happiness, summer, health, exercise, freedom

SAY GOODBYE TO WINTER & HELLO TO YOUR MOST RADIANT SELF

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As all Bostonians remember, this winter was especially hard. (How could we forget??) As a result, we slowed down, hibernated in our homes, and many of us gravitated toward heavier foods to provide comfort.

But now the Summer Solstice is here: It’s a time of celebration. A time of honoring the light we now have, and our connection to the sun and the earth. Every culture has festivals to honor this time, and our ancestors around the earth have built numerous monuments to commemorate its time.

Says Cathy Lynn Pagano in her Wisdom of Astrology puts it this way: “Summer Solstice is another power gate of the Wheel of the Year, the marriage of Heaven and Earth on the longest day and shortest night of the year. This solar high point is a time of fertility and growth, heralding the long lazy days of summer. Don’t forget to tend your fields this summer and see what you harvest in the fall…. Summer is a celebration of the earth’s incredible bounty! Summer is a festival of this inner fire/power, the power that makes abundance and nourishment grow from tiny seeds…. The power that brings things to fulfillment, and expands and brightens our lives, that makes good things come from seed ideas and plans. And the warmth of the sun and the long, hot days continually remind us of how good it is to find a balance between intense activity and lazy, idle hours doing nothing.”

This is the time to plant seeds, to create what you want. To revel in activity, but also to relax when connecting to the nourishing earth and the vital sun that give us powers.

It’s a time to realign with the change of the season, and to find balance. Late spring-turned-summer is a time of freedom. There are no rules, so add in changes that allow you to enjoy the season, and feel like your most radiant self. Shed those winter layers and lighten things up! Here are some ideas about how:

1. Nourish: As we move into a new season, your diet should adapt. Increase your greens and fruit, eating more raw foods. Eat cooling foods such as green leafy vegetables, coconut, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

2. Stay hydrated: Drink enough water during the day. I like to have water with lemon on the counter for my family to drink all day. Also, eating foods with high water content such as cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots.

3. Move your body: For thousands of years, yogis have started their days with spiritual practices that honor the sun—surya namaskara (sun salutations) or try a walk at sunrise to absorb the early morning rays. The sun is the source of all life. Once you determine how different types of movement nourish your body, incorporate them into your routine. Exercise is an ideal way of releasing physical tension. Listen to your body, find a program that you enjoy, and build it into your life. Finding the right exercise to move your body is a critically important factor.

4. Meditate: Gayatri mantra, one of the oldest and most sacred mantras from the Vedas, is a prayer to the sun. Try this mantra, one of its interpretations:

We meditate on that wondrous spirit of the Divine Solar Light, which shines in every dimension of life. May that Light inspire and guide our inner vision.