Any doctor will tell you ‘where there is life there is hope’ which is an innate quality of the human spirit. Spirit is defined in the dictionary as ‘the animating force of life’. The force of life expresses as the primal and powerful urge to live, and is connected to our will. Our power to thrive and keep going through life challenges is biologically wired into every cell of our body. It lives in our bones as the DNA of our ancestors which is thousands of years old. The will to survive and overcome adversity is a treasure of our human evolution, fuelled by hope.
In Chinese medicine hope is related to Spring, the season where nature demonstrates the promise of new life. The spirit of Spring and hope has an upward rising quality showing as rapid growth and bursting of buds and seeds. Waking up to new life usually involves some resistance. In nature seeds have to break through a hard shell. Before growth there is some struggle as life pushes for its new position.
In Chinese medicine we recognise that changes in the environment around us, directly affect the world within us. These have impacts on our body-mind as a whole system. Our ‘health is dependant on our ability to adapt to change’. In others words our resilience, both physical and mental. During times of major change, like now, it’s important to actively nourish our mind-body wellbeing to support the growth of our new life.
Three tips for change management and supporting wellbeing
1 Look after your Liver In Chinese medicine the Liver is the organ most impacted by change. In health the Liver manages the free flow of emotions and harmonises digestion. Digesting major change takes a lot of mental-emotional energy which can disturb the free flow function causing irritation, frustration, depression, feeling hopeless, low motivation. Physically it can cause digestive upsets, appetite disturbance, up and down vitality.
Suggestions: Warm water and juice of half lemon in morning 30 mins before anything else. Reduce alcohol, fats and sugar. Eat and sleep at regular times
2. Care for your Kidneys In Chinese medicine the Kidneys provide the ‘battery’ power for the whole body. They give us the energy to endure hardship and keep going when times are tough. We drain our ‘batteries’ by over-work and over-use of the will, for example, pushing our energy when we are tired. This energy drain can result in symptoms such as low back pain ache, frequent urination, feelings of overwhelm panic and fear, oedema, loss of hearing and tinnitus.
Suggestions: Rest when you are tired, Restorative Yoga practice “Legs up the Wall” Bone broth soups, slow cooked easy to digest food. Time to be quiet and still
3. Listen to your Heart’s ‘knowing’ In Chinese medicine our awareness/knowing guides the minds thinking function, both these functions of the mind are governed by the Heart. Living guided by our Hearts is about staying awake and aware of what’s important to ourselves and others. From this place we can always rise above the challenges of our situations and see from higher perspectives. Imbalanced heart energy can cause feelings of disconnection from others, insomnia, anxiety, chest discomfort, difficulty articulating what you want to express, out of control or over-controlling behaviour.
Suggestions: Keep your Heart light, play, sing, dance, laugh, story-tell with others. Avoid excessive stimulation of the mind and emotions. Take time to pray/meditate/be in nature.
Wellbeing is the foundation of a successful life. Hope is core to the creation of new life and needs to be nurtured. Looking after our organs looks after our energy and our mind.