Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It's elementary ... (and a summertime treat)
My girl and I possess a lot of fire. In Ayurvedic terms our main dosha or constitution is Pitta (fire and water) with intensity being one of the overriding characteristics. Typically Pittas are focused, determined, driven, and structured but also passionate with a zest for life. When out of balance, Pittas can be aggressive, demanding, bossy, irritable, sharp tongued, impatient, and stubborn.
Did I mention intense?
Balance for Pitta involves cultivating the opposite qualities: relaxed, cooling, soothing, sweet, non-competitive choices in activities, lifestyle, diet and environment. It goes without saying, excessive heat can aggravate us.
Recently Cowgirl and I spent a whirlwind long weekend visiting good friends and attending Chinese Heritage camp. The weekend was packed with fun but it was also intense in terms of activities and social interaction. It was also incredibly hot.
Our final day, we had some time to hang out before heading to the airport. The plan had been for a leisurely day walking around the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, enjoying lunch and savoring the last hours with our friends. Whether it was the cumulative effect of so much fun, the heat or the impending end of our time together, Cowgirl greeted this day with a snarl and her mood deteriorated from there. Getting out of the car she wanted me to carry all 45 pounds of her as we walked along the mall. When I wouldn't (she is almost seven) she groused, whined, and staggered along at a grouchy clip. Then she became hungry.
Oh, by the way, Pittas when we get hungry are not mildly hungry, we are dying from starvation and must-be-fed-now.
I mentioned demanding, right?
Of course, I was also tired and fed up with her mood so there was this domino effect of bad humor all around. We finally ate which lifted her spirits a smidge but not enough to lift mine.
Walking back towards the car, we came upon the splash area on the mall, a favorite spot in previous summers for Cowgirl and her buddy to play. She saw the water and immediately headed over. Still being a Pitta mom (read: controlling) I yelled out "You can play a little ... but don't get too wet!" We had to go the airport and fly home and the last thing I wanted was a soggy daughter.
Or so I thought. Within minutes of splashing in the water, the black clouds that had surrounded my girl all day lifted. Face beaming, arms outstretched and dripping wet, my happy child was back. And watching her laugh and dance through the jets of water, I too was transformed.
Sometimes finding our balance, our place of peace and calm within, can be that elementary. To calm fire, just play in water. To lift a heavy mood, indulge in some lightness and fun. Thank goodness for us Pittas the treats of the summer are exactly what we need to temper the fire: watermelon, ice cream, leisurely days and lots of time in the water.
(She was still drippy when we got to the airport and as she walked through the security screener her socks left wet little footprints across the dark tiled floor - a sight that brought my spirits to a new high!)
For more images of Summertime Treats, be sure to visit 52 Photos Project. Now, go find a sprinkler and have some clean fun!