Contributor: Cristin Smith
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
Take a minute and listen to your inner voice as you partake in a personal inventory acknowledging where you are in relation to the most recent seasonal shift—the Summer Solstice.
This shifting of energies places our focus on shedding what we have accumulated over the first half of the year to restore a renewed vitality and the blessings of summer. With the approaching solstice, it is essential to focus on how we can live and eat more sustainably. When we bring awareness to what we are eating, we practice mindful eating. When we eat sustainably, a cycle of reward is perpetuated. These benefits are immediately felt by you and received as tangible blessings in the community and in the world.
We learn this best when we follow the harvest rituals and sustainable eating habits of our ancestors.
Celebrate Harvest Rituals
The solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years. Rituals of the June solstice often focus on reorganizing the calendar and serving as a marker for when to plant and harvest crops. In the spirit of our ancestors, we return to the land and nature for our nutrients, and move farther away from the chemicals, additives and processing that have become the standard for mass consumption in our culture.
What does it mean to eat sustainably? Sustainable eating is in part, eating the fruits, vegetables, grains and meats native to your area and seasonably available. But sustainable agriculture is so much more than this. Sustainable agriculture is raised ethically and responsibly, without harming the environment. Farming techniques that are scalable, conserve natural resources and are safe for farmers and crops.
• How this Benefits You
By nourishing your body with nutrient-dense calories, your immune system will improve and you’ll get sick less. By giving up a diet of processed foods that include chemicals, additives and other artificial ingredients, you’ll think more clearly and be more productive. You’ll eliminate cravings and just feel better overall.
• How this Benefits Farmers
Farmers will be healthier with less risk of exposure to the chemicals and toxins associated with mass industrial farming. It also gives more local farmers a chance to make a living.
• How this Benefits the Environment
Sustainable farming reduces the endangerment of the environment through hindering the usage of harmful chemicals. It contributes to the diversity of plants and animals, allowing them to thrive, along with healthier soil and an overall healthier ecosystem.
• How this Benefits Your Neighborhood
When you shop locally, you lend your support where it is needed most: local farmers, stores and restaurants. Not only are you contributing to the betterment of your own health, but to the enrichment of local farmers and your community.
• How this Benefits the Nation
When you eat sustainably, your food is purchased from farmers and shop owners in your local community. This cuts down on packaged and fossil fuel waste, which are part of the cost of transporting these hauls.
What You Can Do Now
Bless your body with an abundance of whole and clean foods from your local community. Continue with the interior summertime resetting of your body, mind and spirit as we traverse through the season, counting on each cycle of day and night to bring us closer to fall. Let go of the busyness of spring, release that which no longer serves you, drink in the warmth of the sun and revitalize your spirit.
In just a few days we will gather together to celebrate the Summer Solstice honoring the changing of the seasons and receiving new invitations.
Summer Solstice is June 20th at 6:34 PM
Fall Equinox is September 22nd at 10:21 AM
Winter Solstice is December 21st at 5:44 AM
Spring Equinox was March 20 at 12:30 AM