It’s Almost THAT time of Year Again…are you prepared?

by Inger Giffin, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

 

Chinese Medicine uses the energy of the Water Element to nourish and calm Wood energy.And of what time of year am I speaking?

Wood time.  The season, according to the 5 Elements theory of Chinese medicine, related to the Liver, to the energy of discipline, “getting it done”, frustration (when things don’t happen with the ease or timeliness that we would wish), and to a great VISION for where we want our lives to be heading.

Anyone who understands the 5 Elements knows that Wood energy presents a great challenge.  Because it is so strong a force, it is what we call upon to create what we want in life.  It’s the energy that keeps us going even when the going gets tough.  It’s the discipline that allows us to keep our “eye on the prize”.  But…it is also the Type-A energy that can bulldoze ruthlessly over anything we perceive as being in our way.

So why did I choose an image displaying beautiful, serene water, to display this energy? 

Because, as the image states, “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins…”.  And, because we are still in the season related Water. When our Water element is nice and full, it nourishes our Wood; and come Spring (Wood) time, we are able to bend like bamboo, as the Chinese say, in times of challenge, instead of snapping and breaking. We will lead our lives with a flexibility that just may allow circumstances and others to bend to our will more gracefully as well.  We will keep our VISION on the greater good for ourselves and everyone, thus more easily enrolling others into our mission.

The Water Element is related to our Kidneys, and they get taxed if we do not take the time to rest, to nourish ourselves, to eat well, to calm our nerves. To STOP the frantic action of our daily lives.  Kidneys store the Yin, and Kidney Yin is related to night time, to winter, to rest, relaxation, and nourishment. Think of the ocean…it is vast, deep, and full of life.  So too should our sleep and “downtime” allow us to access deep rest and vast awareness of the greater forces of life.

Are you taking enough downtime?

Are you constantly in forward motion but not even sure where you’re headed? Do you judge yourself or feel “lazy” if you’re not always doing something? If you’re like most Americans, I can guess your answers to these questions. While the American way is Bigger, Better, Stronger, Faster, More!…that is not the way of wisdom, and it will most assuredly lead to a crash and burn.

Steven Covey, in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” explains that so many of us are climbing frantically up the ladder to reach the top, only to find, upon arriving there, that our ladder was leaning against the wrong building. That frantic climbing is the Wood energy.  The Water Element is the deep, wise pondering before we start climbing, making sure that when we DO reach the top, the view we see from that vantage is our Vision fulfilled.

So for these next weeks until we enter Wood season, make it a point to create a little down time every day.  Make it a point to get out and walk near water.  Listen to the water, let its smooth effortlessness teach you how to go with the flow; and let the quiet time nourish your whole Spirit, perhaps giving you a more clear view of your priorities. If your church or spiritual center offers classes on tuning into your gifts and your purpose, now is the perfect time to sign up!  There will be plenty of time in a few weeks to get into the actual “do-ing”, when the energy of the entire universe will be backing you up to live your dream.

The energy of the Elements is here to help us…if we stay in tuned with the current season of Water and let its wisdom guide us, we will avoid being in a frantic state of hyperaction now, and be much better set up to live our Visions with that smooth grace of water, come Spring.

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