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!


  1. Oh yes - these moods are familiar to me. These pictures are great! She looks like she's having a blast.

  2. Love this post & these photos. My hubby is pure Pitta and the heat drives him to extreme crabbiness too :). I'm still trying to figure my daughter out but I'm beginning to think she's like me: a Kapha with strong Pitta leanings. We all love water, cool rooms, and ice cream and have to have our quiet time to decompress and mellow out. Otherwise there are serious fireworks!!

  3. Love the array of emotions! Great photos!

  4. i think i must be pitta also but plan to research it a bit (you always get me thinking!) kids + water = fun. boulder is one of my favorite places. so glad that your last day there ended on a high (and wet) note.

  5. i know have some pitta... my son too. to what extent? that is the question! :o)
    lovely post, fabulous photos!

  6. I love, LOVE these pictures! You captured her delight with perfection. I have been following your posts on Pitta. I too am Pitta with just a little bit of Vata thrown in. You have got me thinking about how the doshas could help in my dealing with Lyme. A light bulb totally went off when I read this post. So, thank you and hugs! - mandy <3

  7. Such a lovely story with a happy ending! Water always makes me happy -- I think I must have some pitta too.

  8. these are beautiful photos of your precious girl . . . oh how you love her and it comes through in every word! She must be a perfect angel and what a precious gift she is! It is so fun watching her grow through your eyes and sharing with us.

  9. The pics are fabulous -really captured the joy that emerged when the pitta energy was balanced!Im going to go find my Ayurvedic Cookbk.It might be the missing link in my imbalances here in the heart of texas! :)

  10. Wonderful photos! The happiness on your little girl's face is priceless.

  11. As cool as it is here in the Pacific Northwest (I'm wearing a sweater in the house), I think I'll skip the sprinkler, at least for now.

  12. it really is that simple, we just get into our human downward spiral and forget that we are more than our bodies, our moods, and that there is a truly simple way out.

    love the soggy footprints through the airport.

    from this post i would say my girl is definitely pitta.

  13. I loved this 'day in the life of' story very much indeed. I have just dipped into the whole Ayurveda way of thinking in order to deal with my ever growing insomnia issues. It is helping me in leaps and bounds and it is all soooo interesting. My type is very much vata with an edge of pitta. I am learning a lot about myself and the way I work ;)

  14. So useful, as always, Lis! I can definitely relate to your description of Pitta! And very fun to picture you in familiar stomping grounds:)

  15. Pitta makes sense to me....for me, for my much! But I love the evolution that took place here....there is duality, there is magic and there is good old fashioned to you and that fabulous Cowgirl!!

  16. Love this Lis...I believe I am Kapha -- have to go check again. love the smile on her face in the last pics.