The Earth Element



THE EARTH PHASE: Ripening tomatoes form on the vine; the generous phase of earth & harvest has arrived in late summer.

AND FUTURE continued

By Pat Gorman with Stephen Flores
Photos by Stephen Flores

The Earth Element

Unlike our system of four seasons, the Chinese have five. The Earth Element relates to late summer, that humid time when fruit hangs ripening, when corn, tomatoes, and all vegetables reach their sweetest. It’s a time of abundance in nature, a time of harvest from the vine. It would also be a time, if we lived according to nature, that we would put up storehouses of grains and fruits and vegetables to get us through the winter.

From an acupuncture point of view we often look at the “harvest” of a person’s life. Do they have one? Is it abundant?

While the “harvest time” of our life is probably from our mid-forties to our sixties, the time we can look at what we’ve done and reap the rewards, there is a harvest time every year. At the end of summer, we can ask ourselves, “Is my life abundant? What would I like more of? Have I reaped a reward for all the hard work I’ve put in? Do I receive the nourishment and support I need?” If the answer is no, consider the following:

Nourish yourself both physically and emotionally with a good sit-down breakfast at least three days a week. We need good fuel to run well, and studies show that eating breakfast can actually help with weight loss. By not starving ourselves in the morning, we are better set up to resist temptation and the “sugar blues” of late afternoon.

Try changing your heaviest meal to early or mid-day. Most animals in nature do not eat heavily before sleep, as digestion works better with gravity, while awake.

The generosity of nature is expressed in the harvest of late summer. Try reflecting this in your life—be free in both giving and receiving compliments and support, no strings attached, and see how this begins to change your life.

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