In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is believed that our body rhythm follows our seasons throughout the year.
To balance and support our body remember to:
- Go to bed early and get lots of rest.
- Listen clearly and observe your interactions during this time of hibernation and stillness. As we spend time in quiet and peace, notice how grounding and nourishing this is to our spirit.
- Get moving with gentle exercises. Our internal water is susceptible to becoming cold and stagnant.
- Eat lots of warm soups, salty flavors and stews.
- Stay warm by covering neck and also cover legs and feet to nurture your kidney qi. An ancient practice to use before bed is to soak your feet in hot water and then jump into bed for a great nights’ sleep.
Isn’t this the answer everyone seeks? What is my purpose? Am I doing it? Should I change my goals? Once I decide, I go for it and then it changes, sometimes it morphs into busy work or it even shifts, changes and then I feel discontent again. I realize that what I search for cannot be found in the doing, but in the quiet time when I listen to the voice inside.
Energy healing: Reiki – Meditation – Acupuncture – Yoga – IET – and the list goes on on. There are so many ways to work with energy and these are just a very few modalities. Let’s start with the basic definition of energy from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective. Energy or Qi is the basis of everything in the universe. It forms all things substantial (we can touch i.e. rocks, books, etc.) and ethereal (things we can’t touch i.e. wind, dreams, etc.). There are two main parts of qi – they are yin/yang. Yin is dark, moist, feminine, sinking, moon, cold, and night. Yang is light, dry, masculine, rising, sun, heat and day.
Everytime I take the time to be in nature I feel like my senses have been reset. Even during
the coldest of days its important for me to step outside. Harvard has done studies as have others and the benefits are many. Just a few: (1) reduction of stress levels, (2) improves physical health, (3) helps with mental health and so much more. While we work with our bodies for optimum health, a key factor is getting outdoors, connecting with nature, and just enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. Grab a friend and go for a walk. Even better, practice qigong or yoga. On wintry days, find a window so you can gaze outside as you practice.
This New Year’s Eve was like no other. My husband and I were in New Hampshire where temperatures were frigid and there was a minimum of 16″ of snow. For anyone who knows me I tend to hibernate inside by the fire on these wintry days. When I saw smoke coming from the old camp in the woods I knew I needed to investigate – cold and snow forgotten I trudged over excitedly. I hadn’t been in the old camp for a long while. My husband and I reminisced
about all the memories we had with our family over the years. As we chatted, the camp went from 10 to 79 degrees. We decided to have our ritual for the new year later that evening so we kept the fire burning throughout the day for warmth. We headed out at about 7pm, temperature was -9 so we bundled up and luckily there was no wind and the moon was almost full so we didn’t even need a flashlight.
Your healthiest relationship is with you, yourself and I. We hear this comment so often but what does it really mean? I think deep down it is an intrinsic, energetic relationship and it begins by connecting deeply with each and every part of our physical, emotional, shadow and spiritual self.
My inspiration comes from many beautiful, caring beings who show me the way. I tend to be a little black and white so when others show me magical ways to tune in, to talk with their bodies and to be grateful for who they are I dig in and listen. It’s like a new imprint that I can mimic. If I like an idea or action and it sparks my imagination and mojo, I adopt and make it my own.
Here are some ideas to think through:
- Over time create an intimate relationship with your body and honor how it works seamlessly – it is so amazing and I’m in “awe” of the overall functionality
- Thank your body before you go to sleep for a good days’ work and set the intention to sleep well and wake up rejuvenated
- Feel the love when you wash and massage your skin, body and hair
- Laugh often
- Observe your emotions and honor what you’re feeling – breathe into it
- Ohhh, notice the shadow self and respect it – maybe just acknowledge what comes up and think “good to know”
- Connect with the divine, trust and surrender
- Enjoy nature in all forms
- Breathe and be in the moment
- Watch your boundaries – stop trying to please everyone. Remember if you’re happy, then that spreads easily
- Journal, walk, hug, drink lots of water, offer blessings, and be gentle with yourself.
Peace . . .
By the way, qigong helps you connect on a very deep level, easily finding yourself in the present moment. At the end of class, most often I will suggest that everyone notice how they feel. Everyone is smiling and relaxed finding balance in the day.
As a “summer girl” Autumn creeps in on me and I feel the sadness in the depths of my soul. I can rationalize this and even laugh at myself. To stay present in this beautiful season is to really acknowledge the unmistakeable signs of the divine in our lives. The colors jump out at me with brilliance and stop me in my tracks. My collection of various leaves, sizes, shapes and colors are pressed in wax paper (for what I don’t know) to be admired and savored at some point.
In this time of so much change, it is difficult to stay present and just be happy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are five seasons which follow nature. Currently, we are in the season of Late Summer. Within each season are elements, earth being the element for Late Summer. When we think of earth, it’s the place we live, where our tribe exists and our connection to nature. More about the elements of Late Summer are the relationship of stomach/spleen and color yellow/gold. Some hints on staying grounded during this time: Continue reading