There are not many things with staying power which bring quick fixes. Depth can not be rushed; it takes time and pressure. When it comes to this energetic season of growth, these are things I’m recognizing more and more. Spring is the season of Wood. We often talk (and feel) the importance of breaking out of the winter darkness, springing into action, making plans. There’s a palpable stirring. Sometimes we feel like something needs to happen. It could be as micro as, I need to book up my summer with all the amazing things or this closet HAS to get organized now. It could be as macro as, I need to shift the course of my life, go back to school, get a new job, move, etc.
I've had the help of nature, herself, to help me reflect on some of the energetics of the season. My husband, daughter, and I are lucky to have a spacious backyard with some pretty giant evergreens. We also live fairly close to the Columbia River which brings intense wind gusts. Recently, I was sitting and watching the trees withstand some strong gales. I thought about how much time their growth took, how rooted they must and have to be, how their branches are organically grown in ways to not weigh them down in one direction or another, all to be able to hold up against this wind. Getting to a solid place internally and externally takes time. The depth of the trees’ roots took pressure. No one is that stoked in the long game about the daffodils that you buy at Trader Joe’s which die the next day (that’s Fire, which brings its own sort of quick joy for the heart). But Wood is about long game growth and inner peace in our directions, plans, and actions. In all of this, I’ve been encouraging people to still find ways for deep rest, nourishment, and quietude. Water engenders Wood in the 5 Element cycle. Water is the deep darkness where innate wisdom is pulled from. We still need to be tapping into these introverted moments to feed our growth.
My tips for down regulating, finding patience, and rest during this season that begs for growth:
Journal - general thoughts, plans, make to-do lists, all before you go to bed. Get it all out so you’re not waking between 1-3am and trying to process it then. Your sleep is sacred (I say as a mother of a toddler….)
Turn your phone off or place it way in the corner of the room after 7pm. 7-9pm is the time of the Pericardium, or heart protector. It is the time to be connecting to and bringing into your heart what is most important to you; people, activities, anything filled with nourishment. Obviously, if it’s a phone call to your sibling, parent, loved one, that’s a different story, but mindless scrolling, be gone. 9-11pm is the time of the Triple Heater, a meridian in Chinese medicine which brings homeostasis to the body. Winding the body down at this time is imperative for grounded sleep and overall wellbeing in the body.
Lemon balm and mint are my favorite herbs to incorporate into teas and water during this season. If you are in Portland, OR, both are sprouting up everywhere right now. It’s nature’s way of innately keeping us in balance. Lemon balm is great for calming nerves and anxiety and mint gently moves liver qi.
Get acupuncture. Acupuncture is so amazing at down regulating your nervous system and centering your spirit. Plus, the time on the table in stillness with your body, away from emails, texting, work, and all the apps, is healing and grounding in and of itself.
Be well, sweet humans.