Reprinted from Feb 2020 newsletter
As we delight in the approach of spring, we notice that there is a special energy associated only with this season of renewal.
This is an invigorating time with energy rising throughout nature and within us; think baby birds, seedlings thrusting up through the earth and our own spring cleaning, innovation and new projects. Winter is finally over. All the ideas that have been percolating during the long winter nights can now flourish.
In the Chinese Five Phase Theory, spring is described as the Wood Phase. There are certain attributes corresponding to this Phase: the liver organ, the eye sense organ, the sour taste, the color green, the wood element, and the resolving of anger with forgiveness and kindness. Particular virtues may be more prevalent in spring such as strength, expansiveness, harmony, flexibility and softness.
Throughout spring, qi arises in us from lower dan tian (lower abdomen) into middle dan tian (chest area) and in particular into the liver. This stimulates a fresh infusion of energy and vitality to detoxify the liver and support blood circulation.
Anger may arise more suddenly in spring. This can be beneficial as it may give us the opportunity to see where a wrong needs to be righted. Using a lit match as an example of beneficial anger, it burns bright for a short time and then goes out. This type of anger can spark our passion to work for causes that we care about. And it can ultimately lead us towards more kindness.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu
Stagnant anger is the challenging (often called ‘negative’) emotion of the spring season. As part of being human, we all experience anger. When it lingers too long within us it can cause stagnation, destructive actions and even illness. Liver stagnation and anger can be dispersed through cultivating forgiveness and kindness. Using this as an intention during qigong movement and meditation practices is very effective. During each spring qigong practice it is important that movements gather and absorb fresh qi into your body and circulate it properly throughout your whole being. During meditation, focus on harnessing the spring energy to help clear your mind of thoughts from the past and cultivate kindness for yourself and others in the present.
If you feel you need extra support through diet, acupuncture, herbs and/or other modalities, please pursue these. Remember to eat and/or drink your green foods to support detoxification and resolution of anger. You can also support internal cleansing by cleaning up and removing clutter in your home environment. Spring cleaning on the inside and outside is a great way to clear the cobwebs of winter and create a clean slate to start anew once again.
Happy and Abundant Spring!