Draining Aggressive Energy

I often laugh a little when a patient says “I’m not aggressive” as I explain the treatment plan for their session.  AE (Aggressive Energy) is an Acupuncture treatment and test all wrapped in one. The term “aggressive energy” refers to a person’s qi that may have become toxic in response to certain life experiences causing emotional shock and/or stagnation; it does not necessarily refer to a person’s behavior.

Shallowly placed needles are inserted down the back at specific points related to the Lung, Heart Protector, Heart, Liver, Spleen and Kidney. If redness appears around the needle, the test is positive and showing imbalance; some “pollution” or “agitation” of the person’s qi. As the redness clears, aggressive energy drains and treatment occurs – balance is restored. The draining can take 20 mins, longer or may need to be repeated in follow up treatment.

Over and over, AE proves to be a great place to start when first working with patient, when there are momentous experiences happening in ones life (ie. marriage, childbirth, new job, break-up/divorce, move, etc) and during season changes. The transition from winter to spring can especially cause agitation, allergies, or a feeling of being “off” in some people.

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This treatment often leaves one feeling deeply relaxed and calm. It treats a wide wide variety of issues (lingering illness, inability to settle, bodily tension, allergies, diff sleeping, hot flashes, support during chemo, seasonal affective disorders, etc). AE’s clearing of toxic qi also prevents illness. I treasure this treatment dearly and am honored to offer it.

Winter Medicine for Deep Replenishment

pic cred:babyrockmyday.com

I pray this message finds you in good health. Winter – the deep part of the seasonal cycle, the dark part, the yin phase – is here. Nature has gone in and so have we. Take this opportunity to actively go inward; rest & restore so your qi is strong for the rest of the cycle. Before I share a few tips to support you, let’s take a moment to see why replenishment is important during winter.

This season is associated with the Water element (phase) & the Kidney/Bladder systems in Chinese Medicine. The Kidneys are the root & foundation of life and play a role in storing your life force energy inherited from your parents & ancestors.

Physically the Kidneys are located in the lower back & cuddle what is known as the gate of life (Mingmen) – making up a power area of the body. This power house, stores your jing (life force energy) and is the root of all yin & yang; guiding birth, growth, development and maturation. They rule the bone & marrow (including the brain & spinal cord); are related to your power, will or Zhi. They have the power to turn fear into wisdom yet are weakened by too much fear. This power area is injured by cold.

Jing, life force energy, naturally depletes over time with our lifestyle choices guiding how fast the process happens. We each receive a different amount of jing based on our parents’ gift and thus will react to certain lifestyles differently. Habits like – burning the candle at both ends, drug abuse, having too much sex (esp for men since they release jing substance that creates life), working past our fatigue (you may be tapping into jing when that “2nd wind” kicks in), not providing yourself energy from food & drink (without food sourced energy, the body taps into your deep reservoirs to keep you going), letting cold enter you body (esp thru the back) – can all be depleting.

Some signs that some aspect of the water element (Kidney/Bladder) is imbalanced: difficulty staying sleep, knee/back pain, low libido, difficulty conceiving, low sperm count, urinary issues, tinnitus, deep fatigue, hot flashes, menstrual imbalances, poor memory, difficulty staying focused, nervousness, being overly fearful or lacking healthy fear. Aging is a normal process. Supporting your Kidney qi throughout life can make the transition smoother.

Atop the Kidneys are the adrenal glands. Often people with unresolved trauma (including trans-generational) exhibit nervous system tense signs & have difficulty settling. This 5000 year old pre-grey’s anatomy medicine corresponded the nervous system with the Bladder, the Kidneys’ yang pair. Working with water element or water points in any element can calm and allow deep healing to occur.

Here are ways to support yourself during the winter. Take what serves, leave the rest:

Reduce screen time

Eat hearty stews & soups

Drink your water (not cold)

Head to bed earlier, rise later

Mediate (tap into your depth)

Rest, Rest and Rest some more

Nap or lay horizontal for 15 mins midday

Moxa & Massage Kidney Acupoints (Moxa Video)

Consume organic sea weeds & root vegetables

Keep your lower back, feet, ankles, neck warm

Practice a Yin exercise like Taichi, Qigong, or Yin Yoga

Sip bone broth or use bone broth as the base for soups

Sip fresh ginger root tea (esp if your digestion is funky or you’re often cold to the bone)

pic cred: ww.shannontorrens.com/winter-aesthetic/

Masks Up, Oxygen down: How to Invigorate Your Lungs

Thru respiration, our lungs transform air to infuse our blood with much needed oxygen. From a Chinese Medicine view the Lungs also help with inspiration; connection to each other and to things bigger than ourselves. They allow us to make delicate discernment while protecting us from pathogens in our environment and are associated with the immune system, the autumn season and the emotion of grief.

