11: Stay in balance in accordance to five elements of nature
Understanding and getting in touch with the five elements of nature that correspond with the seasons - wood (Spring) , fire (Summer), earth (Late Summer), metal (Fall), and water (winter) can improve your health. These lie at the heart of Chinese philosophy and are within each of us. There are simple things we can do each day restore and harmonize these elements so we can feel more centered and healthy in body mind and spirit.
I write this as on a cold winter day in Chicago. I look out and see snow all around me. Its cold and its helpful for me to allow this season (the element of water) to allow me to slow down. To rest and restore and reflect. I love this truth that our body needs this restoration and so does the earth. I see how nature thrives following these patterns and we can too as humans if we begin to understand it, trust it, and incorporate practices in our day to begin to feel this harmony and wholeness.
Making time for each of these things are important and will help us feel better.
- Fire (summer) - warmth, joy and happiness - take time to laugh. Fire is about warmth, transformation and dynamic, sparkling movement. Summer brings fire through the heat of the sun, long days and energized bodies. Ask the question, how do we make this fun? It’s so important to laugh everyday.
- Earth (late summer) - nurture yourself - self-care is so important. Represented by those last warm, light-filled days in September and October - just before the cool weather sets in. Take care of yourself. Feel nourished in the meals that you eat. Enjoy and take in whatever you are being nourished by. Nourish your soul and tell yourself you deserve this right now.
- Metal (Fall) - Take time to breathe. Process of refinement and its resulting products. In this season, it’s time to make sure everything is pure and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated (especially in our thoughts). What is no longer serving us? We reminded to practice Meditation and mindfulness. If you can’t take ten minutes to meditate, just breathe. Find some inspiration and stillness everyday. Listen to song you love, feel inspired.
- Water (Winter) - Cold and dark season that is associated with water - the element of tranquility and flow. It's a time of inward reflection, rest and restoration. We are reminded that need water everyday. It’s so important for our bodies as well as getting clear, turning in, and resting.
- Wood (Spring) - Motivation, drive, and movement. A time of birth and new beginnings. Exercise that wood element. Even if you can’t get to gym, move around, move your body. Allow the energy to flow through you.
Making little efforts to find a little more balance with all the elements in our body can go a long way toward better health and vitality.
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