I’m not sure how it’s feeling where you are right now, but New Mexico is pretty darn hot. Since we live at over 6,000 feet elevation, and normally recreate at 10,000 feet+, this means we enjoy relatively cool temperatures ten months of the year. Most people don’t have air conditioners here, and overall I think we’re pretty spoiled compared to a lot of climates. But dang when it gets hot, it doesn’t mess around.
I’ve taken to closing up my bedroom French doors, shutting the curtains, keeping it relatively dark, and running the floor and ceiling fans to maintain a tolerable temperature. It feels delightfully cave-like; a hibernation of sorts.
And it is.
It’s called Estivation.
And Estivation is an earth phenomenon millions of years in its evolution, which has a powerful affect on nature (which = You, especially if you’re an earth empath).
Estivation is an invisible energetic force which settles in this time of year, and it’s definitely something to be aware of, especially if you’re an Earth Empath (someone who is strongly affected by the cycles of the Earth) or a Highly Sensitive Person who also happens to be constitutionally earthy. (For example, if you’re an astrological earth sign–Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn–or your primary Ayurvedic dosha is Kapha.)
Estivation is a form of summer hibernation, a prolonged dormancy during a hot, dry cycle. Although animals can pop in and out of it easier than a deep hibernation, it results in a slowed metabolism, sluggishness, inactivity to conserve energy, and causes a decrease in reaction time.
Naturally we see its effects on humans, and I’ve strongly noticed it in many of my clients over the past two weeks. All around the world cultures make room for its emergence, and have built-in measures to accommodate the heat’s affects on humans. But sadly, here in the United States, we run our air conditioners and forget how connected we are to nature, and to earth cycles. We push through it, like wading through waist-high waters, and then wonder what’s wrong with us that we can’t maintain our usual pace.
I’m especially talking to you, Earth Empath…
If this is you, I’m here to remind you to listen to your earth cycles. If you’re being affected by Estivation you’re going to have to ease up on your performance/productivity expectations. You’re going to have to honor your own rhythms, and allow yourself to be pulled temporarily into a quieter state. I’m not saying you have to sleep your way through the next month, but you may have to slow down.
And like any hibernation or dormancy period, you must also understand that it’s a way to concentrate, store, and ultimately channel large amounts of energy. If you allow yourself your own version of Estivation, you can expect beautiful rewards in a couple of months. I always generate my best ideas in deep summer (though it’s not the time to implement those ideas). I am most innovative, most creative, and most intuitive.
Ideas for working more gracefully with this cycle are:
1.) Do not be cruel to yourself. Understand that if you’re feeling sluggish or inactive, it only means you are strongly connected to the power of the Earth, and that is a great gift.
2.) Also, if you do NOT feel the pull of Estivation, that’s okay too! I myself am primarily water and fire influenced, and although I definitely feel the pull, it’s fairly light compared to those powerhouse Earth people. Keep in mind that those most earthy among us are some of the strongest in existence. They need this time to regenerate. It’s a lot of work holding the world on their shoulders.
3.) Consider slightly adjusting your schedule. Perhaps shift to doing some of your work, if possible, to early mornings or after sunset. Avoid physical activity during the hottest time of the day, even if that is generally the time that best works for you.
4.) Take an energetic break. Increase quiet activities like reading, writing, studying a new skill, or practicing your favorite non-physical art form.
5.) If you’re feeling overheated (speaking to the Fire people here) try adding cooling foods to your diet: cucumbers, basil, mint, green apples, watermelon, fresh green veggies–especially celery(!), quinoa, almonds, coconut, lime, berries, and anything with rose! Remember to drink lots of fresh, filtered water.
6.) Viva la siesta! Embrace the nap! Even a ten-minute nap can refresh and revitalize your energy.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions or insights, please be sure to ask or share in the comments! I always love hearing from you!