Four Seasons in Four Weeks: Part 4-SUMMER

SUMMER Artwork by Mara Berendt Friedman

During the last few months I have been reviewing the incredible book, 4Seasons in 4Weeks by Suzanne Mathis McQueen. For previous postings, click on these internal links:

http://www.menupause.info/archives/16836 – Part III- Spring: The author compares this with one’s efforts coming to fruition with others being attracted to them.

http://www.menupause.info/archives/16595-Part 1-Fall: The author compares Week 1, Fall to the birthing phase of reproduction, because this is the time the uterus is shedding its contents if you are not pregnant.

http://www.menupause.info/archives/16684– Part 2- Winter: The author compared this to the courting phase because our hormones are helping us attract a mate during this week.

During this summer “week,” McQueen notes that this is the time to get rid of what no longer serves you or is damaging to your essence. Time to get back in balance.

She suggests that we should take notice when irritation erupts into tears, anger and frustration. Jot down these thoughts and feelings in a journal. Also a time to be patient with people and stick with your routine to get things done. Finally, begin to enjoy the positive aspects of your life and note these in your journal.

This fourth week of your cycle is traditionally known as your PMS week, so it matches summer with “hot, inflamed days.” PMS is a process, not an illness and a period of what McQueen calls Emoping or an Emotional Period. What I like about her PMS comments is that the desultory accusations are inappropriate, because ..”Every piece of every cycle has a positive purpose and each is a preparation for the next phase.”

The author likens this fire time as a beautiful volcano bringing lava to the surface. Your body is preparing to take down the “uterine nest.” Your body’s impurities (toxins?) rise to the surface. Now is the time to discard what you don’t need and discover your own true gifts. As this cycle dies down, there is a need to be “still and serene.”

I like the idea that each part of the female cycle has its purpose and we should not denigrate any of it. Our bodies are often the reflection of our emotions and PMS may trigger confusion and lead to arguments.  Don’t ignore the hormonal changes; be conscious of them and work through them the best way you know how.  I think this is a time to be especially good to yourself!

On page 221, Suzanne discusses one of the health issues related to PMS: estrogen dominance, which has been linked to autoimmune disorders as well as several kinds of cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, and increased blood clotting. (This info is from Dr. Christiane Northrup, whose book The Wisdom of Menopause, is my other favorite book on menopause. You might want to consider bio-identical hormones (ala Suzanne Somers), so talk to your health provider is you are showing signs of estrogen dominance with these related issues.

Also, on the positive side, this is the week that your cycle is doing what it needs to do, that is, “dumping your emotional trash now, in preparation for dumping the physical trash later–the stuff that is no longer needed in your body.” So instead of viewing PMS in a negative light, Suzanne suggests transforming the way we think about it, which I think is excellent advice.

The hot days of summer can be somewhat compared with the heat of our feminine cycle during this week. Most of us medicate to mask the “hot spots in our natural rhythm.” This may also be the time to evaluate and eliminate what does or does not work for you in your life, examining life goals, job choices, partner, place where you are living.  The author says this is our internal GPS guiding us or luring us back to our spiritual center as well as our personal place of power that leads to happiness and well-being. See how it’s all linked??

The author herself sees her summer cycle as one giving enormous energy to clean, sort, organize, and finish a project as a sign that her Period is on its way soon. She makes the conjecture that the aches in our body this time month may be a signal to hurry up because the cycle is nearly complete.

During this fourth week or Fire Season (Summer) we can sort out our feeling by writing them down. Both the summer’s heat and the heart represent passion, which can manifest as rage or love, devotion and creativity, or even protection. We can become Fire Walkers, and when we become adept at this, “…we learn to trust our own wisdom with every step.” This is powerful information!

The Summer To Do list  has many wonderful suggestions, such as keeping a notepad at all times to jot down your thoughts so you  can refer to them later; in fact, Suzanne suggests making journaling a habit. (A repeat of what I read int he beginning the chapter and noted above.) Be patient, stick with routines, drink calming teas, get busy getting rid of what you don’t need. In the Food section the direction is to eat light, clean foods that are easy to digest*. Sleep as much as possible to get you through this part of the cycle and exercise to help defray emotional intensity. (*Checkout my summer salads and smoothies in the Index.)

The last two chapters, the Conclusion and the Epilogue will be the final part of the review next month.

Suzanne’s book is available on Amazon and also directly from the author. It is published by Tobacco Road Press, Ashland, Oregon and costs $24.95. To order your copy, go to Suzanne’s website: http://4s4w.com.

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