Summertime is here and our websites have lots of fun info for healthy fun in the sun! As your editor & friend, I’d like to offer a few ideas to ponder that may be inspiring at this time of year: Detox, Expansion & Freedom. Different seasons bring elemental changes, not only in nature, but also within your unique self. Your body, mind & spirit have needs that can also be cyclical, and it’s important to listen to them. So let’s get to it. American Idol is over, the sun is shining ’til 8, and a bathing suit may be required… it’s time to get inspired, get up and take action - the solstice is right around the corner!
Detox - Body
After several months of semi-hibernation, starchy foods, cloudy days and possible 5 pm lethargy, it’s quite possible that your body (and mind!) are craving a detox. Good! Winter can be a wonderful time of contemplation, rest and packing on a few pounds to keep us warm. Summer is the time to let it all go. Cleanse, energize and get moving. God knew what He was doing with the seasons, and as the sun shines and heat rises, there’s nothing like a good sweat to flush out dormant, stale toxins. And the sun’s Vitamin D lifts your mood and restores your spirit, as well as keeps your immune system strong. There are super programs available, like Ann Louise Gittleman’s Fat Flush, Jay Robb’s Fruit Flush and other great supplements at the health food store to assist. You may want to do a general detox, or focus on the liver or colon for a more in-depth program to rid your body of built up toxins and weight. You will be AMAZED at how your mind and emotions will be cleansed as well! Jump start the program with a little research (you can email me if you want some pointers) and get rolling with it so as you play in the sun, your body will work easier to sweat and continue the cleansing.
It’s also important to keep your body in balance during the heat. Drink lots of water, eat cooling foods like dates, watermelon, cucumbers, celery and yogurt. These will help cool your system (and even your emotional state if the heat tends to “make you angry!”) Berries will help restore antioxidants and give extra fiber to help you during this cleansing period. You see, there’s a reason for these delicious summertime fruits. Nature is in perfect harmony!
Expansion - Mind
Heat is expansive. We know this in our body if we have inflammation. It’s hot and it swells, so we use ice to extract the heat and contract the swelling. But let’s talk about expansion of our mind. I think the summer is a perfect time to allow the heat and sun to expand our thoughts and our mental state of being. It’s a time to hope, to dream and to do. If you remember as a child, the joy of doing whatever you wanted for the summer was all that you could think about for months. The craving to run, hide, dig and discover was all that mattered. As adults, even with stressful lives, we need to remember the essence of this way of thinking. Take on a new hobby, explore a new area near your hometown and get out in the world to feed this need of our mind and body. Even sitting out at a baseball game without worrying about work will open your mind in a way that may allow a whole new perspective creep in. What’s wrong with that? Take a book along on a nature hike and learn at least 5 new names of plants. Take a summer course to learn French. Go to France. Lay in your backyard and contemplate the stars. It doesn’t matter what you do, but let the warmth of the sun and energy of the heat expand your thoughts. By winter, you’ll have so many new ideas in your mind and time to sit and contemplate them!
Freedom – Spirit
Every spring, I get ants in my pants to hop in my car, roll the windows down and drive across the country. And I’ve done it. More than once. Why? Because my spirit wanted to be free. Spring fever is common, as is the winter blues. Let’s think about this terminology and what we’ve already learned. “Spring FEVER (heat) and winter BLUES (cold). As the sun warms our spirit, we get a fire in our pants that makes us want to run naked in the woods. (As well you should, but I’d go pretty far in if I were you!) When the winter comes, the chill sets in and we want to hibernate, or contract. Don’t be afraid to listen to your spirit calling you this summer. It wants to play, it wants a vacation and it wants to be free, if only for a short spell. Find your freedom somewhere, and with responsibility of course. Take a day off of work, crank up the music and dance your pants off. Buy an outrageous summer outfit. Take a weekend retreat. Camp in your backyard. Whatever it is, open your heart, put a smile on your face and give yourself permission to be free.