A couple of weeks ago, the East Coast was immersed in a crazy windstorm. And while its calmed down some, it seems like every day the wind is blowing. It is as if Mother Nature is putting us all on notice—things are about to change! These fierce winds are the heralds of spring: the season of shifts and rebirth. Get ready—we are in the season of change, growth and possibility!
Look around outside and you can begin to see signs of spring everywhere. Even on the cold and windy days, life has begun to return to the earth. The birds have begun to sing. Plants are pushing through the soil. Everything is beginning to wake up and rise up! This rising spring time energy can be fierce, strong and (as the winds and weather demonstrate) unpredictable. It can take a lot of energy to push through the frozen soil! Spring offers us the gift of rising energy—a push (or kick in the pants) strong enough to give birth to new possibilities where we may be stuck or need a change.
The student walk outs and protests following the shootings in Parkland Florida are a wonderful example of springtime energy in full force. Young people are standing up, taking action, demanding a change. Whether you agree with their position on gun control, the student actions demonstrate a new vision of how things could be.
Spring can show up in out bodies as restlessness, a need to make change in our lives or do things differently. It can show up as a burst of creativity or perhaps a lot of excitement around a new vision. But sometimes, especially if we haven’t rested well in winter and are feeling tired, it can also show up as frustration, irritation or a sense of resignation or even depression. We may feel stuck unable to rise to the challenge that spring is presenting us.
Stagnant springtime energy can show up in our bodies as tightness and tension, sore ligaments and tendons. Some people notice their necks feeling unusually tight. Other people may notice that their vision is a little off, and experience trouble with blurry sight, floaters or night blindness or dry and itchy eyes. If we aren’t feeling grounded, the rising energy at this time of year may show up as headaches or higher blood pressure.
The ancient Chinese medical texts are clear. We can live with more wellness when we live in harmony with the seasons. Here are a few tips to help get yourself aligned with windy, change-oriented, spirited spring!
Ways to Live in Harmony with the Spring
- Move your body. Get your heart rate going or simply do some active big stretches. If you are exhausted and tired, then gentle movement is called for. Don’t over do it but moving will keep you from feeling stagnant and stuck
- Protect your neck with a scarf or a hood when you go out in the wind. The wind can mess up our “wei qi” – the protective energy that keeps us healthy.
- Do something creative. Write, sing, paint, dance, color. Try your hand at poetry. It doesn’t have to be public. Do it for yourself. Try something new!
- Make a change. If you are feeling angry or challenged, take a small step toward shifting that situation. Make a plan, make a request, start with one thing. Sometimes one small shift is enough to break up the stagnation.
- Stay Rooted. If you feel motivated to make some big changes in your life, be mindful to stay rooted in yourself and your vision for your life. The windy energy of this time of year can be pretty disruptive if its not well grounded. While sometimes we need some destructive energy, we may be seeking a change that is more measured or balanced.
- Get enough sleep. The rising energy in spring time can make us want to stay up and be productive but its important to make sure we have enough rest so that this rising is grounded. The rule of thumb in Chinese medicine is to be in bed by 11pm
- Develop a meditation practice, a yoga or qi gong practice, a prayer practice or something to help keep you grounded during this time of rising energy.
- Self care. If you are feeling the effects of spring, acupuncture can help you bring some balance, grounding and flow to this season of transition. Feel free to call and we can explore if acupuncture is right for you.
Here's another resource to help you align with Spring! I am partnering with the amazing Mary Ragland and the folks at UP Yoga and Wellness in Silver Spring to offer spirited workshop this Saturday March 17 from 1-4pm to help get in sync with the season of spring. We will meditate, practice yin yoga and welcome in the spring by connecting to rising energy, while learning about practice to help us live well through this exciting and challenging time. We will also offer an auricular (ear acupuncture) treatment to help us find balance and restoration. You can get more information and sign up here.