This week, the short season of “late summer” comes to a close as the fall equinox approaches and autumn takes quietly over. Late summer is a fifth season that we westerners aren’t accustomed to recognizing, but is the most important season in the Chinese Five Element model since it honors the element of earth, that on which all other elements are based. Metal, water, wood, and fire all reside within or depend upon the earth for their existence. Earth is the nourishing mother from which all life springs forth.
Late summer is an especially vital season for awakening wild women because it calls us to harvest our gifts and acknowledge our abundant enoughness.
Think of the cycle of seasons like the cycle of breath. Beginning at the spring equinox, we inhale, rising with the yang energy of spring and summer, riding the growing fullness of breath as we envision, create, and tend the projects of our life and work. Late summer is like the pause at the top of the inhale, the moment to recognize fullness and celebrate all we have accomplished. Then we begin the long exhale of the falling yin energy of autumn and winter - shedding, letting go, and resting before another growing season begins next spring.
If we skip this late summer season, we miss the most delicious time of year. We lose the opportunity to recognize our accomplishments, acknowledge our badassery, and dwell in gratitude for all the ways we have been provided for by the earth and supported by our human communities. We risk going into autumn and winter with a scarcity mindset - not because there hasn’t been enough, but because we haven’t stopped to see it.
As my coach, Jaime Lyerly, says, “Humans don’t have an abundance problem, they have an acknowledgement problem.”
This particular late summer season, I find myself in the unique position of quite literally embodying the round earth element in my body. At 39 weeks pregnant, I am abundant with life, juicy with the fruit of a 10 month growing season, ripe as ripe gets! It was a perfect place from which to lead the culminating retreat of my year-long group program a few weekends ago, called “Harvest Your Gifts.”
Rather than teaching new content or setting new goals, I guided the women in the group to use the entire weekend to bask in all they had accomplished thus far. Each got a section of the weekend to have a personal graduation from the program. This included being honored by the group and sharing a “grateful gift” with us as a way to take on leadership and blossom fully into her newer, wilder, brighter self.
We were cooked a delicious brunch by Tammy Hart, owner of the brand new “Urban Farms Kitchen Collective,” led through an open house of female healing stations by birth and postpartum doula, Ana Hernandez, taught powerful breema self-massage techniques by expert bodyworker, Soizig Le Boulch, guided to embrace our identities as full women beyond motherhood by coach and women’s group facilitator, Jenn Johnston, led in a Zumba dance by savvy businessowner and mother extraordinaire, Heather McTavish, and led through a grounding yoga class by experienced massage therapist, yoga teacher, and wellness coach, Aura Wilson.
The amazing thing is that the majority of these women weren’t even in these careers when they started the wild woman program a year ago! And if they were, those careers looked nothing like the beautiful expression of their unique wildness that they are today. These offerings truly were expressions of the giant, courageous steps they’ve each taken in their lives and work. Witnessing them in their power was overwhelming in the best kind of way.
In addition, we took a whole morning of our weekend to learn about the earth element by getting our hands dirty at the Homeless Garden Project. Being in this local garden of eden was a great reminder that the earth really does provide all we need.
So in the final moments of late summer, wild woman, how will you acknowledge your accomplishments? How has the earth provided for you this year? How have you been abundantly supported and loved by those around you? Take a moment to pause at the top of this full, delicious inhale before exhaling your way gracefully into the spare season of autumn just ahead. Fill your basket to bursting. When the cold, dark days of winter arrive, you will be glad you did.
As for me, I think Imma go have this baby.
What type of wild woman are you?
Hello! I'm Melanie Munir, founder of Professional Wild Woman - a women's empowerment business dedicated to helping women who are tired of feeling either "too much" or "not enough" to connect to their inner wildness so they can create work that allows them the fullest expression of their unique voice. Welcome!