How are you experiencing joy?

Last week, those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere officially entered into summer. There has been lots of humidity over here at Sunset Beach, AB, Canada (=plenty of rain!), but it’s summer none-the-less!

As you may know (or if you don’t), I have been healing and subsequent surgery to repair a fractured knee and ACL. It’s a complicated joint but my healing is coming along nicely. While I can’t go for walks in the forest yet, I enjoy short bike rides and puttering in my garden. I have learned a great deal about patience, gratitude, and loving my body. 

As we enter into summer, the element in the Chinese system that is associated with summer is Fire. We have transitioned from the Wood element of spring and now energy shifts from the liver and gallbladder to the heart and small intestine.

Yang is the predominant energy of summer; meaning heat, light, fire, activity, sweating, barbeques, holidays, gardening and yard work, and being outdoors are great things to be doing at this time. Gatherings with friends can still be joyful even while distancing during this unprecedented time.

We need in-person connections and that means we must be creative to remain safe but still feel connected.

The challenging emotions that are related to the fire element are extreme anger, hatred, or even extreme elation. The heart, like all the other organs, seeks peace and balance. Staying in any of these challenging emotions for too long can damage the heart energy system. The positive emotion that can help to heal the heart and small intestine is joy. There is also a powerful Spring Forest Qigong exercise that can help further heal the heart and cultivate joy. You can follow along over here. 

My daily practice involves looking for examples of joy. Birds raising fledglings, wood lilies blooming, beautiful sunsets, and the ripening of garden peas and wild berries. We have a robin’s nest situated low in a birch tree at our cabin. This is her second clutch but the first in this newly constructed near-perfect nest that is so perfectly lined with mud overlaid with grass. Watching her build it was joyful. Every day we check the nest and there is a new egg added. She is up to three at the time of this writing. It’s amazing (hopefully my dogs don’t spot the babies)!

Finding joy in simple things can help with feelings of disappointment from cancelled holidays, missed events, or not seeing family.

My injury has taught me many things, but one of the biggest lessons is the significance of finding pleasure in everyday things. Maybe we can’t do all the things we’d like or that we’d usually be doing at this time. But we can shift our outlook to look at the simple gifts that are present all around us. And some days, observing a flower opening or the cloud pattern in the sky can be joyous! I have found that finding the good in any situation helps the situation (and my healing) immensely.

What simple things bring you joy? Take a moment to focus on your heart as you breathe in these feelings of joy, and know this feeling is helping you heal your internal organs, your cells, and your emotions. How amazing is that? I’d love to hear about your joys. Please share in the comments.

If you’d like to learn more about the Five Elements, join me in my upcoming and updated joyful masterclass on

Thanks for reading and have a joyous day!
Much love and light,

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