We’ve all experienced that Monty Python “wafer thin mint” moment. The point in time when it finally sinks in that we’ve been way over our own internal line in the sand for way too long. Often that stark clarity comes when, metaphorically speaking, our backs are breaking from the burden of carrying around two 60-lb. suitcases. Why do we do that? From a Chinese medicine perspective, an imbalanced lung meridian can lead to low self esteem and poor boundary setting. Balancing the lung through deep belly breathing, hiking in nature, and affirming, “I easily release what needs to go and receive what needs to come” truly help one to choose when enough is indeed enough.
Anxiety is rooted in childhood. From a Chinese medicine perspective, if an overly anxious parent is feeding a baby, then the little one comes to associate nourishment and receiving with fear. That child may then grow into a nervous adult, one who has trouble self-nurturing and who may choose a selfish or abusive partner that mirrors the “love equals fear” emotional programming within. Such fear-based ways of being lead us to try and control every aspect of life in order to foster a feeling of safety. Practicing deep breathing, eating in a relaxed manner, walking in nature, and affirming, “I am safe and all is well” can help curb fear and cultivate instead a calm centeredness.
Barbara Haines Howlett
And so it is with the mystical magic of metamorphosis. This type of radical transformation usually happens in humans after extreme emotional experiences. We tend to crash and burn our way through deaths, losses, and betrayals. And just when it seems it’s all been for naught – when the tank’s on empty and we’re wondering how we’ll ever rock this new norm of rock bottom – then something shifts. Somehow, by hanging in there past the point of reason or reasonable hope, we get a second wind. And a second chance emerges. In Chinese medicine, it’s the channels governing digestion that also give us the patience and endurance to keep on keeping on. And so through practicing deep breathing and proper nutrition, we can emerge from our dark night of the soul with a newfound knowing that we’re back and more beautiful than ever before.
Being overly critical, from a Chinese medicine perspective, is rooted in an out-of-balance lung meridian. Often born of unresolved grief or loss, judging others can make us habitually so nitpicky that people are more than likely walking on eggshells around us. And yet all folks who continually find fault with others are actually even more relentlessly harsh when it comes to themselves. When we are thus judging, we cannot at the same time be feeling love, and so constant criticism is an energy state that depletes and defeats any momentum we are gaining toward a calm, grounded, and balanced state within. By practicing deep breathing, feeling compassion, walking in nature, and affirming, “All is well and unfolding perfectly according to Divine timing”, we can help soften and shape our Inner Critic into a hopeful, helping hand.
Winning or losing, energetically speaking, comes down to how you perceive what’s happened. Perhaps you don’t cross the finish line first in that 5K, yet you post a personal best time. Or maybe you don’t get the job offer you were expecting, but instead meet a meaningful contact who networks you into your next position. If you cultivate a positive outlook through deep breathing, proper nutrition, nature walks, and the affirmation, “Life is always working out for me”, then in no time it will seem like Lady Luck keeps smiling on you. And no matter what hand you’ve been dealt, you’ll begin to feel like you’re always playing your cards right.
Standing still for a moment, from a Chinese medicine perspective, can help us become more centered and grounded. Yet standing still for too long invites stagnation, stifling our ability to step forward at all. And so to encourage healthy movement toward goals and dreams, practice deep breathing, walking in nature, stretching, and repeating the affirmation, “I am learning, growing, and gaining momentum every day at a pace that’s perfect for me”.