By AFEA member Beverly Bragg Ware
We are living in uncertain and unprecedented times. Our lives have shifted dramatically, emotionally, and financially, and there is not a clear path of what the future holds. One might have missed that Saturday marked the first day of Spring. The Season of Spring is associated with the Wood Element. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to hone in on Wood’s energy of hope and optimism during this challenging time.
At the present moment, it is easy to feel lost, uncertain, and hopeless. However, we can call on Wood’s energy of hope, growth, and flexibility. Classical Five Element Professor J.R. Worsley beautifully explains that The Wood Element has “movement that has purpose and forward direction, that can adapt and be flexible in the different situations we are placed.”
We have been thrown a major curve ball, and we have the opportunity to change the course. Wood’s energy bends and is flexible. Think of how branches can bend in the spring’s wind and carry heavy loads without breaking. There are going to be many adjustments to our world, and our flexibility will serve us. We should be able to sprout and shift as the changes continue to come our way; we cannot become rigid or inflexible. In sum, Wood’s energy allows us to bend, not break.
The energy of Wood moves forwards and upwards; giving us direction, vision, and purpose. Having hope in the worst of times gives us the strength and vision to carry on. Having direction and a purpose is necessary. We have direction the with public health directives to disinfect, wash hands, social distance, and importantly a reminder to maintain our health by drinking water, sleeping, and eating well. We have been given purpose by being of service to those in need like our neighbors, elders and immunocompromised.
Now is a time to be thankful for the things we do have: family, friends, fresh air. Doctors and nurses putting their lives on hold to care for others. Take notice of the beautiful events that are occurring right now—there is a united force of people helping one another. People leaning out their balconies in Italy, sending their hearts and voices while being confined inside. Mother Nature is allowed to take a breath. There are dolphins in the Venice canals! There has been so much humor and love shared on social media.
My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Take this time to care of yourself, spend quality time with your family, get fresh air and walk around your neighborhood, and organize that messy closet. Lastly, please remember nature is our guardian and always finds a way and prevails; we will survive this and be stronger than before.
Stay home and stay healthy,
TIPS FOR FLOWING WITH THE WOOD ELEMENT
- Move Right now our energy is springing upwards and we need to move. This may sound challenging while most us are confined to our homes. However, there are plenty of ways to get exercise in the home like yoga, qi gong, pilates, stretching, and walking around the neighborhood. Classical Five Element Acupuncture recognizes how important it is to move our body to prevent stagnation- plus it is a boost for our mental health and immunity.
- Create Get creative, make a plan, change things up to the way you would like. Now is the perfect time to weed out the things you no longer need. We have been given a hard dose of reality and can see more clearly what is is essential in our lives. This is the time to begin new projects for short term and long term goals. Spring is the time to plant new ideas and prepare for the Summer Harvest.
- Emotion The emotion associated with the Wood element is anger. Anger can seem like a negative emotion, but it has positive attributes when expressed appropriately. Anger helps us change direction, pushes us to get things done, and get organized. Right now with COVID-19 there is a lot of pent up energy because we are so restricted in what we are allowed to do. Allow your frustrations to be expressed freely and move through these emotions intentionally.
- Sleep The times most important times for the Wood’s associated organs, the Liver and Gallbladder, to regenerate is 11pm-3am. This is why I will always encourage you to go to sleep before 11pm. Taking the care to rest when your Liver is needing to be regenerated does wonders for the body and mind.
- Hydrate Water is essential for wood’s growth and flexibility. Please stay hydrated to help your body function optimally!
- Detox sour foods like dandelion and arugula help with the liver’s function. Peppermint and lemon water help to detoxify the liver.