Reflections on the Solstice

Solstice. The peak of Summer. Like the bloom of a rose, it sparks surprise and delight. Coming so close to the Sun awakens ALL our senses. Our hearts open – like a rose – to multiple layers of feeling and emotion.

Intense! Especially this year, given all that we find ourselves opening to. If you find yourself feeling a bit more vulnerable than usual, you are not alone!

We all shed layers this time of year. And I don’t just mean clothing. Layers of protection melt away in the warmth that comes when the Sun passes so close to our part of the planet. Closest we’ll come to it til this time next year!

Daylight lingers sweetly into Summer evenings. There’s more time to play. To find our muse. To follow our whims. To know our heart’s longing. To connect with loved ones in heartfelt ways.

It can be totally surprising. Startling, even! The best things about Summer are mostly unpredictable. Like falling in love. Maybe just ever so briefly. But so not to be missed!

And, ‘There’s no such thing as a blessing that’s not mixed,’ as I often say. The pain of broken relations can show up more painfully this time of year. Disconnect shows up razor sharp. The sadness of disconnection – with others or within ourselves – is harder to ignore in the full light of Summer sun.

Maybe that’s because this is a key time for healing injuries of the heart. Injuries of shock or trauma. Abandonment, betrayal or inappropriate intimacy. Heart level injuries can manifest as bitterness, numbness or anxiety. Issues with sleep or concentration. Being easily startled or embarrassed. Or a diminished capacity for joy or intimacy. And physically, poor circulation, hardening of the arteries or irregular heart rhythms can show up.

Asian healing arts view all of these as distress signals from the Heart. Come Summer, they may defeat whatever coping strategies we’ve come up with to cope. AND they can often shift dramatically in this season – IF we find a safe place to address them.

Our hearts are tender and vulnerable. Like a rose petal. Too much pressure, it wilts. Too much heat, it fades. Disconnected, it can’t survive. Sudden movements can blow it away.

So how do keep a healthy, open heart in the presence of all that is currently unfolding around us? How do we maintain the heart level connections we so need in the midst of so much disconnect?

Compassion is key to creating a place where our heart can heal and thrive. It is also the virtue associated with the Heart in Asian Healing arts. Compassion for oneself and others is a sign of a healthy heart. A good heart, we say.

The heart is a vessel, after all. It’s not designed to hold onto anything. Blood – along with feelings and emotions – circulate thru it. It fills and powerfully disperses everything that comes thru it. It is only fulfilled by sharing its contents with everything around it.

Summer reveals heartfelt partnership possibilities. Ways to reach out and spread what is in our hearts out into the world. Light-hearted way to lift the weights of sadness and disappointment. To unbundle the hardness that happens when heartache gets locked in.

Whole heartedness shows up with a sparkle in the eye. A great sense of humor. And the capacity to really enjoy life.

Here’s to opening our hearts to love and laughter in this Summer Season – en-JOY!

Photo: Ronnie Robertson / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cynthia Zanti Jabs, L.Ac., has practiced Acupuncture and Medical Qi Gong for two decades. She can be reached at her Ruscombe Mansion office by calling 443-226- 6626

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