Since the introduction of the airborne SARS- CoV- 2 into our environment we are understandably more protective of what enters our airways. With masks being the new norm, lower oxygen levels naturally follow. How do we protect ourselves while keeping our lung function up? I recommend getting outdoors (parks, ocean, nature) to uninhibitedly breathe fresh air, exercising outdoors and doing the qigong exercises shared here. This wonderful video has graced social media with over 90K views. Peter guides us thru techniques to bring air down into the body, open the chest, invigorate the lung cavity and teaches the location of the Lung primary channel. People have reported that practicing these, in part or whole, has been vital for their recovery. I have also found them deeply relaxing and grounding; a wonderful way to start my day.

These practices can help with COVID side effects like loose of smell, taste, fatigue, anxiety, revved up nervous system, tension, stress and build immunity. Enjoy and please share widely as we all need to find calm and build our Lung health during these times.

Motivating Movement: Shedding the Quarantine 15

The COVID pandemic hit us hard and fast. Forced to slow down and stop in our tracks; we sat home eating more and moving much less. We underestimated movement that came with getting to work, shopping, and basic social life. If you were hitting the gym, your slow down came with an extra punch. During a time of loss, uncertainty and fear, food became a comfort. So many, including myself, put on that quarantine 15. But if you’re like me, you won’t take this sitting down. Here’s some personal resources to get ya’ movin:

  • Drop the heavy eating. Move away from consuming those hearty stews, chili, breads and pasta. Start eating more heat tossed kale, chard, bok choy, string beans, okra, cabbage, etc – love up dem greens. Packed with dense nutrients, you know they are good for you. Choose lean proteins including beans. Drink water, with 1/2 your body weight in ounces the goal. Add chlorophyll to your water. Enjoy healthier snacks. My favs:
    • crisp apple slices w/ chunky almond butter
    • sliced cucumbers w/humus
    • avocado, kimchi, hummus and more in Nori Sheets
    • Edamame tossed in olive oil
    • all seasonal fruit; thank goodness mango, berry and watermelon season is here!
  • Find an online class that speaks to you. This was difficult for me at first, but grateful to have found these great classes:
  • ASA Fitness is close to my heart because I know and respect these women. They kept classes up during the height of the pandemic and proved to be great guides to getting a full workout. This low impact high intensity style workout gets the job done. After class I always felt my core engaged, inner thighs/buttocks talking and spirit lifted during a heavily emotional time. Sweating definitely got those endorphins going. $12-15; class passes give u the discount. Black Female Owned Business (BFOB)
  • Esther’s African Dance Class was like coming home to community. In the 90’s, I used to hike up to 116th in Harlem to take her FREE (funded by the city) bomb ass dance class in a huge auditorium packed with other women. So when I found out she started something online I was there. This zoom class was engaging and donation based. I was seen – and corrected- along with others. Esther created a wonderful space right from her living room to ours. As of May 2021, she has moved the class outdoors to Marcus Garvey Park. BFOB
  • Ymca360.org is packed with slow to fast, long to short classes for everyone at any stage. I have come to love the Circuit 1 (60 min) class, and the Fierce classes 1, 2 and 3 (45 min Tabata). When funds got tight, I moved to this FREE resource.
  • Cumbe – Teachers from all styles of dance (+yoga) cascading from the African Diaspora hold zoom classes thru this organization. They started by offering free to donation classes and now offer classes as low as $7. I’ve enjoyed Darian Parkers’ Sunday class and the Saturday Jam Down class with Jenny Jam. Summer 20′ I joined Body Ra’s class in Ft Greene park, which brings me to my next get moving tip.
  • Hit the parks. Summer 2020 was alllll about classes in the parks. If you were at the monument in Ft Greene park you witnessed Zumba, African, Caribbean and Yoga classes, along with people jumping rope and doing dips. This trend is continuing this summer and I am happy to have found:
  • Body Ra Movement wave ya flag, wave ya flag! This carribean infused class is $12. Started in Ft Greene park, this sistah and is now having classes at different parks throughout the city. You will sweat, laugh and have a good ole time shedding the pounds. BFOB
  • Urban Asana brings the community out honey; a community of yogi’s in all sizes, shapes and backgrounds. This hour of Power Yoga, held in Brower Park off Kingston Ave, will have you sweating, praying and stretching all at the same time. As owner Jyll says ” Heart Forward Ass Back” come on now! Bring your heart, mat, water and cash (preferred); Sundays 12:30 by donation. BFOB
  • Stacked Yoga another outdoor Sunday yoga class in Bed-Sty on Tompkins. Hosted by TAMA (Tompkins Ave Merchant Association) along with other activities every Sunday 12-4pm. This community keeps brining it! I have not gotten myself here yet, but plan to very soon. BFOB
  • Bed-Sty Black Lives Matter mural was home to many events this past summer, including Tamar Jone’s African Dance class (BFOB). I’m sure events will continue at this location.
  • Explore the parks in your neighborhood. Hopefully something is happening for you to enjoy. If not, reach out to a yoga studio or dance co and see if they will come out. You win by having a local activity for your community and they get to advertise – a win win.
Yoga on the Stoop. Brooklyn Museum. Every Sat. Registration requred.

