Modern living has conditioned us to equate happiness with how much we earn or accumulate. Yet from a Chinese medicine perspective, neither a big bank account nor a Benz in the driveway truly brings lasting joy. In Asian philosophy, it’s how our heart – our metaphorical Emperor or Supreme Ruler – feels that’s the biggest bliss factor. For most of us, we feel our best when we allow ourselves to move beyond seeking and striving. When we stop doing and start BEING. And so once we quiet life’s distractions and make time for meditating, deep breathing, walking in nature, soaking in hot baths, and eating nurturing foods, we realize how simply “being” brings an inner smile that no outer trappings of success can match.
Have you ever considered that, instead of living, you’re really moving safely toward death? If you died today, would your tombstone read, “Achieved an 800+ credit score”? And if that thought strikes a nerve, can you honestly say this is how you want your life – and legacy – to be? From a Chinese medicine perspective, an out-of-balance lung meridian can make us feel overly protective and keep us choosing safety over spirit-soaring YESES. Deep belly breathing and walks in nature can help free us to color outside the lines … and ultimately live for fun instead of forever putting off the very things that light us up.
Martin Luther King Jr
Experiencing love and power at their best is what the great Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking about here. From a Chinese medicine perspective, our deepest core power is governed by the kidney meridian, which bestows strength and endurance and wisdom to the heart – our Inner Emperor – whose love then accepts and embraces the kidneys’ gifts. To ensure this inner axis of self-empowered love stays as balanced as possible, it’s important to nurture the kidneys and heart through deep breathing, spending time in nature and with pleasurable pursuits, earthing with bare feet to the ground for at least 20 minutes, and getting adequate rest. By caring for ourselves in these ways, we can be assured our power and love are mutually supporting and sustaining us so we can begin to see ourselves at our best every day.
When we feel like we can’t possibly hear one more “no”, cry one more tear, or take one more step, that’s when true courage can well up as the still, small voice within. Gently encouraging and inspiring us to keep on keeping on, even when we feel we’ve lost all our ability to act. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the deep essence of the Kidney meridian that can replenish our depleted reserves. And so nurturing Kidney energy through proper rest, deep breathing, earthing with bare feet to the ground for at least 20 minutes daily, and practicing yoga will bring up a grit and gumption for going on that’s beyond anything we ever thought possible.
Buoyantly bubbly in nature, hope is our inner cheerleader, rooting us on no matter what external circumstances are showing us the “score” is. From a Chinese medicine perspective, hope wells up from the kidney’s deep essence and is carried upward and outward along the liver’s pathway. And so nourishing the kidney and liver channels through deep breathing, proper rest, good nutrition, daily stretching, and walking in nature will nurture your Pollyanna tendencies and cultivate a true “can do” attitude.
Dreams need to be big enough to scare us; they must spring from our deepest passions or else they won’t ever burn brightly enough to light us up totally. Yet it’s common to feel overwhelmed while staring at a far-off summit when we have no idea how we can even begin our ascent. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the channels governing digestion that also allow us simply to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. By moving in such a slow and steady way, we learn to be present in the moment at hand as opposed to lamenting the prior pathway or worrying about step #2,164 that lies somewhere ahead. When we eat healthfully, exercise regularly, reduce stress consistently, and allow for progress step by gradual step, we cultivate the balance and patience needed to make even the most daunting dream doable.