Hello beautiful souls.
I hope this message finds you well.
It is with a tender heart and meandering mind that I share with you some useful resources for the present time.
Firstly, however this spring season and pandemic has and continues to affect you please know that, no matter how you feel right now, you are loved.
Let take a collective deep inhale and slow extended exhale together.
This is hard. It takes great attention and diligence to stay present to the daily unfolding of this global experience and stay buoyant in the space of the heart. I have been contemplating the way I was living as well as the sustainability of our collective operations on global health, community, and most importantly the environment.
Amidst the chaos, nature prevails and the season has fully bloomed into spring. The birds are taking up space as we slow down. I am reveling in the gentle wind, dandelion flowers, and sunlight on my skin.
In Chinese medicine, spring is seen to be a time of new growth, creation and development. Normally, this can be a good time to take a look at your life and make a new plan but we have come to a global stand still and the ability to plan has been re-directed. So, we sit in uncertainty sourcing a glimmer of trust if we can find it.
The liver and gallbladder organs and meridians as well as the wood element govern this season. In five elements theory the liver is the general and dictates order, planning, and direction and the gallbladder holds courage and decision-making. Here we are all together looking to our government or perhaps the Divine (the God of your own understanding) for direction. With physical distancing in place, many of us without jobs or an idea of how the future will look. This makes for a strange recipe that could conjure up the emotions of anger and frustration (associated emotions with the liver and gallbladder). So, in this time we must be gentle with our precious selves as we traverse a health crisis and perhaps paradigm shift.
Questions we could ask; “what do you want to clear out form the past?” or perhaps look at old patterns in your life with a new awareness.
The liver is the home of the soul and the wood element is said to give spiritual faculty to life, offering us inspiration and desire. The liver opens to the eyes and its sense is sight or seeing clearly. The fluid is tears (been a lot of those lately in my home). The tissue is the tendons or sinews. So if you are feeling tight or stiff, move your body, stretch, run, dance, shake etc. Please, take the time to do what would feel most liberating to free tension from your tendons and release the stagnated energy that can accumulate with stress. The journey to change right now is from anger to benevolence (the quality of being well meaning or kindness) with out bypassing, feel it and let it go!
This season is a time of yang within the yin, meaning we have come from the depth of the yin energy in winter and the peak yang energy of summer is yet to come. The development stage is Birth. According to the Nei Ching, spring is a time to “rise early and take brisk walks”. I love the simple way this tradition explains the ascending yang energy and how to align with it. The green hues of plants mirror the youthful vigor that we have the potential to feel. This is a time of rebirth, where a metaphorical membrane over the eyes clears so that we can see things in new ways.
The taste is sour. It is a time to eat less to cleanse the body of the heaviness of winter. The diet of spring is to be the lightest of the year containing fresh greens, sprouts, and wheat grass. Decreasing salty and greasy foods and making sure to avoid processed oils, intoxicants, poor quality fats, chemicals, highly processed, and refined foods that will challenge the livers function. Spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, and dill can help attune you to this season’s vibration.
The liver establishes smooth flow of Qi throughout the entire body. A liver in health exhibits patience, effective decision making, determination, and unerring judgment that make an effective leader.
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and is located in the upper right abdomen. Physiologically the liver is the body’s master laboratory. It stores and distributes nourishment for the entire body; it is involved in the formation and breakdown of blood, filters toxins. The livers hepatic cells make bile for digestion and stores bile in the gallbladder for the breakdown of fats and for enhancing the small intestines ability to absorb fatty acids.
The liver is set to deal with challenges and set backs with strength, strategy, and power. How can we soothe our livers need for a plan in a time where planning is seemingly in the hands of a greater force, while simultaneously encouraging the powerful energy and resilience that is within us?
Practices for a regulated nervous system and healthy liver energy:
When you feel like you are in survival or defensiveness mode, where the brain stem has taken over.
- Breathing with extended exhales. Simply breath in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6 (called viloma pranayama in yoga)
- Decrease the amount of information being taken in through your senses especially your eyes
- Grounding, putting your feet on the earth of at the end of the day feet in an Epson salts soak with lavender oil
- Embodiment practices, body scanning. See recording of 61 points guided visualization HERE
When you are overwhelmed by the amount of emotional input/output and the limbic brain is on overdrive.
- Breath in through your nose and exhale with sound out your mouth (called lions breath in yoga)
- Feelings are not who you are, they are something you are having! Embrace and let go…discharge the energy through movement: dance, shake, run (this can be a bit more stimulating than light stretching)
- Find creative way to express your emotions
Accessing your source Qi (Yuan Qi) and your prefrontal cortex. Who you are and why you are here.
- Deep belly breathing with all the breath out. Hands to your lower dan tian (below the navel) letting go
- Negotiate stillness. Invoking meditation practices, time in nature, where the observer can take up space and you can feel the unbroken place with yourself to embrace beauty
The experience we are all having, in differing levels of intensity, is traumatic. Trauma is defined by Dr. Peter Levine as something that leaves us feeling, hopeless, helpless, and out of control. If unprocessed the charge lives in our tissues and our nervous system which can have many negative impacts on our lives. This can range from mild anxiety to PTSD to substance addition etc. Lorie Eve Dechar, Licensed Acupuncturist, speaks of trauma as something we cannot metabolize.
So, we must find time and space to feel beyond the trauma and find safety. The above and many more practices refined uniquely to an individual can help you to become more present to your life, body, heart and soul. We do this so we can show up in our world and with ourselves in greater ease and awareness to walk through this journey together.
May you be well.
Loving you always.