10) Late summer is the season at the end of the summer, when plants are heavy with fruit, the atmosphere holds us in its thickness, and we are fed by abundance from the fields and orchards. Notice this time as a fifth season.
9) The late summer is a time of coming to your center and feeling grounded. When you notice yourself thinking thoughts that do not serve, feel your feet on the ground and place your hand on your abdomen. Know that in every moment, you can choose your response to any event. If you need help remembering this practice, wear a new piece of jewelry, wear your watch on the other hand, or put sticky notes around your house and car.
8) Do something thoughtful for a friend or family member, and for yourself.
7) Be thoughtful about your “harvest.” This can be from the garden and from all areas of your life. What foods are you eating? What media are you hearing? What songs are you learning? How, and with whom, are you spending your time? What thoughts are you thinking? What mood are you creating each morning (more on this in tips for fall)? Overall, what are you bringing into your life now? And how can you preserve much of this for later? These are the provisions that will help sustain you through the winter.
6) Go to bed at night and wake up early in the morning. During meals, savor your food. Say “mmmmmm…” and “yummy” out loud. Focus on chewing each small bight until it turns to liquid in your mouth. Notice how the tastes change the longer you chew. Also savor your company or your solitude.
5) Take time to sit in the hammock or lie on the earth. Sip your fluids slowly and savor them. Drink water mostly, and drink it between meals so you do not dilute your digestive fluids. Bask in the abundance that life has to offer.
4) Eat freshly harvested foods. Cook slowly using water instead of oil. Season your foods minimally to preserve their mild taste. Chewing will bring out the natural sweetness of grains and other foods. And look for the sweetness in all areas of your life. If you do not find it, create it.
3) Practice your sympathy and listening. If you tend to ask for sympathy, practice offering hugs. If you are a natural giver, practice asking for hugs.
2) If you notice yourself feeling resentful or neglected, practice making a request. First, determine for yourself what is missing, or needed. Then ask, “I request such and such, by this time. You can accept, decline, or make a counter offer.” Be willing to accept any answer without taking it personally.
1) As in all times of the year, you may follow these tips to the degree that they are helpful for you as you pay attention to your unique body. In the late summer, you can focus on your stomach, which digests food AND all of your life experiences. Your spleen does the job of transforming the nutrients and your experiences and transporting them throughout the body. Thank your body for doing this constant labor of love.
By Rachel Kriger