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.
The Earth realm gives us access to insights that have been buried deep in our psyche, that come to us in our sleep through our dreams. Unlike the visionary clarity and imaginative guidance that characterize information from the Heaven realm, our deepest fears and unremembered influences reside in the Earth realm. —The Way of Joy
I have been feeling off-and-on again stuck these days as I grapple with some fundamental questions about my business. When I’m actually doing what I do for a living— performing theater, presenting or teaching classes in qigong, improvisation, expressive arts and communication—I’m fine. I feel like I’m soaring and, at the same time, grounded in my confidence.
It is when I try to articulate what it is I do—i.e. inspiring people to better health so they have more energy to do what they want to do in their lives—that I feel uncertain, incomplete, mute.
Ironically I have (literally) hundreds of testimonials from students about the profound impact my work has had in their lives, yet still I find myself churning with the how-tos of translation. I think I get stuck in an old familial Pavlovian response—that to talk about what I do is to Boast, Be Unattractive, Turn People Off.
In an earlier vlog (and in my book) I spoke about the “Three Realms of Consciousness”—Heaven, Human and Earth. These old messages I’ve been grappling with are an aspect of the Earth realm (jing) which consists of whatever has formed you, made you the person you are including your unconscious expressed through your dream world.
The good news is that the Earth realm is where “composting” happens, where pain, difficulties and trauma, as well as outdated conditioning from the past, have the potential to become food for strength instead of a weakness that siphons off our life force.
Can you remember a time when you weren’t getting to the heart of what you want in your relationships, work or personal life, then stopped struggling and your answer emerged?
Because the Dragon year holds the energy of growth, change, innovation and leadership, this is a fantastic time to consider how you are growing, changing, innovating and leading in both your personal life and in the ways you contribute to your greater community and the world. Bigger than life, the Dragon is traditionally considered to be a symbol of good fortune with an enterprising, independent, and ambitious spirit.
Water has a calming influence on Dragon so s/he is a little less bombastic and overbearing than the other elements. More perceptive, empathic, and able to “go with the flow,” the Water Dragon is able to take leadership by working with others in teams and fostering cooperation and creative exchange.
2012 is a time of transformation. Because water feeds the wood element within the Five Element cycle, and wood, the home element of the Dragon, signifies the growth of spring, this is a great time to focus on what you want to grow and transform in the months ahead. It’s time to think out of the box! After all the dragon, so huge, you can’t see its head and tail at the same time, would never fit in that box anyway.
What innovative vision will you carry as you ride the back of the Water Dragon in the year to come?
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.