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Balance your fire this Summer

by Stacey Kaplan LAc, LMT

Fire, the element associated with the Summer season, is flaring. As we melt deeper into the hot and sticky months of Summer, it can be cooling and rejuvenating to take stock of whether our fire is burning at a manageable, healthy pace.

Our fire element is all about connection. It connects us to ourselves, our ability to be exactly who we are, and to those around us. With warmer and longer days it's common to feel the desire to be a little more social and want to connect with others more often. The fire element houses our ability to be who we are and express that to those around us.
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A healthy fire element allows us to connect with people and be present without preconceived ideas or reactions. How can we listen to what people say without judgement? Can information be just that, information, without it shaking the foundation of who we are? We are constantly evolving, changing and working to cultivate new ideas and options for ourselves. Our fire element allows us to take in all opportunities for change and growth while remaining grounded in who we are.

In New York City, we are constantly bombarded with noise, information, instruction and details. Our fire element governs our ability to distinguish between what we really need to take in and digest (such as feedback on a project, the needs expressed by a partner, tips from your acupuncturist), and what can inform our thought process and decisions superficially without needing to incorporate it long term (like that loud roadwork, the sound of tourists rounding the corner or most of the evening news.

A great way to keep our fire burning bright without burning out, is to check in consistently with the relationships in our lives. Can we fully connect to co-workers, friends, family, partners on appropriate levels and with healthy intensities?
Cultivate self-awareness by asking, "How can I be the person I know I am throughout my daily life?"
The pericardium (the sac surrounding and protecting the heart) and heart are organs associated with the fire element. Asking ourselves these questions without judgment and with kindness will feed our fire element and begin to open up congestion in and around the chest and heart.