Summer is the season of the free spirit, of discovery, play, joy, and love. It is the season of the open heart. School is out, and we are on vacation; we feel freer, show more skin, stay up late at night, and laugh with our friends. The golden solar energy fuels our passions and liberates our minds and spirits.
Qigong is a practice that teaches us how to harness the gifts of nature and the seasons for personal growth and empowerment. So, let's dive deeper and explore how our Qigong practice can support us to connect with and gather the elemental energies of fire to enhance our vitality and happiness.
The Heart And Fire Element
In Qigong, each season is associated with a different element, and summer is the season of fire. The fire element is related to the heart, which contains powerful emotional energy that ignites who we are. Summer is extreme yang and has a way of provoking the fires of the heart to lead us to new emotional experiences. When fire and heart energy are directed healthy, we can feel joy and happiness circulating throughout our bodies. Because our hearts yearn for connection with others, summer can be a great time to share experiences with those we care about.
From a Daoist perspective, we don't have positive or negative emotions per se. Instead, we have depleted, harmonized, or excessive emotions. In summer, along with love and joy, people may experience an excess of energy that can manifest as hatred or self-loathing if not directed in a healthy way.
As Qigong practitioners, we consciously choose to cultivate and harmonize our energies. We have to bring awareness to these energies and intentionally transform the excessive and harmful energies to a more balanced state.
One of the things I love about Qigong is how it helps us bring awareness to what is and isn't serving us. Excessive busyness, hastiness, stress, and taking on others' painful emotional states can all harm our hearts. We see this being reflected in the western medical understanding that stress and anxiety lead to elevated blood pressure, which over time damages our hearts.
Qigong for summer helps us pay attention to our internal and external environments to make sure we don't take on too much busyness and emotional excess. By learning how to direct our emotional experiences towards love and joy, we can celebrate the season in a fulfilling and meaningful way.
Summer is Full of Life Force Energy
Although it's wise to avoid excessive busyness and stress during the summer, this doesn't mean you shouldn't take impressive actions. Summer is the perfect time for letting your heart desires to motivate you and drive you to new heights, be it through work or play. The important thing is to make sure you do it in a way that feels good in your body and allows enough time to rest between your adventures.
Qigong for Summer helps us to tune into the frequency of joy. We can harness our emotional energy, direct it, and intentionally transform it into healthy actions. What do you love doing? Who do you love being with? Where would you like to travel? Let your heart fire guide you. Feel the impulse in your body, mind, and spirit as you discover, express, and create.
What does your heart want to create? Have you been thinking about a new project or business you want to start? Now is the time to take the leap. By tapping into your natural heart energy and connecting with the solar energy of the sun, you have access to more fuel, confidence, and momentum to take the next steps and actively create the life you want to live.
I want to present it again. Not all experiences of the heart are fun and joyful. For many of us, the intensified emotions can bring sadness, heartache, and pain. It's crucial not to ignore these emotions, and we don't want to act out or lash out from this place of suffering. Part of Qigong for Summer is learning how to use and direct the energy we experience for transformation and growth. Qigong is a beautiful and healthy way to process the emotions that we carry in our bodies, so we don't carry them out into our lives.
Here is an example of the appropriate place for expressing emotions: If you light a fire in the hearth, it can warm the house and bring people together for a meal and hot chocolate. Light the same fire on the roof, and you'll destroy the entire home. Fire can be used for creation and destruction, and the same is true with the energy of the heart.
Every forest fire leaves behind a rich and fertile soil for new life to blossom. Suffering is a natural part of life, and when we suffer skillfully, we can use our sorrow to give birth to new and beautiful creations. Part of celebrating joy is knowing how to transform suffering, and Qigong for Summer helps us learn these skills.