Oh What A Spring!

I just love spring time! And what an interesting spring 2020 is turning out to be.
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I can’t help but mention COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on everyone. I feel it’s helpful to remind people, pandemics and plagues have been happening essentially since the beginning of time. I guess I never thought I’d get to experience one, but here we are. I pray you are able to find some peace in whatever situation you may be in. It’s encouraging to see how everyone is playing their part, however big or small, your actions make an impact…. what a great lesson for us all.
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0075_ The Yellow Emperors
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While there’s never an ideal time for pandemics, I feel it’s helpful it’s now officially SPRING!
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According to the Yellow Emperor, “Spring is the beginning of things, when the energy should be kept open and fluid.” So much budding, new life represents all the new possibilities unfolding and the energy is magical. 
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I grew up in Jester Park and the smell of fresh cut grass in the mornings while the birds sing their song of “spring’s here” is just the best way to start the day. The increased sunlight is definitely a positive as well. However, in Iowa it’s been quite rainy already.
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According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, “the three months of the spring season bring about the revitalization of all things in nature. It is the time of birth. This is when heaven and earth are reborn. This is the season in which the universal energy begins anew.”
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Recommendations to live with the season:
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Retire early, arise early.
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Go for walks to absorb the fresh energy. 
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Be open and unsuppressed:
  • physically: exercise more frequently, increase stretching to loosen up tendons and muscles, wear loose- fitting clothing
  • emotionally: develop equanimity
    • Spring is the season of the liver, which also comes with anger, frustration, depression, and sadness. Any emotion in excess can injure the liver. So being aware of your emotions is very important:
      • notice your thoughts
      • think about why you may be feeling this way
      • realize if it’s settling anywhere physically in your body
      • accept it as it is
      • believe it will pass when it’s time
      • and take deep belly breaths.
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While we are practicing social distancing, I think it’s more important than ever to follow the seasonal recommendations given to us from nature itself. This will only help our minds, bodies, and spirits in adjusting to and eventually thriving from this situation.
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What are your favorite things about Spring!? What at home activities are you implementing into your daily life?
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Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Lifestyle Adjustments for Winter

Winter is the season of the kidney. According to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, by Maoshing Ni, this is when “all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period, yin dominates yang.”

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This is visible in the trees and plants and even the animals. It’s natural for us to be more quiet and reserved during the winter. In the fall I shared some tips for adjusting your lifestyle according to the seasons so here are more tips to help make winter a little more tolerable.

Some recommendations from the Yellow Emperor are:

“Retire early, get up with the sunrise”

Is anyone else struggling to adjust to it getting dark at 5:00 p.m.!? It seems to be more difficult this year, so I find it helpful to go to bed a little early and attempt to sleep in a little extra… Obviously this is not always easy/possible but it’s good to be mindful of the change.

“Stay warm, avoid the cold, keep pores closed, avoid sweating”

Eat warm foods and drink warm drinks to help warm your body.  Be sure to layer up and keep your skin covered – your skin is your largest organ and can be very susceptible to the wind and cold, wind and cold are very common causes of EPIs. When your skin pores are open, your chances of getting sick (from an EPI) are increased.

“Conservation and storage philosophy”

Just like the bears hibernate, it is helpful to conserve your resources and energy. The winter corresponds to yin, as opposed to yang. Yin is internal and more hidden. In order to have enough yin, it is helpful to rest.

During the winter I like to stay in, cuddle up by the fire, and drink warm tea. What about you?