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Spring: the Season of Change
April 4, 2015
Have you noticed how windy it is outside lately? Spring is the season of “Wind” in Chinese Medicine. Winter was the season of “Cold,” so we are moving from Cold to Wind and having some cold windy days in the meantime! For some of us, wind might not sound like much of an upgrade!
What does this climate tell us about how we might be feeling during this time of year?
Wind stirs things up. Wind is unpredictable, changes directions easily, and, when it’s really raging, it demands our attention. If you’ve been feeling a little unsettled, pay attention to how the wind affects you.
We talk about the “winds of change” in our culture, and in Chinese Medicine wind helps things rush forward. Spring is such a great time to switch up your daily routine and see what you’re doing merely out of habit and what you might want to change. Wind is flexible. Pay attention to your body and to your thinking. Do you notice any places in your mind where you are rigid or stiff? How about those tendons? Were you curled up in the Cold? Are you ready to stretch and move around a bit more?
Of course, wind can also be a gentle breeze. Springtime reminds us of how much movement and life is available to us. We don’t have to soldier on or push ahead to make changes in our lives. We can also start with a ripple and move gently forward from there.
Below are five ways to navigate these windy days and to be in alignment with the energy of Spring.
1. Try a yoga class or do some stretching. Opening up our muscles and our tendons can help us find places in our bodies where we feel stuck. Where in our bodies or our lives can we breathe new life into? Are there places in our bodies we may not have paid attention to for awhile that could use a little attention? We don’t have to try to change anything. Just being aware of how we hold ourselves in tension can give us a lot of information about how we feel.
2. Clean out a drawer or a closet that has been neglected for awhile. I just emptied my kitchen junk drawer, sorted out what I didn’t need, wiped it down, and put back what I needed to keep. Having more space in our homes can help us to have more space in our lives. When we’re faced with too much clutter in our lives, it gets hard to feel spacious. Wind likes open space so that it can move freely.
3. Try acupuncture for seasonal alignment and to prevent Spring colds. Transitioning from Winter to Spring can be quite an adjustment. Many of us get Colds and Flus during this change. Acupuncture can actually help to speed the recovery from colds and flus. Additionally, many people who are perfectly healthy get acupuncture on a seasonal basis to help their bodies adapt to the changing weather. If you’ve been wanting to come to acupuncture but don’t have any particular reason to, consider treating yourself to a Spring tune-up.
4. Start steaming and lightening up your cooking. Winter is a time to use more fats and oil. More meat (if you eat it) and heavier foods. Spring is a great chance to lighten up your cooking. It’s (slowly) getting warmer, which means that we can have more steamed and lightly sauteed foods. We’re moving out of the heavier root vegetables, like potatoes and cabbage, and into the time of lovely greens, which help to detox and clean out the body. I recently posted on the blog about how to move from winter to spring in your cooking.
5. Clean out your thinking patterns and habits. Meditation practices help us to become aware of our patterns of thinking so that we can start getting some space from our patterns and become less reactive. Remember last month’s newsletter? The emotion of Spring is anger. Wind, and its erratic patterns, change can bring up our frustrations. We might want things to stay the same but wind reminds us that everything is always moving. Sometimes it’s floating gently along and sometimes the wind is raging. Either way, movement is part of life. Leaning into our thought patterns can help us become aware of ourselves when we want to lash out but may need to pause, breathe, and be a gentle breeze.