• SPRING - The time of Yang Rising

    The Sun has returned and with it the Yang energy begins to rise.
    The stored Yin energy now begins to stir and become active, transforming into
    Yang. Without the activity, we begin to get restless (Spring fever). This time
    of the year is governed by the Wood energy. Wood is nourished by the water of
    winter which should have been conserved and stored well so we could use it at
    this time. Notice how the plants start to bloom, the trees begin to bud, the
    light stays around longer and activity begins to increase. Wood energy spreads
    in all directions, it doesn't like to be confined, so set it free. Go for a
    walk, a run, a hike or other outdoor activity and breath in the air. Metal
    controls Wood and Metal is in the Lungs so breathe deeply to spread the Wood
    energy and move it through the whole body.

    The sound of Wood is shouting, so feel free to use those primal
    screams; call to the person down the street by vocals, not by cell phone so the
    energy doesn't stagnate causing excessive anger and frustration. Wind is the
    pathogenic energy of this season, so be sure to keep your scarf for a few more
    weeks especially during the windy times. It is easy for Wind to penetrate the
    skin, but it is easily diverted with scarves or collars, it can bring cold or
    heat with it (or any other pathogenic factor), but it can be troublesome all by
    itself too; leading to chills, headaches, sporadic muscle spasms or pains that
    move in different areas of the body. Be active, yes, but always beware of
    exposing yourself to too much exertion.

    The Yang is growing, but it still needs Yin to nourish it. We
    still have Summer coming up in a few months, this Wood energy will need to be
    preserved somewhat so that we can have a good strong active Summer burning
    brightly for our health. Remember most of all that anger is the emotion of the
    season. Express it, but don't let it control you, be active to move it or
    transform it into laughter.

    How often have we been told that anger is wrong? How often have
    we been told to hold in our anger instead of reacting? How many of us have
    grown up believing that if we become angry we will be punished? Well, I'm here
    to tell you that anger is not an "evil" emotion, but a useful and actually
    necessary one.

    The problems come in when anger is inappropriate, unbalanced or
    unacknowledged. Under these circumstances, anger is unable to transform or be
    dispersed. In those cases, anger grows, becomes disruptive, stagnates and
    attacks. It "explodes" out of its confinement and that can manifest as
    violence, ulcers, rashes, heart attacks, or many other ailments.

    Why do we become angry? There are a few reasons, such as:
    Because things didn't go our way ("it wasn't my vision"), because we are being
    confined ("I need to grow, expand, move and you won't let me"), because we are
    stuck and need something to change ("things aren't right, something needs to
    change"), because we feel something is unjust ("that's not fair/balanced"),
    because others are trying to make us act unlike who we feel we are ("you are
    denying me my self expression") or some other similar reason.

    The words in parenthesis above are phrases that the Officials of
    Wood - The Liver and Gallbladder - would say. The Liver is "the official
    with strength and vision in planning.; the General from whom strategies are
    derived; guarantees the smooth and rhythmic movement of life; upholds identity
    and self-esteem; presents integrated personality and sets boundaries." (J.R.
    Worsley) The Gallbladder is "the official who executes vision and planning of
    the Liver; makes clear, concise decisions; can organize what it sees, gives
    structure and sets boundaries; it is the impartial justice from whom judgments
    are derived." (J.R. Worsley)

    In a sense, to deny yourself of the emotion of anger is to deny
    your Liver and Gallbladder. Anger is housed in these organs, under the element
    of Wood energy. Anger helps us make changes, stand up for ourselves, protect
    ourselves and gives us the courage to move forward. Without anger, the United
    States of America would still be colonies of England. Anger is not bad; how we
    deal with anger, what we do with it, is what has potential for being bad.

    Think of these two examples of angry situations and notice the
    outcomes: 1. A young child is angry because he is denied the right to do
    something his parent knows shouldn't be done. The child's anger grows and
    grows, he screams then bursts into tears. 2. A married couple starts to argue
    about a certain situation, the accusations fly, name-calling begins, voices
    raise to shouts, then silence, a pause, and they burst out laughing. The
    ridiculousness of how to squeeze a tube of toothpaste.

    In the first scenario, a child is not able to express himself,
    have his way, move in the direction he sees fit and chooses. The parent, trying
    to do the best for the child and form boundaries, stands firm. The child
    becomes angry, the anger grows, is expressed in a shout, then the Lung energy
    takes over (weeping). Here, the anger was expressed, acknowledged and finally
    transformed by the Lung energy. Believe it or not, this is healthy (as long as
    the tantrum is minimal). In the second scenario, the couple is each trying to
    exert their view and may feel unacknowledged, may wish to control the situation,
    or may be judging the situation. Anger forms and is expressed through shout,
    then it is transformed into the next element -Fire- and expressed there through
    laughter. This too, is healthy.

    Both of these scenarios show healthy expression and
    transformation of anger. Had either "held in" their anger, it would manifest,
    stagnate, grow, heat-up and cause many problems in the persons health and life.
    By being able to express the anger and move it, the body honors it, releases it,
    and stays balanced.

