The seasonal planetary movements, the circle of time…. round and round they go. This continuous spiral of transformation invites us to engage, and reflect on the natural interplay of the dynamic earth’s cycle. Here in Hawaii where the clocks never change, where few birds migrate, and the grass is mostly green all year long, seasonal changes are not so obvious, and we have to look for subtle signs of Spring. Personally, I rejoice when I see the cherry trees dressed in their spring blossom colors. I know then Spring has officially announced its pending arrival.
Another indicator that marks the change of seasons is a significant astronomical phenomenon. On March 20th the Sun will cross directly over the Earth’s equator, and the day and night are approximately the same length. This moment occurs twice a year at the first day of Spring which is known as the Vernal Equinox, and the first day of Autumn, which is known as the Autumnal Equinox.
Spring is coming, bursting forth from the hibernating cocoon of winter, bringing the birth and rebirth of all nature, and of ourselves. In this renewal we celebrate our ability to shift our consciousness back into a place of active creativity and productivity. It is time when we act on the plans laid in the winter, start a new project, or simply implement a new health regimen. The feeling-good-natural-instinct to “spring clean” our home and cleanse our physical body answers our yearning to free the stagnant energy, and clear out the unwanted cobwebs in our lives.
Reasons for the Seasons
We cannot escape our essential nature!
We are part of the seasonal cycles with their intricate balance and interdependence of growth, decay, death and regeneration. In the context of traditional Chinese medicine, each season carries a distinct energy which also manifests in the functioning of our bodies, minds, and spirits. Within this system of medicine, each season is associated with a particular element (wood, fire, water, earth, metal), a color, a climatic force, an emotion, a supportive food system, a set of energy pathways, organs, and physiological functions in the body. The five element system can guide us into a deeper understanding of who we are, and how we can be true to our own nature.
I recommend the book Between Heaven and Earth by Harriet Beinfield L.Ac and Efrem Korngold L.Ac., OMD for understanding the healing power of the five elements.
The Wood Element associated with Spring in TCM can be summarized in a poem that I wrote when I was learning Chinese Medicine more than 30 years ago.
“Be like a tree in pursuit of your aim. Stand firm within your roots in the ground and with newly sprouted leaves, reach for the sky, grip hard, move upward, move with the winds of heaven and begin to explore the world with the innocent eyes of a child”.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) echoes the New Paradigm of Quantum Physics stating that the body is a matrix of earthly and heavenly forms intricately connected with each other and with the universe. Just as the microscope brings the invisible world into view, this thinking is a lens through which we can transcend the illusion of separation.
We human beings are a microcosm of nature. We are parts of an unbroken wholeness, a complete system unto itself. We are the body of the earth and the gardener of our body.
In this coming Spring, I invite you to be the gardener of your inner and outer garden by nurturing your growth in some areas, removing weeds in others, and attending to your needs, desires and dreams. The desired outcome of this Spring season is the release of negative patterns, and an active outpouring of productivity and creativity. Enjoy!
The energy of the Liver and Gallbladder increase in spring, therefore we are more prone to experience an increase in stress, anger, and anxiety during this season.
- Keep your stress level in check: Meditate. Rest 15 minutes several times a day. Laugh more often. Go to bed early. Take deeper breath and exhale fully. Spend time in nature.
- Exercise more frequently, and stretch to increase flexibility.
- Release stagnant emotions: Receive bodywork or acupuncture, write in your journal, kick a ball, cry, get angry appropriately etc…
- Do self-inquiry: If I tend to go off in a dozen directions at once – what can I do to keep myself focused on the task at hand? What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I lost control? I feel confined, trapped – what can I do to break free? I feel powerless – how can I take my power back?
- Diet and cleanse: Please refer to the Paradise Post February article from Marcel Fernandez N.D. and Cathrine Wingate L.Ac.
- Take herbs: Milk thistle, Hsiao Yao Wan (standard formula for congested liver qi), Dandelion, Burdock, Parsley, Stinging Nettle, and Chickweed.
- Nourish, enliven, and grow with the beauty of your dreams: Hug a tree, lie on the grass, and receive the illuminations of this earth body into every cell of your body.