I hope you find ways to keep moving in health. Go for more walks, safely ride a bike, pull on some skates, get double dutching and don’t forget to bring a friend. We are all in this together.

Credits

pic of yoga woman – https://www.afrobella.com/2013/10/25/plus-size-princess-fitness-initiativeso-smart-inspiring/

pic of kale – https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/red-bell-pepper-and-kale-stir-fry

Spring Liberation

Look to the trees for inspiration – big, tall and strong. Without flexibility, they would break under the pressures of the wind. How can we embody the wisdom of the trees? Can we see light thru their density?

This Saturday I will continue teaching Acupoints in the Seasonal Health Series. We designed this series to help folks live in better harmony with the seasons by discussing their gifts. Because Chinese Medicine is nature based, as above so below guides its philosophies. I’m referring to seasons in a broad sense, like the spring time and the season for standing up against oppression and speaking up against injustice. Spring resonates with the Wood element of the five phases; an element that has to do with movement, action, discernment, justice, choices, courage.

Let’s begin with the macrocosm of the season. As our environment has moved into Spring, inside we have also shifted. Do you notice any internal shifts with the season change? Take a look outside, for insight. With Spring, the earth has woken up from its deep winter rest; bulbs are popping, birds are singing. There is more movement. How does this feel in you? Ready to get going, exercising, moving on a plan you set? Or are you stuck and frustrated at being stuck?

If you’re motivated to move. Let the movement start slow so as not to hurt yourself. To ensure flexibility, stretch your muscles first before going for that run or walk. Move on plans with focused intention, with a clear vision of where you wish to go. 

If you are not motivated to move, that is ok too. Be flexible with yourself. Start gently. We had an intense winter navigating life during a pandemic. Maybe start internally by lightening up your food, moving away from stews and more into lightly sautéed or steamed greens; add more greens to your diet; add chlorophyll to your water to get more oxygen to your blood. You can even start with your mind and your third eye. Meditate on what you want, see it, believe it. The wood energy brings vision. What do you envision for yourself? What do you envision for your community? The planet?

Applying pressure at GB1 – The Bone Of Fresh Innocent Eyes or Pupil Foramen (Tongzilao) can help physically with issues of the eyes and vision, headaches, heat and wind. On another level, here is where we can support looking inward and outward at plans, with fresh and innocent eyes. It is where the Gallbladder primary channel begins. The Gallbladder Official “empowers the creative growth of our inner plans into the world “, Jarrett.

The energy of the wood is about discernment, which way to go, which choice to make, having the courage to make one and how to creatively get there. Like a seed ready to sprout toward the sun. If concrete shows up as a perceived obstacle, it will creatively find small cracks to burst thru. Think about that energy inside of you. If you have goals yet perceived obstacles are in your way, do you get frustrated, angry and/or tense? If you do initially, are you able to pull back to take a different view? When you pull back can you discover ways to creatively maneuver around the obstacles to reach your goal?  And what happens if you keep pushing the same way?

If we don’t look at an obstacle from a different angels, we are sure to agitated, possibly angry and frustrated. These emotions, as most know, do not feel good. They cause tension, stress and foster disease. When we stay in these emotions, we often cannot see a clear way. Step back, take deep breaths, get grounded and come back with fresh eyes.

Liver 3 – Supreme Surge Forward, Supreme Rushing, Happy Return (Taichong) is a commonly used point. It eases constraint thus helps with tense stuck energy throughout the body; addresses headaches, menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, shoulder tension, overall stress, etc. It is nourishing and grounding at the same time.