    If we lie to ourselves ("I'm NOT angry") or otherwise deny the
    existence of anger ("I don't get mad, I get even). Then we are doing no good
    for our health, our environment or our lives. This is when anger becomes
    unhealthy. Also, if we hold onto our anger, (let it fester, grow inside us,
    burn, get bigger with each angry experience, never honoring it, acknowledging
    it, or letting it transform) then it will stay in us and make us unhealthy
    (ulcers, tumors, rashes, stomach aches, headaches, muscle tension, constipation,

    The time of life we call the "terrible two's" is the time in a
    child's life when they realize they are individual beings, separate from
    everyone else. MINE! Becomes their battle cry, because now they know the
    difference between "me and you." NO! becomes their defiance, because they've
    discovered they have choice, their own will, their own vision of what "should
    be." As we recycle through the springtime, we recycle through that stage of
    life. Springtime is the season of Wood, it is the time the Liver and Gallbladder
    energies are in full bloom, it is a time to accept ourselves for who we are; a
    time for deciding where we are going, what our boundaries are and honoring "me".
    Also allowing others the same right. It's easy to get stuck there, to see only
    the self, but remember that Wood is controlled by Metal (a higher, more wise
    version of the self) and Wood transforms into Fire (passion, joy, separating
    what is important from what is not important), transforming the energy to create
    Earth (nourishment, support, family, embracing all).

    It's been said that anger comes from fear (Fear is the emotion
    of Water, the mother of Wood, and so from a Chinese Medical point-of-view that
    is a sensible statement). So, when you don't know where your anger is coming
    from, or why you can't acknowledge it/ honor it or express it, check for a
    deeper fear, it may make you cry (it may make you laugh), but it will help you
    move on.

    Anger is not evil, but we need to take proper steps:
    Acknowledge/honor it, express it, then let it transform. If you can't let go of
    yours, or feel you have an ailment that stems from long-term anger issues, come
    in to see what we can do to help relieve you of it. -PW-

    A very dear friend of mine recently visited Hawaii. She has
    visited Hawaii before and was telling me of her past adventures in Maui. While
    in Maui, many of the natives told visitors that they must go see Hana and quite
    a few people did. Nearly everyone, including my friend, came back from Hana
    complaining that there was nothing there except black sand on a beach (granted,
    a beautiful sight) and a place to buy ice cream. It appeared to be a joke for
    the natives to send people there: a four-hour drive each way on a mostly
    single-lane road, but then she told me more and I think I began to understand
    what the natives were truly saying.

    She said that during the four-hour drive, the scenery was
    beautiful and if she ever went back, she would stop at various places along the
    road. She would play under waterfalls, swim in the lakes; enjoy the flowers,
    picnic, suntan, swim and everything else along the way. She wouldn't go all the
    way to Hana (unless she was craving ice cream).

    So, I looked at her and asked, "did the natives say, `go to
    Hana' or did they say, `you should take the road to Hana'?" To me, there was a
    profound difference in each. I believe what the natives want visitors to enjoy
    is "the road to Hana", not the destination. I think the trip is a lesson on a
    way to see life. A similar thing happened when P.T. Barnum advertised a special
    attraction at the end of one of his tent shows. {I don't remember the word he
    used in his ad, so I am substituting *** for the advertised attraction.} The
    people ignored the other displays as they rushed past to see the amazing ***.
    When they went through the door labeled *** they were stunned to find themselves
    outside again, because *** was another word for "EXIT". The people had to go
    back and pay again to see the other attractions.

    Here, we live with constant goals in our lives; Graduation,
    Owning a business or home, Retirement, Vacations, Being somewhere, Reaching
    Holidays, and Getting things done. {Stop right now and think for a moment, what
    are your goals, destinations and target end dates in your vision of your

    What we constantly fail to see is where we are as we are
    approaching the destinations. How many of us, in the end, are going to say, "if
    I get to do that again, I'm going to swim in waterfalls, lay out in front of the
    lakes, enjoy the ride"? Basically, how many of us are missing the view and trip
    now because of where we want to be? Who of us won't find that out until it's all
    over, only to wish to do it again to better enjoy the ride? After all, when we
    finally get to our destinations, is there really much more than the thought of
    "is this it"? Graduation (reaching goals, end dates, destinations) may give us a
    diploma (ice cream), but wasn't it the classes, the experiences, the learning,
    our contacts, etc that gives us what we need later? Did we look toward the goal
    so much we missed what was around us? We look forward to holidays, new jobs,
    getting somewhere, getting something done, but isn't it the actual practicing,
    the planning, the continuing knowledge we gain, our experiences and who we meet
    along the way that is more important in the long run?

    Doesn't this apply to all our goals, all our destinations and
    all of our target end dates? On a daily basis, how often do we miss our
    surroundings as we seek our destinations? How many of us actually DO stop at
    the side of the road and swim in the waterfalls instead of continuing on to our
    end? When you get to the end, are you going to complain that the destination
    was not worth the hype or are you going to talk about your journey, about how
    you enjoyed every step of the way - even brag that you haven't gotten to the end
    yet, unlike those who are complaining? Is your wish to have to do it again to
    enjoy it next time or can you take advantage of the trip you are on now? Ask
    yourself, "Am I `Going to' Hana or am I `On the Road To Hana'?"


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