Transitions and You

Summer and all that entails seems to finally be taking over.

In my shiatsu practice, this means not only futzing with a temperamental office thermostat that can't decide if I'm running a sauna or an ice cream truck, but also, temporarily losing several regular mommy clients now trying to navigate new schedules, leaving less free time for them for luxuries like self-care.

This change of pace, as they've expressed to me, has been met with mixed feelings: relief from the lunch-making, sleepy-head rousing, school-bus catching, homework-chasing, never-ending activity routine. But also a little sadness over the loss of 'me' time; and in some cases, the challenge of entertaining bored children.

Summer rocks, in the opinion of many, but even so, it is a transition: a break from the normal routine. And no matter how welcome this can be, it takes getting used to.

And like with almost any shifting of the norm, the first thing to go is usually the self-care. Which is probably the most necessary thing during times like these.

In times of change, how do you stabilize?

I've talked before about the Earth element being associated with late summer in Chinese medicine, but also with the times between seasons .... the transition times. This is when we often feel most out of sorts and out of rhythm with our environment. Earth element governs the flesh... the muscles, the body .. stability, groundedness.. centeredness.. all things to be nurtured when life is in flux.

Summer's energy is very yang, and expansive... so much to do, so many directions to be pulled toward. And really, beyond even the seasonal changes, modern life itself at this time is so unpredictable, moving so quickly .. getting in touch with the feeling of being rooted will keep you from being overwhelmed.

Sure, I will admit I'm trying to woo back my wayward mommies and my world-traveling jet-lagged vacation-goers but seriously, whether you come back for some nice centering bodywork or not, be sure to take care of your physical body. Eat well. Stretch often. Do what you need to do to feel good in your phsyical body, which will provide you with safe haven and strength when all is mayhem around you.

Look on caring for yourself not as a luxury, or self-indulgence, or even pampering. (Ugh, do I hate that word!) No matter where you go or what you do, you have to live in that body. This is health care at its most basic.

It will help you get the most enjoyment out of your time during these months, and just maybe you won't be left feeling like you need a vacation after your vacation.