Located in the flesh below the meeting of the 1st two metatarsals. Often tender, gently apply pressure for 20-30 seconds, repeat a few times, both feet.

Wood is about justice, what’s right and whats wrong, freedom of expression, freedom to bloom. Today the issues of racism, continued injustice against black people and systematic oppression are on the minds of many. For me, emotions of anger and disappointment in human behavior come up.  I often feel frustrated as I try envisioning ways to turn this anger into positive, effective action. I want justice, equality and accountability. Yet it feels so far away. Can I see the way thru the forest? Can I hold a vision like Dr. King to see a world where we are all seen and treated as equal?

Anger is the emotion associated with the wood element and benevolence/kindness its virtue. I’ll just ponder that.

This is only a small piece of the gifts Wood has to offer. I hope you join me for this Saturday April 17th, for the Wood series. You will learn more theory; how to use Acupoints that help release tension, stress, headaches & move stuckness; and how to do Gua Sha.

Credits:

Reflections on my 1st Acupressure Class

We are all here together in this COVID pandemic; all learning new ways of being. Quite a time for insight, patience and being in the unknown. As an Acupuncturist I am called to offer at home healing tools by teaching Acupressure along with tips on being in harmony with the seasons.

Last month I taught my first Acupressure class as part of a Seasonal Health Series with my colleague Sarah Chase Natan at Brooklyn Acupuncture Project (well on zoom). We opened the gates in the present season and offered a glimpse of Autumn thru the Chinese Medicine lens. Undeniable beauty, clarity, honesty, grief, letting go while holding onto jewels and inner grace were some of the gifts discussed. Learning the Acupoints allowed participants to grasp a deeper understanding of the Lung and Large Intestine Officials and connect to their essence. Overall I see this series as a wonderful opportunity for participants to ignite the connection that already exists between themselves and nature.

Participants learned Acupoints that support lifting stuck grief, opening the chest & sinuses, addressing cough, helping one find balance in judgement and encouraging the mind/body/spirit to let go of what is no longer needed.

I deeply enjoyed this experience – taking time to re-aquatint myself to the Chinese names of the points and their indications; finding ways to share location tips; learning how to upload and edit videos; finding the right words and ways to share the concepts of Chinese Medicine clearly. Yes it’s true, you learn when you teach. This re-learning deepened my connection to the points, the medicine, and I am grateful.

As winter rolls in I am happily preparing to share concepts around the Water element and Acupressure points along the Kidney & Bladder meridians . Save the date – Jan 23rd, 2021, 4pm. More info to come.

Diva Cup to the Rescue

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I am so happy I decided to try a menstrual cup.  For years, women had been telling me about them;  raving of their efficiency.  I just COULD NOT wrap my head around the removing, emptying and re-inserting part of it all.  But thank God, I got my head out of the way and delved in.

At first it was hard. I could not find the right position for the cup. I could not figure out the best squatting position for insertion. As expected, the logistics of dumping and cleaning, then re-inserting were difficult.  On top of that, after a few months of use, I was not digging the smell the cup held.  However,  I now love my cup and have an easier menstrual experience. So hear are some tips from a 2 year user of the Diva Cup.

  1. You can soak your cup in hydrogen peroxide overnight. I do this at the end of my cycle washing it in between.  I use an actual cup (of course designated for only this purpose) to immerse my diva cup in HP.  It works wonders.
  2. You do not have to push the cup deep inside of you. I fold mine in the center, then over again. Using the this fold, I then push down on the lower part of my vagina and insert. The cup usually pops open inside of me. I push it in slightly, toward my tailbone and whallla!  At that moment, if I place my finger at the opening of my vagina,  I can feel the tip. Once I get up and move around it finds its way :).
  3. I insert mine while sitting on the toilet.  I experimented with squatting,  however logistically this did not work.   Particularly when I just emptied and rinsed it (while still seated leaning toward the sink) and needed to re-insert while its wet.  I have become really creative when needing to change while on the go.  When I do, I have been lucky to find  private bathrooms with sinks.  I also have to do some special maneuvering since I squat over public toilets.
  4. RELAX. DO NOT TENSE UP.  For the first month I was so nervous.  The cup almost got stuck the last day of my cycle; I pushed til my eyes almost popped out of my sockets and it was not letting up.  After giving up, taking some deep breaths and relaxing, I was able to easy it out.  Another two months went by and I was unable to position the cup correctly (which I later learned was also a folding issue; more below).   I mentioned this to a client who also uses a cup and she said “Yeah, that happens when you are tense. You have to relax” (I learn so much from my lovely patients :)).  Letting go of the tension makes a huge difference.
  5. I find the folding of the cup to be important.  Folding it in a certain way allows for easy insertion and the ability for the cup to open on its own once in. I now do what is called a C fold or U fold, depending on which way u look at it (find pics online).  At first I tried just pushing it flat and inserting it from the side. I thought it was working (and was excited to be able to do a one handed fold & insertion).  However, my little happy bubble was burst and I found that the cup was not opening and thus not collecting :/.
  6. I  still wear a pad, just in case. Sometimes it does not go in correctly and I drip.   I’m getting to a place to be able to feel at insertion, that something is off. If it is, I just re-visit the bathroom and have another try.
  7. I chose size 2, since I am not a 40 year old virgin :). I am glad I did. My cup fills pretty quickly on my heavy day.

