According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and about a gazillion other nature-based systems of healing, Spring is the optimal time for birthing/rebirthing, creativity, cleansing, and nurturing growth. But what does that mean, exactly? It means that this season provides us with the upward rising, forward moving energy we need to face challenge and opportunity – two inevitable aspects of life. It means that if we have any longing stirring within us, for something new, for something to be different, then this is quite possible the BEST time of year to make those shifts because we have the energy of the season supporting us.
Whatever you have left that is unresolved in your heart, now is the time to chip away at its transformation. We repeat what we don’t repair, after all. And with access to this new energy, we get yet another chance to do things differently this year.
If you’re familiar with my work and that of the Five-Elements, then you know that Spring is associated with the Wood Element. When the Wood Element is out of balance, it is typically an indication of stagnation or depletion in the Liver and this imbalance often reveals itself through feelings of irritation, anger, resentment, PMS, emotional rollercoaster-y feelings, and digestive challenges. And with our emotions all backed up – we often physically back up, too leaving us constipated. And another big symptom of Wood imbalance? Waking consistently during Liver and Gallbladder time, the two organs associated with the Wood Element (11pm-3am).
As the days begin to get longer and we feel the change in the air, we’re likely at some point to feel the energetic pull to increase movement and activity. With the warmer temperatures, it’s very easy to want to ‘hit the pavement’ and move quickly from the yin of Winter to the yang energy of Summer. Though I recommend taking this transition a little bit more slowly. I know we are all eager beavers after so much restraint in 2020…but here’s the thing: you don’t want to burn your fire too hot, too early. If you do, you will burn out before the years’ end.
Though some sprouts can grow as much as an inch or more in a day, they are still fragile little beings and if they get even a little off of their routine, they can wither and die.
In feeling this surge of energy, it’s extra important to love on your Liver and Gallbladder during this time of year as it’s responsible for ensuring the smooth flow of Qi throughout our entire bodies and sets us up for a successful rest of the year.
Signs of an Unbalanced Wood Element:
- Repressed anger or experiences of rage
- Feeling out of control of your emotions
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Bloodshot, painful, or burning eyes
- Nausea, vomiting, belching, sour stomach
- Loud voice (even when you are not trying to be loud)
- Caffeine/work addiction
- Tired but wired when it comes time for bed
5 Ways to Support Yourself (And Your Liver-Gallbladder!)
- Take cues from the seasonal changes – take it slow
- Express, don’t repress, your emotions (ALL of them, in a regulated safe way)
- Create a vision board to keep your eyes on the prize – what are you doing all this for anyway?
- Sip on some warm lemon ginger mint tea – this will help you to clear out your LV and GB
- Practice more vigorous movement like yoga or going for a brisk walk or run!
- Eat more sour foods like citrus and vinegar-based foods (sauerkraut, yum!)
- Drink hibiscus and lemon balm tea to soothe your nerves and gently cleanse your organs
Each of these supportive methods nourish a balanced Wood Element, support the functioning and detoxification of the Liver, and engage creative connections between ourselves and this amazing planet we find ourselves on. This is a magically potent time of soaking in all the leftover slow motion vibes from Winter while dreaming up what we want for our future and how we’re going to take action to call it into our lives. This is how we get the chance to repair what needs repairing so we don’t keep repeating.