When the going gets tough, the tough sink into their deepest energies for the never-give-up, never-give-in road ahead. From a Chinese medicine perspective, this doubling down and dropping into essence calls on the kidney meridian or water element within. As the strongest element, water is capable of weakening earth to mud, extinguishing fire, eroding metal, and rotting wood. And so to foster our watery reserves, it’s important to practice deep belly breathing while allowing adequate time for meditation and rest. By nurturing ourselves in these ways, our inner wells will always be replenished and ready to fuel the journey forward.
Big ideas and bold actions nearly always begin as nagging whispers and intuitive nudges. Crazy notions, some would say, as they can’t quite fathom the vision urging you – Quixote-like – toward your windmills. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the liver meridian (or wood element, represented metaphorically by a tree) that governs the creativity and outside-the-box thinking that are hallmarks of a visionary ahead of his or her time. For such a tree to grow big and strong, it must be planted in nurturing earth – which, in Chinese medicine, correlates to our digestion channels. And so cultivating better digestion through proper diet, daily walks in nature, and deep belly breathing will provide a firm foundation for rooting your dreams so they can sprout and expand your reality.
Whatever wrongs we see in this world cannot be made right through our righteous indignation. No matter how heartfelt or well-intentioned. Because from an energetic perspective, we cannot be in judgment and feel love at the same time. And so if we can accept that love heals all, we owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, our plant and animal friends, and Mother Earth to drop our judgments. Set down our weapons. And embrace everyone and everything we encounter on our daily walk through chaos as an individual spark of the Divine. Even the ones perpetuating the pain. Especially them! Because at one time, all abusers have been abused. And we cannot fix that – ever – with an eye-for-an-eye attitude. Only with love. And perhaps only when we can practice hugging all that is – atrocities and all – will we begin to embrace planetary healing at its full potential.
Grief, disappointment, and loss all can be felt so profoundly and can penetrate so deeply that we truly never see the world in the same way again. From a Chinese medicine perspective, such wounding affects the heart – which is the metaphorical Emperor of the body – and as such, rules how we navigate life. Yet the choice remains ours as to whether we will be broken by what happens to us – or broken open. In my romantic fantasy “Atlantis Writhing”, the character Alaric shows us what it looks like to refuse to be reduced by unimaginable pain. And that requires looking at our shattered pieces and accepting there is no “spiritual super glue” that can ever recreate what once was. But that in the shattering, we lose our old armoring, too. Fear never actually feels the same once you’ve faced the worst. And so if we can take away from our traumatic experiences the knowing that we survived our worst-case scenario, we can have a newfound grace and gratitude for each precious moment moving forward.
Sometimes life can feel like pushing a boulder up a mountain. When we experience resistance and everything seems difficult, our energies tend to stagnate from a Chinese medicine perspective. The Taoist way toward allowing all things to be possible is to shift perspective and consciously become more like water. Flowing instead of forcing. Is an obstacle an insurmountable burden or an opportunity to choose an easier way? By practicing deep breathing and affirming “I sail easily through life”, the path moves freely forward instead of being fraught with hardships.
Prepping and planning are all well and good – until perfecting becomes a very clever form of procrastinating. From a Chinese medicine perspective, an imbalanced lung meridian can keep us indefinitely in a holding pattern of gathering data or going to school without ever putting what we’ve learned into practice. The result is a never-ending state of getting ready instead of getting out in the world and getting our hands dirty. By deep breathing and affirming, “I take action easily every day on my ideas”, we can actually turn dreaming into doing.