It was a bumpy road at first, but for the most part it is now smooth sailing.   Using the cup has helped me understand my body more and become more comfortable with myself.   It has also made my heavy day much more bearable.   I am less concerned with staining my underwear and I feel more at ease overall.  On my  less heavy days I am worry free to the point of having  very easy enjoyable cycles – yippee!!    I will say here, that Chinese herbal formulas have helped me have much better cycles reducing  my menstrual bloating, cramps, and irritability.   I am also constantly working on suppressing less, dealing with upset better and expressing more.  This can all effect the cycle.   I will blog about this another time.

I truly hope this helps other women on their menstrual cup journey.  Comments and questions are appreciated.

Winter Hater? How I am Becoming a Lover

During intake with new clients, I often ask “So what’s your favorite season?” Time and time again, winter falls to the bottom of the loved list and rises to the top of the hated list.

I used to be one of those people – dreading the cold, waiting impatiently for warmer weather. I went as far as disliking autumn, because it was a sign that winter’s deep cold was coming.

When I started acupuncture school, I learned of “unnecessary suffering” and how we create this with our minds. I realized how I created unnecessary suffering for myself in many ways, just with my thoughts. One was my relationship with a season — a season that just is. I began opening up to the idea of accepting winter. A few things helped me along this journey.

To start, I began looking through a different lens. I started asking people who admired winter, “why?”. They shared that they loved getting warm and cozy after coming in from the cold; looking at the beautiful white scenery after a snow;  wearing layers of clothing;  the deep silence of winter. I attempted to feel these experiences. When I looked through the admiration lens, the first thing I observed was the beauty of the land after a heavy snow. What a wonder! The white trees are such a delight. I am still working on layering  because nothing beats a skirt, tee and flip flops. 😃

Then there was the understanding of the seasons and their gifts. I realized that winter is an inward time. Nature goes inward and it may help me if I did the same. What if I tried to hibernate as best I can? Now, that is exactly what I do. I stay indoors more and I only go out for necessities. In autumn I prepare by ordering herbs & seaweeds for teas and soups, I stock up on dry goods, I prepare my book reading list by asking for recommendations. I can now fully admire the beauty of autumn colors as I prepare for winter. When temperatures drop, I pull my crock pot out and start slow cooking. Bone soup has become my winter medicine. I actually hibernate, relax more, meditate and plan for spring projects. I find by taping into winter’s gift, going inward and storing my energy, I am better prepared to burst forward in spring.

I also attribute my being more in tuned with the seasons to acupuncture. I am not just saying this because I’m an acupuncturist. One of the goals of acupuncture is to create balance. Highly disliking a season was a sign of imbalance for me. And you know what, I found that I resonated most with the winter season which corresponds to water, the kidneys and bladder, fear, courage, wisdom, depth, and preferring dark colors or clothing. As acupuncture has helped me become more balanced, I am seeing a shift in this element/season within myself. For example, I no longer only wear black, grey and brown; I actually flaunt pink, orange, green, and purple – colors I never enjoyed seeing on myself.

I am finding that appreciating winter is bringing me inner peace, more joy and more energy.

I hope that I inspire readers who dislike winter to find their path to enjoying it more. We can’t beat nature, may as well join in!

Warmly,

Kidada

How to practice Self-Care in the Winter

The seasons provide a great guide to live in harmony with nature. During winter, nature is in a true expression of yin. It is resting, quiet, and withdrawn. It has pulled its energy deep into the roots of the Earth and is preparing for spring. There isn’t much activity from birds or squirrels and if you listen, you will find a deep silence.

