A Ryokan poem for Spring
The snow has stopped, the clouds have drifted away, and the weather is clear again.*
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way.
*Ryokan I hope will forgive me, I replaced "rain" with "snow".
Spring relates to the Wood element in Chinese Medicine, meaning the energy of plant life and trees. Fresh, clear, and green. It corresponds to the Liver and the eyes.
Some questions to harmonize with this seasonal time:
What is my vision (goals, plans) for the coming month and year? What steps am I taking to fulfill them?
Am I flexible enough to continue towards my goal in the face of obstacles?
Springtime energy has the ability to be fully present and rooted while reaching for the future.
The energy of the Wood element (Spring) is well expressed in an earlier post in my blog: Lessons from a Tree.
Wishing you deep peace in your heart, happiness and fulfillment on this new Spring day!
It seems that each week I understand healing from a different perspective or angle because of the work that I'm so fortunate to be able to do with each of you. Lately the power of these tools, which are simple practices with profound implications, has been quite astonishing. Here are some reminders that I've found to be very effective both in healing and in living in balance. You probably are already aware of some of these tools, but I know I always appreciate a good reminder!
• Deep breathing, to remind us to be here in the moment. It can be helpful to visualize light filling your body as you breath into your belly, representing warmth and joy, and as you exhale, feeling tension release, visualizing any cloudiness or darkness leaving.
• Focus on nutritious foods, and the incredible ability they have to heal. When you create a meal, aim to have a vegetable or legume of every color included.
• Plenty of water, throughout the week and particularly after Acupuncture
• Good rest. Getting to bed before 11 PM will make a large difference in your body's ability to repair and make you sharper for the next day. According to the Chinese clock this is the time for Liver and Gallbladder to nourish the blood and repair the body. Here's an explanation of the meridian cycles for each 24 hour cycle: http://wellness.mcuniverse.com/2011/the-chinese-body-clock-why-do-i-feel-differently-at-different-hours-of-the-day/
• Play. Don't underestimate the importance of play in healing and in life in general! Scheduling time for joy and play is so important even if it sounds a bit counterintuitive. This could be some much deserved time for yourself - going to a park and taking in the surrounding nature (now that the sun is coming out,) being creative, being active, or spending time with friends. Whatever brings you joy, and takes you out of a state of effort. New research shows that this sort of creative activity puts your body into a "flow state", re-setting the nervous system and allowing the body to self-repair. This is very similar to the effects of an acupuncture treatment!
• Upon waking, immediately focus on what you are grateful for at least three minutes. See how this attitude shifts your day.
• Take time every few hours to move, and incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into your day. Sitting for too long or lack of movement can stagnate your energy, even if it feels OK in the moment, the effects on your body are cumulative in months and years.
• When you are in pain, breath into the area that is calling out for attention. Send it loving attention and understand it as a temporary sensation as you move back towards health. Symptoms are not problems, but rather your body's wisdom, asking you to pay attention and re-balance. Your loving presence and attention is the most powerful medicine of all. Even when you may not feel it, you are always complete, whole, and perfect exactly as you are.
I hope these reminders help you to live each day to the fullest, and create new possibility in your life today and each day.
I am on a bit of a Lewis Howes kick right now, but this latest podcast is too good not to share. Although these podcasts are framed from the perspective of creating a successful business, they are really not about business at all. They are about your inner mindset, and about accomplishing living and creating from a place of possibility. This kind of authenticity never fails to inspire me.
What I love about this episode is the definition of abundance as a state of mind, rather than a station at which one arrives. The power of gratitude grows the more your practice it. If you're looking to be inspired, or just to get a new perspective that will allow you to feel more gratitude, take a listen. Enjoy!