Noticing the Seasons Beyond the Weather
In the powerful reflection below, Betsy offers an intimate share of her recent experiences. Summer, through an Ayurvedic lens is known as Pitta season. Just as we are familiar with the norms of what summer may bring in our given States and regions of the world, Eastern medicine modalities offer helpful information for supporting us in knowing what to expect and therefore, how to plan accordingly. Regardless of the lens, eastern or western, the seasonal changes we experience affect both our internal and external worlds, guiding the clothes we need to wear, the activities that are available to us as well as how our thoughts, feelings, and relationships flow. When I first began to engage as a client and later a practitioner of integrative modalities, I was captivated by the information I was learning about very specific, seasonal impacts that are common knowledge through the eastern lens. For example, I learned that summer is fire element season – which, like a fire opens us to maximum expansion; think concerts, gatherings, outdoor water sports… I learned that in stark contrast, winter, water element season, was known for sort of closing us to the most extreme point, maximum contraction; think bears in hibernation, puzzling, reading books by the fire… Or other activities you are inspired to do. Interesting right!? Let's take it one step further, through the Chinese Medicine lens, our human constitutions quite literally are made up of these five elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Meaning that we - at the deepest, most minute, cellular, atomic, and energetic levels – experience these changes in ways that mirror the environments we reside within. As a person specializing in supporting health and healing within social, mental, & emotional aspects of human experience, learning this was HUGE!! Talk about paradigm shift… Suddenly I was understanding in far greater detail than I had before 1.) how truly integrated we are with nature. 2.) how the shifts in thought patterns, emotional experience and relationship challenges were naturally impacted by these seasonal shifts – including, but reaching far beyond the changes of our exposure to temperature and the sun. And think, this is just the beginning, there’s still so much more to share!
Through the Hindu, Ayurvedic Medicine System, Summer is Pitta season and is made up of the Fire and Water elements. Many of us feel the heat of the season, that heaviness in the humidity, and the resulting dryness that comes from all of that heat. Summer is also a season of transformation, mentally, emotionally and physically. This years Pitta season, for me, has been all of those qualities and more.
While a heaviness in the physical environment is quite natural for those of us living in south Florida with all the heat and humidity, what was unexpected for me this summer has been my internal desire for transformation. It’s been as if the many thoughts and ideas that popped in and out out of my heart and mind during previous months of the year suddenly solidified, deeply rooting within. I've witnessed emotions and ideas that previously seemed to flit by, becoming like the houseguests that I am blessed to have stay longer.
I have chosen to take this opportunity to allow these thoughts to be verbalized or journaled with reverence, identifying how they have made me feel. This small act has balanced some of the heaviness while also providing a path for the transformation I sense coming. Though it's evolution is yet to be complete, I feel the heaviness evolving into empowerment and shifting the path of my journey. Exactly how and when the process will complete, future time will tell. For now, I accept the fullness of the experience as it is, while looking forward with an open heart, listening and witnessing as it unfolds.
How has this Pitta season been for you? What have you noticed during these heated summer months, the longest days of the year?