Channeling the Energy of Anger (Or, Your Frustration About Spring Not Coming Soon Enough Holds A lot
It’s still very cold, and the ground has yet to thaw, but according to the Chinese calendar (& Chinese New Year), it is now officially Spring! Take comfort in that. And, if this optimism makes you groan and protest, or roll your eyes, then read on!
The Chinese have it right on this one. Starting the new year at the beginning of Spring makes so much more sense than starting the cycle of the year on January 1st in the dead of Winter when everything is dormant and we’re just trying to hold onto what we’ve stored up so that we can make our resources last until Spring.
Spring is the time of renewal in Chinese Medicine, a natural time to say hello to a brand new cycle of the year.
If you’re feeling frustrated and antsy awaiting the start of Spring, you should know that your frustration is completely normal. The emotion associated with Springtime in Chinese Medicine is anger.
Anger has so much energy wrapped up in it. That’s why we try to try to suppress it. Anger causes the “qi to rise” to our heads. We literally get flushed and sometimes feel like we are going to explode, so we try to push it all back down. We “swallow” our frustration rather than working with it.
All of that upward, rising energy associated with anger is what gives tiny seeds the courage to sprout and the energy to push up through the frozen earth as the ground thaws and new life begins to sprout. Spring is the time of the “Wood” element (or the Wood phase) in Chinese Medicine.
The Wood element includes plants and trees and all life that sprouts from a tiny seed. The Wood element is about birth and growth and our vision of what we want to grow towards. Because plants naturally grow towards the Sun, Spring in Chinese Medicine also signals a time of renewal and hope.
Plants and trees are audacious and emboldened by their natural force and upward direction. A tree, for example, is unphased by obstacles. Its roots will wrap around bricks and grow through them. Even plants that we dismiss as “weeds” are bold enough to push through concrete and sprout through cracks in the sidewalk.
What would happen in your life if you were so bold? If you decided to use your vision for a better life, and your perception of what isn’t right (of what angers you), to propel you forward, to help you grow?
The energy associated with anger has a lot of potential behind it. Anger at injustice is what helps give rise to social justice movements. When we’re angry, it’s often because we have a sense that something isn’t fair or isn’t “right.” We can use that sense of injustice to help make our world better. We can speak up for someone who has been left behind or we can work to change things that aren’t right.
But before you can really work with your anger, you have to take a look at it. And before you can see clearly you have to get comfortable sitting inside all of the chaos and upheaval that the energy of anger brings.
The two acupuncture channels that are related to the Wood element both run directly to the eyes. This encourages us to pause and to really look at ourselves and our world. Start to tune into what’s causing you to get angry. Are you seeing things objectively? What lens are you looking through?
This Spring, what’s your vision for the coming year? What do you want to grow toward? How can you set your sight on people, work, food, nourishment, pleasure, and fun that will support the life you want to live rather than shutting yourself down?
I would love to hear from you about your vision for the new year.
And please don’t forget, all new patients between now and March 31st will receive a limited-edition bonus gift. This “winter wellness kit” bonus gift contains handmade bath salts, fair trade-certified sea salt dark chocolate, and a sample of my favorite unrefined sea salt.
The gift will help you transition out of Winter and into Spring with more elegance and with excellent self-care. Treat yourself to an acupuncture appointment and enjoy some chocolate at the same time!
You can watch a brief video about the winter wellness kit here. The gift was recently featured as an example of an innovative bonus by Heart of Business in Portland, Oregon.
If you are an existing patient and you refer a new patient to me by the end of March, you will also receive a winter wellness kit for yourself.
So, Happy Spring.
Channel the last of that cabin fever you might be feeling for the good of our world.