Or to put it another way … you’ve got to be in it to win it. Which means, essentially, you need to show up and open up to opportunities. To risk a daily habit of vulnerability that’s cultivated by committing to your goals, plans, and visions. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the digestive channels that feed our dreams as well as our bodies by fueling our patience to persevere. Just one more great reason to nourish ourselves in a healthy way!
Neck and shoulder tension/pain is the number one complaint that brings patients to me for acupuncture. Since Chinese medicine sees no separation between body and mind, we acupuncturists recognize neck and shoulder issues as pent-up frustration/anger/resentment from “shouldering” too many responsibilities and worries. I often explain to patients that it’s like they are carrying around two 60-lb. suitcases – a burden I help them learn they can set down. Deep belly breathing, stretching, massage, and yoga are all effective remedies for this “boulders on the shoulders” syndrome – which frees up energy for more positive, pleasurable pursuits.
In ancient China, it was said the Emperor always faced South to keep a “good fortune” mindset. This practice illustrates how a “glass is half full” outlook is achieved by focusing our attention on all the good in life. There is inevitably something positive to experience if we look for it!
In Chinese medicine, the lung meridian helps us create healthy boundaries when it’s well aspected – but if we’ve suffered loss or disappointment, the energy normally used to create boundaries can be misappropriated into masks. Truly there’s a reason why the lung resides within a rib “cage” – we can effectively shut down our authentic selves when we feel unsafe through shallow breathing. To practice reclaiming who we really are, we can begin by laughing heartily at every opportunity! Laughter opens the rib cage and allows us to reconnect to all that we feel, so we can then start speaking from our deepest truth.
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. Yet often we find that first step to be the hardest. Going for an actual walk daily is a great way to begin moving toward a goal. From a Chinese medicine perspective, walking stimulates the lung and liver meridians; activating the lung helps establish a healthy new routine, while energizing the liver brings life to dreams and visions. If we are thus actively engaged and invested in reaching our destination, whatever presently surrounds us ceases to matter.
This Japanese proverb reminds us that toddlers are great role models for how to be successful. Have you ever watched a 12-month old? They live for fun! They feel good about themselves. They are spontaneous and stay in the moment. And if they fall, not getting up again is never an option.