Written by Rhiannon Griffiths
Where once, as female entrepreneurs, we would have looked towards the loud, shouty strategy of the marketing giants for all the secrets of success, we now know better. We know that the ancient energies and the ancient ways of doing things work better.
We know that using the innate knowledge that we already carry inside us, that is encoded into every cell, works better. We know that working in sync with the natural rhythm and flow of the world around us is not only far more productive, but it is really the only way to work in a way that is balanced, healthy, and sustainable for us.
And this shift is especially evident, with the massive rise in people working with the phases of the moon for manifestation, looking at where the planets are in the sky for scheduling our launches (no mercury retrograde, thank you), or just ensuring we are mindful of the stage of our menstrual cycles when we agree to certain commitments or deadlines. It is all becoming normal practise for many of us within our businesses and the way we live our lives.
Because it is indeed increasingly relevant for today’s super busy, highly-stressed, technology-based society - this was true even pre-pandemic, and it’s now even more important for our health and wellbeing to get back to nature, to connect with the natural ways of being.
And one of the most powerful and potent ways to do this, is to work with my beloved Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. In Chinese Medicine, we look to nature as our guide on how to view things, so we see our bodies as smaller representations of the wider world around us.
I’m sure you’re already aware of many healing modalities that have the Elements at the core of their teachings, such as astrology, Ayurvedic medicine, or even yoga - but whereas these traditions usually have four Elements, we have five in Chinese Medicine, and they are slightly different.
As acupuncturists, we have Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood as our Five Elements, and each one has an associated set of emotions and behaviours, a certain taste, smell, colour and sound, plus a whole heap of other connected resonances and associations, including a linked season, which is where we can start to bring in this ancient wisdom into our daily lives and our businesses now.
Spring is the season associated with the Wood Element, and just like a tree in nature, it has a very upwards and outwards energy, like the branches reaching up and out towards the sky. It is the season where things start to get moving again, start growing again, start blossoming and blooming again, after the stillness and hibernation of Winter that came before it.
And this applies to us, too. It’s a time where we can start to move forward in our lives again, to pick up projects that we put down during the winter, or get out onto social media again after stepping back during the quieter, more inward season. It is this positive, busy, expansive and increasing spring yang energy we can really tap into at this time of year.
And we should. It is what nature is encouraging us to do now, and this is the key - to live in sync with the energy of the seasons, to listen to, and honour, the messages Mother Earth has for us. Not only does this mean that we are more in flow and alignment in our lives and our businesses, allowing the vibe of the dominant energies to support us, it is also vital to maintain physical and emotional health in THIS season and beyond.
Things we can do now, as spring arrives, to really embody this season’s energy are:
1. VISIONING + PLANNING
The Wood Element’s associated sense organ is the eyes - we often “see” things differently during the spring. And if we took the time to pause and reflect inwards during winter, as that season asks us to, then we may now start to bring more clarity around what’s next for us. We can actually “see” it more clearly, or indeed see an entirely new project come into focus. The Wood energy in spring also supports us to make goals and plans that work positively towards our bigger vision. Sidenote: If you tried to do this kind of work at the start of the year, during the Winter months, you may find you need to revisit your visions / goals / plans, as the appropriate energy was not available to support this kind of Q1 or whole of 2021 planning. It’s here now, so let’s get going!
2. GET MOVING
The liver is one of the Wood Element’s associated organs and part of its function in Chinese Medicine is to help move Qi (energy) throughout the body smoothly and evenly. When Qi is not flowing smoothly in our bodies, we get stagnation and pain. This can show itself in symptoms such as high stress levels, migraines, IBS, headaches, tight shoulders, painful necks and so on. And on a more philosophical or spiritual level, this can also be the case when we feel stuck and stagnant in our lives or businesses, when things aren’t FLOWING as they should be. Wood Element emotions of frustration, anger or “not fair” feelings may also show up when Qi is stagnant. Things may have felt this way with the pandemic keeping us “stuck” in one place - physically, emotionally and / or with where we want to take our businesses next, especially if we have any in-person aspects.
To help the Wood Element do its job efficiently, physical movement is a great way to move Qi in the body. And the brighter, lighter, warmer yang energy of spring certainly encourages us to do this more. A good old stomp outdoors in nature, when we have been sat at the computer for too long, or when we want to get “unstuck” around something, can be the perfect remedy to get the Qi (and the ideas) flowing again.
3. ACTIVATE + DETOX
With its associated organs of the liver and the gallbladder, spring is the best time to detox. That could be physical - the Wood Element taste is “sour” so drinking warm lemon water or apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning can help to activate these organ functions of detoxification and ensuring smooth movement of Qi.
Or it could be time to detox other aspects of your life. Get rid of parts of your business that don’t bring you joy, or don’t flow anymore. If you can outsource certain tasks that slow you down, or create stagnation in your work, do that. Any clients that are no longer a good fit, or now feel less positive and perhaps more toxic (with a lowercase T), then this Wood energy can support you in detoxing them now. Do a spring clean of your email list or Facebook friends - those who aren’t supporting your growth, your movement forward, or your upward and outward expansion (think tree vibes), then maybe it’s time for them to go. Just be mindful that Wood energy in spring can also be strong and punchy, so detoxing people from your life or your business may trigger this kind of response - tread carefully! But the important thing is YOUR big vision, your legacy, and focusing on growing that right now.
The beauty of working with the Five Elements in this way, as I do inside my monthly SACRED REST SUBSCRIPTION, is that it allows us to see why some things are easier at certain times of the year, or why we - or those around us - might get triggered by certain things. It has deep roots in the notion of seasonal living, and the importance of that in our modern daily lives.
When we live this way, we can allow ourselves to be supported by the seasonal energy, the messages, and the wisdom. It can help us to understand why we might be feeling a certain way, and why some stuff could be coming up for us. The reason can usually be found within the Element energy / challenges / themes / gifts / vibes of that season.
If we work with the seasonal energy, instead of pushing against, resisting, or feeling in conflict around what the rest of society is telling us we should be doing - if we really go with it and immerse ourselves fully in it, that is where we get the most benefits, healing, and overall health.
If you wish to tap into, fully embody, and be guided by the energy of this season, with channelled and encoded meditation, gentle energy work, yoga nidra using the acupuncture meridians of the liver and gallbladder, breathwork, and more Chinese Medicine wellness wisdom, then get the replay of my SPRING EQUINOX SESSION now. The energy is just as potent if you listen to it any time during the season of spring. And sign up to the waitlist for my beautiful, new and upcoming Five Element oracle deck - https://linktr.ee/rg_acupuncture
Originally published in Issue 1 · March/April 2021 · Spring Equinox issue of SOULACY.
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