I heard some little birdies chirping outside of my yoga class yesterday. It was a sweet hint that spring is coming and the animal kingdom knows something we can’t see just yet. We are on the home stretch people. It’s going to be all right.
Everybody seemed like they were doing fine until about a couple of weeks ago. Then, with record breaking snowfall, people started hitting walls. The three main emotional states that I’m seeing right now are anger/outrage, feeling blah/stagnant or feeling depressed/tired. Which one are you feeling the most?
All three states of mind reflect directly on the health of your Kidneys/Water Element/Winter and your Liver/Wood Element/Spring. In Chinese medicine, each season has a corresponding organ system, emotional energy, color, sound and set of activities. In order to stay our very healthiest, we must live our lives with the natural rhythms of the seasons.
When our actions are out of alignment with the spirit of the season, we can get really out of balance. Winter is asking us to hibernate, slow down, go deeply within to examine our fears and wounds, do our soul work, sleep a lot and nourish ourselves with hearty, cooked foods. If we did these things, we are probably really enjoying winter and will be ready to pull some big triggers on new things once spring arrives.
If we didn’t do these things, our Kidneys/Water Element connected to winter are feeling depleted and our Liver/Wood Element connected to spring is out of balance. Our Liver energy is upward and outward growth. It does not want to be stopped and it does not care for obstacles like icy sidewalks and cold temperatures. It wants to move and roam free.
A healthy, balanced expression of Liver energy right now would be the feeling of something you can’t quite name percolating under the surface. It’s a kinetic energy like seeds that are growing underground but haven’t broken through the dirt to reach for the sky. It’s an energy that is gently poised with anticipation.
Here’s how that Liver energy can show up when it’s out of balance and what you can do about it!
If you are pissed about winter:
Are you the person who is cursing winter out? Is the cold weather out of control, total bulls*t, or absolutely unbelievable to you? If you are the person who is regarding cold temperatures and snow during wintertime as an injustice or a personal insult, your Wood element is working overtime. The Wood element has to do with how we interact with our environment and the outside world. A cranked up Wood is resisting what is and the natural rhythms of the seasons. There is a part of you that wants to tell Mother Nature this is just inappropriate winter behavior.
Solution --> You need something to push up against.
Wood always does. Rather than this something being Mother Nature or your partner, channel your energy into a vigorous Vinyasa class, stress cleaning or battling against fracking or global warming. Wood is all about healthy activism-work it!
If you are feeling blah or stagnant:
Your Wood element is revved up but not enough to charge through the wall. Instead you are just stuck at the wall, running in place. You have stayed inside enough and you are getting cabin fever. You are longing for a change.
Solution --> Move your body.
We store our issues in our tissues and our creativity can hide out there too. Exercise. Have a dance party of one. Literally shake things up and shake off the winter doldrums. This will get your heart rate up and release endorphins. Repeat until you shake the blahs.
If you are feeling depressed:
You may have overdone it at some point this winter. There was a lot of stress, a lot of pushing, not enough sleep, maybe too much alcohol. When all of the distractions disappeared, you were left feeling wrung out. Depression is a valid response to life when there is a huge gap between where you are and where you would like to be. When the Kidneys have been taxed by overwork/overthinking, too much alcohol or sex, we run out of oomph. We find that our internal well is depleted and we need to look to the Divine Universe for inspirational juice.
Solution --> Seek inspiration.
Instead of spending another day at home on the couch, spend the day inside at the Met. Find a tantalizing new recipe and make something you’ve never made before for a group of friends. Take a class in indigo dying or pottery or photography. Feed your mind. Move towards what makes you happy. Seek joy.