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Embrace Lammas - Celebrate Seasonal Living and Connect with Nature!



Sunflowers to celebrate Lammas, seasonal living and nature connection


As a wellbeing coach, I always find joy in harnessing the power of seasonal living to foster a deeper connection with nature and myself. I love helping others do the same and this is the reason I set up my business Grow with Solis.


Today, I'm excited to share with you the magic of Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh, prounounced Loo-na-sa). It's an ancient festival that marks the beginning of the harvest season.


Join me as we explore the wonders of this sacred time, the significance of the seasonal wheel, and how you can celebrate and benefit from embracing this nature-inspired approach to life.


In this blog you'll find:


Conclusion

What is Lammas

Lammas is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated around August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first of 3 harvests of the year, a time when the fruits of the Earth's labor are ready to be gathered. It represents the sun, harvest, and craftsmanship.


The sun is still warm and the fields are golden, there's a hint of autumn on the breeze. It's a very subtle shift, autumn's colours are starting to appear.

The Seasonal Wheel - Embracing the Rhythms of Nature

At the heart of seasonal living is the "Seasonal Wheel", a symbolic representation of the Earth's cyclical journey around the sun. It acknowledges the changing energies and natural rhythms of the year, guiding us to attune ourselves with the ebb and flow of the seasons.


Lughnasadh is one of the four cross-quarter festivals of the Wheel, representing the transition from the long days of summer to the approaching autumn. There are 8 points in the seasonal wheel, offering us a time for reflection every 6 weeks.



the wheel of the year, seasonal living

Nature's Invitations at Lughnasadh

As we move into Lughnasadh, nature extends its invitation to us. It's a time of abundance, growth, and appreciation for the harvest, both literal and metaphorical. Just as the Earth offers its gifts, we are encouraged to embrace our achievements and gather the lessons learned during the year. This is a moment for reflection and gratitude and self-care.



The Sun's Energy at Lughnasadh - Nourishing Body, Mind, and Spirit

At Lughnasadh, as we celebrate the first harvest and embrace the changing seasons, the sun takes center stage in bestowing its energy upon us. The sun's warmth and light during this time have a profound impact on our body, mind, and spirit, offering us an opportunity for renewal and growth. Let's explore how harnessing the sun's energy can benefit us holistically:

10 ways to Nourish the Body in late-summer:

1. Vitamin D: The sun's energy plays a vital role in nourishing our physical bodies. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D, a crucial nutrient that supports bone health, strengthens the immune system, and enhances overall wellbeing. Spending time outdoors, especially in the morning sun, can boost our energy levels, improve sleep quality, and promote a sense of vitality.

2. Eating seasonally: With an abundance of fresh produce available, it's an ideal time to indulge in nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that the sun has helped to grow. Enjoy the vibrant colours of seasonal foods like berries, tomatoes, corn, courgettes and summer squash, as they carry the sun's energy within them. These foods are not only delicious but also offer essential vitamins and antioxidants that help nourish and energise our bodies. Incorporate hydrating foods into your diet to stay cool during the summer. Watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and leafy greens are excellent choices to keep you well-hydrated.


3. Herbal Infusions and Teas: Explore the world of herbal infusions and teas using fresh, seasonal herbs. Consider making a soothing chamomile tea to relax and unwind, or a revitalising peppermint tea to boost your energy. These herbal concoctions not only taste delightful but also offer various health benefits.


4. Juices and Smoothies: Create vibrant and nutrient-packed juices and smoothies using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Blending together a mix of berries, melon, leafy greens, and a splash of citrus can be a refreshing way to hydrate and nourish your body.

5. Summer Salads: Explore the endless possibilities of summer salads. Combine crisp lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and a sprinkling of seeds or nuts. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette to create a delicious and cooling dish.

6. Grilling: Take advantage of the warm weather and fire up the grill. Grill vegetables like corn, courgettes, bell peppers, and mushrooms for a delightful smoky flavour. Add some light and lean proteins like chicken or fish to complete the meal.

7. Hydration with Infused Water: Stay hydrated by infusing water with slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, or fresh herbs like mint or basil. Infused water not only quenches your thirst but also adds a subtle and refreshing taste.

8. Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by savouring every bite and being present with your food. Engage all your senses while eating, appreciating the colors, textures, and flavors of the season's produce.

9. Healthy Desserts: Indulge in healthier dessert options that incorporate seasonal fruits. Grilled peaches with a drizzle of honey, fruit parfaits, or a berry crisp made with whole-grain oats are delightful ways to enjoy the sweetness of Lughnasadh without excess sugar.

10. Herbal Remedies: Explore the world of herbal remedies to support your body during the summer. For instance, aloe vera gel can soothe sunburned skin, and lavender essential oil can offer relaxation after a day spent in the sun.

Enriching the Mind in late-summer:

The sun's energy has a profound effect on our mental wellbeing. Exposure to sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, often referred to as the "happy hormone." Increased serotonin levels can uplift our mood, reduce stress, and combat feelings of anxiety and depression.

This season offers an opportunity to engage in mindful practices outdoors. Meditating under the sun's gentle rays or practicing yoga amidst nature's beauty can create a profound sense of calm and connection. Embrace the longer days by spending time in natural settings, especially near water which can inspire creativity, foster clarity of thought, and promote mental clarity.

Uplifting the Spirit in late-summer:

Beyond its physical and mental benefits, the sun's energy also nourishes our spirit. Lughnasadh is a time of gratitude for the Earth's abundance, and the sun represents the life-giving force that sustains all living beings. Basking in the sun's warmth can awaken a sense of joy and appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.


