THE SEASON OF SPRING AND THE WOOD ELEMENT
One of the great things about working with the laws of Nature, is that when you follow the message of the season, results happen more quickly and more easily. Look to what Nature is doing in the plant and animal kingdoms, and follow suit.
What’s happening in the spring? It should be no surprise that the energy of the spring is one that shows signs of new beginnings, growth, movement and renewal. This is abundantly clear in the plant kingdom where long dormant plants push through the hard soil and show their resiliency. This brings up another aspect of the season and its Wood element. Despite the notion that wood is strong and powerful, its strength is from a place of flexibility and consistency. So bending with the wind (the “climate” of the spring season) is more important than standing up against the force of the wind. In other words, working with the spring’s energy means “going with the flow”–think of the gentle crocus pushing through the snow or channel the ways of the willow tree and move along with the breeze. When you don’t go with the flow, the body’s life energy or qi can get stuck. The emotion of the season that can then come up easily in spring is anger, (including irritability and frustration.) Keeping things moving and reducing stress will support you during the spring.
This is an ideal time to plant your idea seeds, envision projects and begin to take action. Also walks in nature, not of the competitive kind, but those where you feel a connection with the fresh, green, buzzing energy around you, will support you most as you embrace the laws of the spring season.
Spring cleaning, mild detoxing, yoga, qigong and tai chi are all activities which dovetail well with the early spring season. Bear in mind that you are transitioning from the contemplative winter season so try not to burst into big exercise routines. That type of intensity is best suited for late spring as you approach summer and its Fire element.
Additionally, even when spring weather brings higher temperatures than usual, try not to rush into shorts and sleeveless shirts as our bodies need to be kept warm to avoid the colds that occur at the change of seasons.
Putting the ideas into action, forming new friendships and relationships, feeling the earth between our fingers as we garden or the green grass under bare feet (more on “earthing” in my upcoming blog post) –these are the actions that you can take in spring and see positive results.
Essential Oils for Support in Spring
Stagnant Liver energy is the result of an imbalance in the Wood element. The ideal is to keep the flow of qi or vital energy spreading smoothly throughout the body so that it doesn’t get stuck and result in body aches and pains, or emotionally by being quick to anger.
Oils that support the Liver energy promote movement and keep you limber. Great spring essential oil choices include: cypress, geranium, black pepper and rosemary
Oils that reduce stress, one of the big health busters for Liver energy and help with angry or stuck feelings include the uplifting citruses and the relaxing flowers, such as: lime, bergamot, lemon, wild orange and lavender
SPRING AND THE FIVE SENSES
SIGHT: The color of the Wood element is GREEN–no surprise there as there is no shortage of this vibrant color during the spring season. Consider surrounding yourself with the simplicity of its shades to support the Liver energy– forest, lime, . Foods that reflect this color will support Liver energy as well, .
SOUND: Shouting is the “voice” of spring. A great way to release stuck energy is with a primal scream (I like doing this while driving on the highway with the windows down so no one can hear me!)
SMELL: The best season to take in through your sense of smell. Take walks in nature and try and identify the different fragrances. For those of you with seasonal allergies, acupuncture is very effective at reducing your symptoms.
TOUCH: To move stagnation and benefit your Liver energy, consider activities that release energy like breaking green water balloons or smashing eggs or grapes. It’s a messy cleanup but the giggles are worth it. It’s important to point out that your activity has to RELEASE the energy by popping whatever item you choose. A punching bag gets out frustration but that energy come right back at you!
TASTE: Sour is the dominant taste for the spring’s wood element which is found with fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles. Other beneficial foods include: lemons, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, eggplant, scallions and bee pollen