I'm using the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calendar as a base for my research and sharing this year. What fun, right?
January through the beginning of February is all about the kidneys and bladder. It is about cold and winter. Moisture and calm. About feeling deeply comfortable in the void between autumn and spring.
Doesn’t that make you feel cozy? I am imagining you having a warm mug of something yum in your hands as you read this.
TCM considers the kidneys to be the center of our life force, our qi.
So I’ve been posting frequently on social media about water. About hibernating. About taking care of our kidneys.
When our kidney life-force is out of whack we can experience bone disorders along with urinary tract issues, sexual and reproductive health issues, fatigue, dental problems, hearing loss—among other issues.
Balance between the yin and yang of our kidneys is essential to health. Yin and yang, feminine and masculine, cool and hot.
What I love about this way of conceiving of our bodies is that it is in harmony with the natural world. We are in flow with the elements and the seasons.
And, check this out: according to TCM when we are experiencing excess heat, restlessness, night sweats, disturbed sleep—all things which sound like menopausal symptoms to me—we can look to adding more yin to our kidney energies.
I call that empowering. And I am all about empowering us to optimal health in mind, in body, and in spirit—so I am all in.
Yin is nourishing, moistening, calming. Let’s borrow some wisdom from this source and make sure we are getting enough water, good fats like coconut oil and olive oil, nutrient-dense bone broths, and salty foods such as miso and seaweed—remembering not to be afraid of sea salt. We need the trace minerals--they are the sparkplugs of our bodies.
We can seek out kidney-shaped foods, blue and black foods. Dark-green leafies are important, including asparagus. Meats in moderation. Eggs. Cheese can be problematic—as can too much fruit—but sweet potatoes, spirulina, kelp—these are nourishing when we need to add more yin to our qi.
Does that make sense?
I appreciate the intuitive nature of this way of thinking and healing. All foods have energy. Perhaps the next time we sit to eat we can pause and check in with the energy of the food on our plate—or, better yet, before we prepare the meal—check in and see if it feels like it will support our health.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.
And while we’re at it—let’s plan a whole yin day to balance our energies. Meditation. Gentle exercises. Here’s a lovely guided meditation from the team at Unify Cosmos to get you started.
To practice water meditation we can either sit or stand; preferably in a quiet, comfortable place.
We begin by closing our eyes. Now, we take a few moments to clear our minds and connect with our breath. Differing from other forms of meditation, in water meditation, we want to breathe from our lower belly. In Taoism and Qi Gong, this region is referred to as the “lower dantian”.
Next, we place our awareness at the top of our head, at the crown; becoming familiar with what we feel, or sense, with our awareness.
Again, as a friendly reminder, it’s important that we explore our bodies with our awareness and not with our logical, rational minds. In other words, don’t “think” about it, but “sense” it.
From the top of our head, we move to our forehead, eyes, ears, nose, back of head, jaw, tongue, mouth, neck, throat, shoulders.
We feel the sensations, thoughts, qualities, emotions, states. We become aware of our internal life.
As we move down our entire bodies we sense our stress tension blockages and wash them away with our awareness. Pushing anything blocking us from the top on down.
We move to our armpits, chest, upper back, upper arms, ribs, elbows, lungs, lower belly, lower back.
We release the tension, washing it away with awareness.
We move to our hips, pelvis, our hands, upper legs, thighs, hamstrings, fingers, knees, shins, calves, ankles, feet, toes.
It is important that we do this with ease. In water meditation, we act like water: flowing without struggle; soft, allowing, while not getting stuck to anything.
Lastly, we open up our eyes slowly.
Before getting up and moving on we want to take a few moments to become reacquainted with our surroundings.
After our first attempt, if we feel that we weren’t able to go deep enough inside of ourselves, it’s OK. With a regular and repetitive water meditation practice, we’re able to penetrate deeper layers with each sitting.
Just keep at it.
Find someone to read it to you or read it through and then melt into it yourself. Or reach out to me and I’ll read it to you. Seriously.
I’ll be offering processes like this during my upcoming event, Reclaim Your Wellness: a free 8-day Masterclass for Women Kicking Anxiety and Sugar February 15-22, 2021.
Have a wonderful and restorative day.
Peace, peace, peace.