Handling the Seasons of Your Life
May 20, 2019
On this late May morning, I got out of the house to find rain pouring down on me. There was a time; I would have cursed the clouds in the sky, and every decision I had ever made that led me to this rainy island. Not today. Today, I thanked the clouds in the sky for releasing the heaviness of this Moon cycle. Then I got into my car and cried.
If I’ve learned anything from Chinese Medicine, it is to check in with myself as part of Nature, and to check in with Nature as part of me. You see, Chinese Medicine is based on two ‘basic’ principles: naturalism and holism. The dynamics of the natural world are reflected in every being. As humans, we are not different from the rain, the wind, and the Sun; on the contrary, we are fundamentally connected. Similarly, our physical, emotional, and mental states cannot be separated. We are multidimensional entities just like the universe, and to find ease in life requires finding balance within our various dimensions. Essentially, health is a state of everchanging balance.
The question is : how could we find this balance through the ebbs and flows of life? Really, Stevie Nicks already said it better than I ever could,
“Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?”
‘Landslide’ would have been the soundtrack of choice for last week’s events, if my life was made into a movie. I once ran a 10K race under an hour without training for it. When I got home, my body could no longer function in an upright position, so I slept for three days straight. Last week, life happened in such BIG ways, that my whole existence craved sleep and stillness to digest it all. So, to honour that, I went for acupuncture. I let a dear friend hold space for me, and I sat with pins and with my breath in community. Then I slept and let it all go. This morning, I woke up to see Mother Nature doing the same.
When we talk about psycho-emotional health, we tend to do so in diagnostic boxes. “I have depression”, “I suffer from anxiety”, “ I was diagnosed with bipolar”, so I feel sad, angry, resentful… But, we all feel all the feelings, and not all of us have a diagnosis. We all experience weddings, divorces, births, deaths, work stress, joyful gatherings, and rainbows. We all can benefit from taking care of our psycho-emotional health on a regular basis. When I mention Acupuncture in relation to mental health; I mean all things that impact the balance of our minds and of our emotions. I mean the loss of a parent, a DSM diagnosis, a new relationship… I mean the sense of joy and feeling of being lost you get when you graduate. I mean the overwhelming emotions of planning a wedding or having a new child.
Look around you. Look at Nature, the ways the days and seasons change, bit by bit, with such ease. Look at the Moon, it’s ebbs and flows, and how it interacts with the ocean tides. Look at your social environment, your peers, friends, partners, children… Notice how you are affected by the people around you, as they are part of your Nature too. Check in with your body; your digestion, menses, sleep… Check in with your mind, and wherever you store your emotions. You exist in the interconnectedness of it all.
So, care for your beautiful self in continuous, sustainable, perhaps even small and subtle ways. Make your bed every day. Move your body in ways that give you joy and release. Literature, music, pottery, art … do a bit more of the things that make the word beautiful. Find a modality of therapy (or five) that works for you, and let someone else hold space for your journey. Eat real food, smell the tomatoes, admire the purple hues of beets, nourish your body. Spend time with Nature. Have a tickle party. You know what to do.
Just as the sun rises daily, show up for yourself every single day.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”