earlier can sometimes lead us to drop our inhibitions a little too much, the Pericardium forgets its role of protecting the Heart, and we can sometimes say or do thing we later regret!

With all these precautions in mind, don't forget, Summer is most of all a time to enjoy. The Heart in Chinese medicine is considered to be the Emperor. The Supreme Controller within, who upholds the highest values in us and whose greatest wish is for purity, truth, love and joy. Summer is a time of sharing, learning, bonding and playing. In nature it is a time when we are freed for a few scares months from the the drudgery of survival, allowing us the time to thinking about and rejoice in the privilege of being alive.

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