What if we did not care what others thought? What if our choices were not driven by materialistic standards or prevailing cultural trends? What if we acted not only for ourselves, but with a deep care for our communities, for the environment, for the next generation? How would our lives change in terms of our way of being with each other; our diets; and what we did for work, for our families, and for our downtime?

Summer is a good season to sit with these questions. According to Chinese Medicine, each season has an organ that corresponds to its particular environment. Summer is the season when the heart function predominates. In an Eastern perspective, the heart is referred to as the “emperor” of all the other organs, and it houses the mind and the spirit. Anxiety, insomnia, and an “out of our own skin” feeling might be caused by an imbalance in the heart organ system. This is because the mind cannot be rooted and clear if the heart is unable to ‘hold’ our spirit, or “shen” as it is called in Chinese Medicine.

We acupuncturists always encourage our patients to think about the ways they can make changes to their lives to support the heart. When healthy, this emperor of organs allows us to feel its corresponding emotion: joy. The roses that grow so abundantly in the heat and light of summer need constant clipping. Just so, our psyches need to be cleansed of outdated attitudes and grudges and fed with good solid relationships in a nourishing environment.

Now is the time to think about how we can change our lives for the better as we step away from our routines to go on vacations or long weekends out of the scorching city. That is my plan. Just like last year, I will take July and August off from writing these regular posts. You will hear from me again in September. I hope that we will both be ready for autumn with healthier perspectives, successful in any life changes we needed to make. Enjoy your summer!

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