This is one of my favorite practices to do, especially at this time of year, during the winter season. In fact, I always incorporate it into my annual Nourish the Flame: From Resolutions to Results because it makes such a synergistic contribution to the practices and tools I share.
My wish for you, as we move into the New Year, is vision and sustainability. This little practice might do the trick
Please tell me what happens after you have tried this for 1 day. And it’s not too late to register for Nourish the Flame. If you are coming, do go ahead and begin this water exercise today and support your qi field to maximize the benefits of what we will be doing together on Dec. 30.
“Renegade-Woo” Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, brings together East Coast Attitude and West Coast energy consciousness as a master teacher, transformative speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.
I don’t know about you, but I think this time of year is complex. Invitations pour in to be “out, about, and social” while, at the same time, the days are shorter and the Natural World is reminding us that this is a time for conservation, hibernation and retreat.
One of the ways I ride these contradictions as the holiday season catapults us towards the end of the year is a qigong form called the Crystal Generator, which is a featured practice I offer annually at my Nourish the Flame event. Although I can’t offer the whole thing here, I think if you take about 3 minutes to try out this excerpt, you may find, as I do, that it will become a key sustaining tool to thrive through the season.
Running my home business is one of the many things I’m grateful for in my life. At the same time, I’ve been feeling driven lately—not just to do the work itself, but to learn new tools, find new ways and places I can share my message. That’s all good and seems healthy. The only problem is sometimes I forget that it’s ALSO healthy to breathe and assimilate what I’ve just done, before dashing off to do the Next thing.
In an earlier blog, I talked about how times of contraction and rest are actually an essential part of a strategy for running a home business—that it’s crucial to remember to take a pause “in-between.” But if you’re like me, that can be hard to remember. See, I’m one of those lucky people who absolutely loves the work I do—teaching, healing, writing, performing, and public speaking. I just don’t wanna stop!
What I’ve been realizing lately is that I need to discern the difference between motivation that is vital and coming from Source from the kind of drive or pressure coming out of an underlying, unconscious anxiety and doubt—that no matter what I do, it’s won’t be Enough.
Still, if I drop deeper into the question behind that anxiety—am I doing everything I can for my business?—I realize it’s still of value because I’m passionate about nurturing and sustaining growth anyway I can.
In the end it all comes back to staying in balance. Hmm, time to practice what I teach! This is one of my favorite qi practices to keep me in balance, as I explore, expand, evaluate and play.
What are some of the things you do to create balance in your life?
Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness program, is a teacher, speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to increase awareness, transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy: An Evolutionary Process to Awaken Inspiration, Focus Intention and Manifest Fulfillment, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.
I think of this season as “a sharpened pencil” time of year that carries a “getting ready” feeling in the air— whether in searching for the perfect back-to-school supplies, or in a growing awareness that, whether or not you like it, that the days are slowly but surely getting shorter.
Moving away from the heat of summer into the nip of Autumn reminds me that this is a time of letting go and releasing, composting what you no longer need. Like a tree losing its leaves, we too come back, on an energetic level, to our basic structure. In this way, Fall teaches us to consolidate our energy in preparation for the cold months ahead. This consolidation requires discernment, being able to make choices that are sustainable.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM) Autumn is associated with Metal. Perhaps because I grew up in New York City, where buildings were always being torn down or constructed, I often picture the bare metal framework of high-rises before they are embellished with rooms. Just as metal constitutes the bare bones of the building, Autumn represents a time when you access the bare bones of who you are, the core essence of your body/spirit.
As you might imagine, the TCM (link) emotion associated with all of this release is grief. The primary organ associated with Autumn is the lungs. Just as the wind blows through tree branches, you might find yourself letting go when you take a moment to breathe deeply and allow the feelings that arise to just move through you
The associated organ for Autumn (or the Yang partner of the Yin lungs) is the large intestine, another organ of letting go. Your large intestine rids your body of all the leftover waste material from which you extracted your nourishment. Harriet Beinfeld and Efrem Korngold write in Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese medicine, “By dispelling stale air and excreting turbid matter, the Lung and Large Intestine separate out that which we no longer desire or need.”
Here are a few tips for natural healing to support you to release of pent-up anxiety or stress.
• When you notice that you are feeling “out of sorts” either physically or emotionally, take a deep breath, then breathe out a big loud sigh of release. Let the sensation and sound of that sigh vibrate you down to your very bones.
• As you sit reading your computer screen, give yourself a little shake. Or how about standing up for just 30 seconds and shaking out your arms and legs, or bouncing a little either in your chair or standing. Be sure to keep your knees and ankles soft and pliable.
• Good cooking herbs to support you in the cooling time of the upcoming months of Autumn include: dill, fennel, thyme, ginger root, horseradish, cinnamon, cayenne, basil, and rosemary.
• Dr Linda Berry suggests that you “get out in daylight every day. Even when its not sunny you still catch enough light to stimulate the secretion of the “happy hormone” serotonin.”
• You can increase the benefits of that sun/sky stimulation by opening up your arms as you look up to embrace the sky. Welcome the day with a loud expressive sigh of “WOW”. Or, as the heart-infused Taiji Master, Chungliang Al Huang suggests, give out a nice, big “Ah-Ha!”