Offer a moment of silent reflection, expressing gratitude for the sun's continuous presence and its role in sustaining life on Earth. Embrace this time to set intentions for personal growth.


5 ways to Celebrate Lughnasadh



Sun's energy at Lammas


1. Harvest Feast: Gather with loved ones to enjoy a bountiful feast, emphasising seasonal and locally sourced produce. This is an opportunity to celebrate nature's abundance while fostering connections with those around you. Take a look at my Summer Recipes for inspiration.


2. Nature Walks: Take mindful walks in nature to witness the changing landscapes and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season. Listen to the rustling leaves, notice the colours and feel the earth beneath your feet.


3. Crafting and Creativity: Embrace your inner craftsman or artist by engaging in creative activities. Whether it's making flower crowns, painting or writing poetry, allow your creative energy to flow.

4. Reap What You Sow: Reflect on the goals you set earlier in the year and acknowledge the progress you've made. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small.


5. Letting Go: Symbolically release any habits or thoughts that no longer serve you. Write them on paper and burn them safely in a bonfire, allowing the flames to transform them.


Recipes to Savour the Flavours of Lughnasadh



Corn first harvest festival


1. Harvest Salad: Combine fresh greens, apples, pears, walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese. Dress with a balsamic vinaigrette for a delightful burst of flavuors


2. BBQ'd corn: enjoy this simple summer dish or BBQ'd fresh corn on the cob slathered in butter.


3. Cornbread with Honey Butter: Enjoy the sweetness of Lughnasadh with homemade cornbread slathered in honey butter. Try this recipe here.


4. Orange Polenta Cake: Enjoy the sharp tang of lemons mixed with almond and polenta to give a beautifully textured cake. Perfect with mascarpone and a cup of tea. Try this recipe here


Journal Prompts for Lughnasadh Self-Reflection



Lughnasadh Lammas journal prompts


1. What are the metaphorical "harvests" in my life this year? What have I achieved, and what am I grateful for?


2. What do I need to shine as my brightest self?


3. What habits or beliefs am I ready to release as I move towards the next phase of the seasonal wheel?


4. How can I create more space for JOY for the rest of the summer season? How can I create balance and ensure I'm looking after my wellbeing?


If you're new to Journaling, take a look at this Journaling: how to get started blog.


The Summer Season and its Relevance in Traditional Chinese Medicine



The summer season and its relevance in Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the seasons play a crucial role in understanding the ebb and flow of natural energies and their impact on our wellbeing. Summer, the season of warmth, light, and growth, holds a special place in TCM's philosophy. Let's delve into the significance of the summer season and its association with the Fire element in TCM.

The Summer Season in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

In TCM, each season is linked to specific elements and organs in the body, as well as certain qualities and emotions. Summer is associated with the Fire element, which represents maximum expansion and activity. It is a time of abundance, vitality, and flourishing yang energy. The energy of summer is likened to the energy of high noon when the sun is at its peak, radiating warmth and brightness.

The Fire Element and its Corresponding Organs:

The Fire element in TCM is linked to two major organs: the Heart and the Small Intestine. These organs are considered the "officials" of summer, and their optimal function is vital for maintaining overall health during this season.

1. The Heart: In TCM, the Heart is more than just a physical organ; it is regarded as the ruler of all organs, housing the Shen (spirit). During summer, the Heart's energy is at its strongest, reflecting the Fire element's attributes of warmth and expansion. A balanced Heart energy promotes emotional wellbeing, joy, and the ability to connect with others. It is also responsible for ensuring proper circulation of blood and vital energy (Qi) throughout the body.


2. The Small Intestine: The Small Intestine plays a vital role in TCM's digestion and assimilation process. It is responsible for separating the pure from the impure, allowing nutrients to be absorbed and waste to be eliminated efficiently. During summer, the Small Intestine's function is closely tied to the digestive processes, emphasising the importance of consuming easily digestible, light, and hydrating foods.


Balancing the Fire Element in Summer:



Balancing the fire element in summer

While summer is a time of vibrancy and high energy it can be HOT. It's an intense time of year and it can make you feel overwhelmed, tired and untethered. This can create an imbalance in the Fire element can lead to various health issues.


Too much Fire energy may manifest as agitation, restlessness, insomnia, frustration, inflammation, indigestion, or excessive joy that borders on mania.


On the other hand, a deficiency of Fire energy might lead to feelings of low mood, depression, lack of enthusiasm, low motivation or poor circulation.

To maintain harmony during summer, you can use the seasonal energy to feel deeply rooted and anchored. Consider these TCM-inspired tips to feel empowered by the seasonal energy rather than depleted:

1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelons, and leafy greens to support the Heart and cool the body.


2. Moderation is Key: Enjoy the abundance of summer while maintaining balance. Avoid overindulgence in rich or greasy foods and opt for lighter, plant-based meals.


3, Nourish Your Spirit: Engage in activities that bring joy and connection, such as spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature, or expressing creativity.


4. Support Digestion: Eat mindfully and chew your food thoroughly to aid the Small Intestine in its essential role of assimilation.



Conclusion


In embracing Lughnasadh and the beauty of seasonal living, we find ourselves harmonising with the natural world and embracing the inherent wisdom it offers. Let this festival be an inspiration to connect with the cycles of life, embrace change, and foster personal growth.


By embracing the gifts of the season and honoring the sun's vital energy, we embark on a journey of self-renewal, growth, and gratitude.

Wishing you many Lammas / Lughnasadh blessings!

Love Lisa xxx



Lisa Swiatek wellbeing coach



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