Just as nature has gone within, humans have a calling to do the same. This may be feel like depression while it may be the body and mind pointing to something else. Consider going with the flow of nature and tapping into its depth & stillness. Sitting in meditation is one of the best ways to tap into your inner wisdom and connect to the oneness of the universe.

Winter is the time to nourish & replenish yourself to prepare for the burst of spring energy. It is the time to eat whole grains like millet, quinoa & barley and time to cook stews & soups. Don’t forget to throw in some dried mushrooms (help build immune system with boosting action), seaweeds like nori, kelppulse (build blood, reduce negative effect of electromagnetic rays from cell phone & computer) or a bone (packed with nutrients). Adzuki, kidney & black beans are especially good for the Kidneys.

Sip on healthful teas like ginger (deeply warming & jumps start digestion) & rose hips (high in Vitamin C). Drinking plenty of room temperature or warmed water is especially good during the cold season. Again, because things are so still, cook your food slow. Cooking with a crock pot allows you the ease of low and simple cooking without worrying about time.

In Chinese medicine, the kidneys and bladder are associated with the winter season and govern water metabolism. The kidneys are “seen as the root and foundation of the body; they store jing (essence) and rule the sexual organs and their reproductive functions.”   They control the fire (yang energy) that warms the body, support healthy sexual functions and fertility. We are gifted a certain amount of this deep reserve of vital energy at birth.  The lifestyle we choose dictates how we use up or conserve our battery back.

twu2  A lifestyle of continuous stress, over work, excessive sex, staying up late, drug use, and eating poorly are a few ways that we can deplete ourselves. Many people override their battery by pushing past being tired, drinking stimulants like coffee and getting a so-called 2nd wind. Some helpful alternatives to help preserve vital energy are:

  • Have some water, take a break or even better, take a nap.
  • Practice Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or gentle yoga. They are the most effective ways to conserve and cultivate this deep source of energy that will feed us during our lifetime. A short 15 minute session a day can go a long way.
  • Stay home more often for relaxation. Trade a night out for a comfortable night in. Read a good book, massage yourself and loved ones. Spend quality time with close friends and family. Read stories or play some board games with family, have an indoor movie night with friends.
  • Look within for answers. Contemplate, write in your journal, sit in meditation. Go to bed earlier and get as much rest as possible.
  • Keep warm by covering your head, lower back and neck.  Cold wind can easily enter the body causing pain, stiffness and, as we all know, an actual “cold”. If you have bodily pain that worsens in winter, staying warm inside and out may be all you need to be pain free.
  • And enjoy it all.
(Photo cred: Free People)

Light from Darkness

 

light-of-mind-copyLast night I attended a wonderful Solstice Meditation lead by Lev Natan. Lev shared excerpts of his premier book coming forth this spring. A vision of healing was created. I was reminded of the possibilities available to us individually and as a planet thru self-cultivation and love. With devastation, bombings, killings, and hatred ever-present in society lately, I can sometimes feel overwhelmed. I know others feel similar; many patients express anxiety, anger and hopelessness. What can we do to make a positive difference in the world, our communities and personal lives? How do we express, not repress, upset in beneficial ways? Sitting in meditation allows us to go deep into ourselves, acknowledge what is there, and let go of what is not serving. Being clear gives us the space to be the light and change we wish to see in the world from a grounded self.

The solstice is a special time when the powers of the universe are particularly readily available. The winter solstice is the darkest and longest night of the year for those living in the northern hemisphere. It is a time to sit with our bowl of self and receive gifts from the cosmos. The offering is depth and darkness. Many answers can come from this void. I think about it as returning to nothing, being in the womb of nature or connecting to my ancestors.

The window of this opportunity is open three days before the solstice, the day of and three days after. I encourage people to make good use of this time. Disconnect from your devices and to do list; if only for 30 minutes. Sit with yourself, listen and be present. Observe what comes up with no judgment. Repressed thoughts or emotions may surface. Shine light on them and have the courage to face them. Gently let go. Feel your energy brightening and strengthening. From the depths of darkness comes light. What comes up for you? How can you be a light in your world?

The winter solstice is also referred to as the first official day of winter. Energetically, winter is a yin time and is associated with the Kidney & Bladder officials. It marks a time to be less active and more reflective. It is an opportunity to nourish ourselves with slow cooked wholesome foods so we can be strong and ready for the burst of spring energy. Stay tuned for more posts  about the kidney/bladder officials, acupressure, bone broths and foods to help you self cultivate during the winter.

 

(Photo cred: Blazing Light)