Wednesday, June 13, 2012
During the summer months, it is hot, sometimes scorching, the sun is out in full force, everything is in bloom, and people are outside gettin their active on! In TCM we refer to the summer season as the time of the FIRE element. As you remember, there are 5 elements, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. This time of year is considered the most YANG. Winter would be the most YIN.Fire is expansive, it rises (just like actual fire), it spreads rapidly, it can start internal fires so to speak, it is active, masculine, explosive (think of a volcano), quick, rapid, boiling, dry, etc. I love the warmth but sometimes it does get a tad too hot even for me. This extreme heat can lead to irritability in some which can then leave you feeling tired and run down. One of the most functional and simple things we can do to combat the effects of the environment on us to is use food as therapy. The cool thing about TCM and other modalities is that they truly view food as carrying vital energy. One easy way to distinguish an energy-rich, vital food from a not so vital food is simple, ask yourself one question, is it in a package? Most foods in packages that contain a plethora of ingredients (which most you can't even pronounce) are void of any life force, energy, vitality, essential nutrients. According to TCM theory, all foods have different tastes, sour, sweet, pungent, bitter, and salty. It is important to eat a balance of all the tastes. Foods are also either hot or cold, warm or cool. Depending on your personal constitution and the environmental factors that surround you, you can use foods to promote more balance. During the summer months, it makes sense to eat more cooling foods, to soothe the fire. However, at the same time, it is not advised to just eat cold and cool foods, it's all about balance. By eating too many cold and cool foods, you can actually produce dampness in the body which can then lead to heat, specifically damp-heat, especially if you live in humid and hot climates such as the southeast or the like. MOst foods that are cooling, that will essentially balance the Yin and Yang within you are foods that are naturally in season right now! Cooling Produce- -asparagus -watermelon -cucumber -celery -berries -avocado -fennel -figs -lettuce -green beans -summer squash -mint Cooling grains include- -barley -millet -amaranth Cooling protein sources- -almonds (soaked preferably) -beans (such as mung, great northern, etc) -yogurt (Organic Raw if possible) -Fish (they come from the ocean which is very YIN in nature- dark, cold, wet) Cooling Sea Vegetables- -dulce -kombu -nori Sea Vegetables are very great for cooling you off during the summer, they live at the bottom of the sea which is cool, calm and quiet to balance out summer's dry, blazing heat.
Death and Dying Do you ever stop and realize that so many people are attached to the idea of living to be 100 years old? It is kind of interesting to me as some of these people seem to not truly be happy where they are now, however it is really not my place to judge that. I began thinking about this notion of living to be 100 yrs old...why do we want to prolong the lifetime past when nature wants to pull the plug? Would we rather be connected to a feeding tube in a hospital or nursing home rather than just pass along when it is time? It seems as though we are in a time where reversing the clock and aging process is the ultimate goal, so much that we are not enjoying where we are in this moment. I am a firm believer that we can indeed age gracefully and beautifully and savor every moment of it! Do we want to prolong this lifetime out of fear? Fear of the unknown? And in the unknown we have no control over what happens next? Is it more comforting to reside in a lifeless existence where at least we know what lies before us, even if it is just in a vegetable state? A book I have been reading lately, WALKING THROUGH ILLUSION by BETSY THOMPSON really captivates an alluring and fascinating concept of the dying process. One idea that is mentioned that I really resonate with is that death really should not be feared for it's not an ending of anything but rather a new journey of the soul. "Death had to be real to be feared. When I knew death was impossible, I couldn't fear something I knew did not exist." The idea of time is discussed but not the way we think of time...according to Thompson the soul lives in emotion rather than time. To the soul, one moment is more meaningful than eons if something wonderful is happening in it. To me this sums up so much of how I try to live my life. You hear the saying, "Quality over Quantity"...one beautiful and genuine moment is so much more satisfying and rewarding than years of torment. What do we give in our lifetime and what do we receive? Do we have any control or power or choice in this? Yes! Absolutely we do! "Fear came from giving fear, stress came from giving stress, judgment came from giving judgment." What we put out we in turn receive, simple! You can tell what you are transmitting by what you are getting....in order to get different "packages" from the universe simply change what you are sending out. Reincarnation- do you believe you have lived many lives, been here before, are an old soul, known someone in a past life? The author eludes to the notion that our soul plans journeys following the succession of this one, and in all of these journeys or incarnations we live what we have previously judged. SO when we think about these ideas of growth and reincarnation of the soul,we can start to live more loving and compassionate in this lifetime. How am I perceiving the world around me and how am I perceiving myself? Are these two perceptions related? If I begin to express more love and less judgment toward others how will I begin to start seeing myself? 'THE WORST THAT HAS EVER BEEN IS STILL A MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE'
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
How many times do we feel compelled to jump on a bandwagon of sorts only to find out later that it really is not what our heart longs for? Hmmm, well I can say for myself that I have jumped on many planes, trains, and automobiles over the course of my life and some I stay on, some I resent, some I realize I am not fulfilled yet I stay anyways, and then sometimes I will recognize my voice within telling me 'this is not serving YOU' and I take a leap of faith and jump off only to find REALLY what MY heart longs for...it is through my experience that we sometimes have to have these times of 'trial and growth' to identify over and over what makes us alive. What makes someone else vibrant may not make another vibrant...it is OUR PERSONAL JOURNEY...we all have many teachers and providers along the way that help to show us the path to our heart, but it is us individually that has to recognize our INTUITION and lean into it and TRUST it. I do feel that my intuition is the voice of truth for me and that my body is wise and speaks honestly to me. I will admit, sometimes I still question its integrity, however, through experiences I continue to literally feel my body speak to me, saying "Go this way" or "Yes, this is serving you"...when I stray from my intuition and go by EGO, well it doesnt take long before i am simply not able to be myself and contribute to this beautiful life. When I am running on self will I will make choices based on what others 'expect' of me, or even what I believe they expect of me...I will forget to breathe and check in with myself, I will become obsessed with minute details, I will become unhappy. This is a process of being a human being and is OKAY...it is alright because thankfully we gain SELF AWARENESS which can allow us to feel the discord and gain clarity on if this situation or way of living is servinng our highest potential or not. WHen I feel the discord, it's usually safe to say I am not conducting my self in a way that is beneficial to my spirit. Thank Heavens for this! The discord to me represents me identifying myself with something that simply is not true to me or of me. Some may say ILLUSION...when I feel anxiety I am attaching myself to something that is not real. It is so simple, yet when you are in in, it feels somewhat like you've lost your path...really we never lose our connection to Source I feel, we just simply forget we are already there. Today I am thankful for these life experiences that challenge me and enlighten me, that allow me to see and feel what i really want. To allow yourself to be happy I continue to learn is truly the marker of peace and serenity. So now I feel as though I am yet again embarking on new terrain and how miraculous it feels, to allow yourself to experience life in a fresh space with fresh eyes and an open heart...