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April 2, 2013 / Karen R Adams

surf the wind

cherry blossom aveSpring hasn’t really sprung this year.  In fact, it’s been a little sneaky.  The light is telling us we’ve moved ahead, but the temperatures just don’t seem to be keeping up.  The light is drawing us forward, but the cold temperatures haven’t let us go.  It’s disconcerting, because we can’t seem to rely on spring being spring.

In Five Element acupuncture, the energetic of Spring is Wind.  Past springs have been all about windy Wind, tossing trees and leaves around, the evidence of  the explosive release of life that has been dormant all Winter into sudden, rapid growth, vigorous and unstoppable.  This Spring has felt more like the Wind hasn’t really been released yet, so it’s just building up, battering away, trying to get free and do it’s thing.  Have you seen how that shows up in you?

Wind is change in Chinese Medicine.  Change has to happen.  In fact, change does happen, even when it feels like it’s not.  Blocked change is still a manifestation of Wind, and it makes us feel constrained and frustrated.

Since the very basic cause of all dis-ease is our response to change (or the lack of  change), it’s a good idea for us to learn how to adapt well, to surf the Wind.  The Wood Element, as represented by our Liver and Gall Bladder, governs our eyes and our sinews.  In order to plan, to be creative, to respond to life, to change, we need to be flexible.   We need to be able to see and adapt.

When Wood in us is balanced, we have the vision to plan and strategize, and the strength and flexibility to adapt those plans and strategies as needed.  We see where we want to go, plan how to get there, and modify those plans as we go along.  I imagine this is what it’s like to surf, moving and adapting in response to the challenges of the constantly-shifting ocean waves.

It can all go horribly wrong if we lose sight of where we want to go, or stiffen up and resist the changes.  Then obstacles defeat us, and we get discouraged, or become frustrated and irritable.  We become resistant to change or frustrated by the lack of it, deeply unhappy and then sick.

So… surf the Wind.  I happen to love the Wind – the windy Wind and the Wind that is Change.  Because I feel attuned to it, I recognize when I’m out of alignment with it.  Over time I’ve gathered tools to help stay in alignment, to be able to surf the Wind.  Here are some for you to apply as needed:

  • Stretch the sinews.  Do some Yoga, Tai Chi, or simple body twists (which activate the Gall Bladder channel) as you start your day, or before any physical activity.  These are particularly useful when you feel frustrated.
  • Take a walk.  Wood hates to be constrained, so when you’re feeling pissy, move.  Do the stretches at least.  Even better, walk around, even if it’s just around the block.
  • Support your Wood through foods that taste sour: lemon, vinegar, wild rice, tomatoes, apples, yogurt.  Not a lot; just add some to what you already eat.
  • Begin to add green food to your diet, especially greens that grow up and out, like the energy of Spring.  Dandelion greens, beet tops, cilantro, asparagus are all good to incorporate into your diet.
  • Change your thinking.  Resistance is constraint, especially in the ways we react to life events.  Remember that bit of wisdom: the only thing we can control is hjumping lambow we react to something.  Choose to find a way to soften your thinking when change slaps at you.

It really is a grand time of year
Wind can be exhilarating as well as challenging.  Remember that what matters in staying healthy is not the Wind, the Change, but how we respond to it.  So go ahead.  Surf the Wind.  You’ll see.  It’ll be a blast!

One Comment

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  1. Carolyn Asbury / Apr 25 2013 2:49 pm

    As I left the Dragon’s Way Deep Dive Retreat a few weekends ago my cd player had an old Jesse Collin Young album, Elephant Mountain, qued up. Ride the Wind is the final song on it and I’ve been playing it frequently ever since. It just feels right. Now I know why!

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