Today’s episode continues our exploration of the emotions through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In this workshop recording, you’ll learn:
- What is modern emotional trauma? And why does it so often go unrecognized?
- What are some of the causes of trauma?
- The physical effects of trauma & chronic stress on the body, including how it affects your brain, your metabolism, your muscles, and your digestion
- The “tripod” of healing, and why we need an expanded view of healing that goes beyond “mind, body, and spirit.”
- About an upcoming class through Psyche & Soma through which you can continue your learning
We begin our exploration of the emotions with fear, the emotion associated with the element of water, the season of Winter, and the organ system of the Kidneys (capitalized to signify the TCM concept of Kidneys rather than the physical organs themselves.)
Today’s episode begins with a short visualization and then moves into an exploration of how we can use the insights from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to get a better understanding of how to work with fear in our lives.
Health can be seen as a river of integration that flows between the two opposing forces of Chaos and Rigidity. (For more on this idea, please see Dr. Dan Siegel ‘s book, Mindsight.) Too much chaos gets us into trouble, but too much rigidity is equally risky. The key to emotional and physical health is to strengthen the links between the differentiated parts of our selves, our lives, and our communities. Just like biodiversity keeps an ecosystem healthy and a diverse workplace gives rise to the most creative & innovative ideas, health requires an inner life that’s inclusive of ALL of the parts of ourselves.
This month, we’ll be exploring this river of integration as it applies directly to emotional health.
Over the next five weeks, we’ll be exploring emotional health through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, we can use the Five Element Theory to help us think through the relationships between different systems of the body, including our emotions. Each emotion correlates to one of the five elements, and each element has a web of relationship that includes all of the other elements.
The Five Elements are:
And the emotions that correlate with each element are:
- Fear (Water)
- Anger (Wood)
- Joy (Fire)
- Rumination or Worry (Earth)
- Grief (Metal)
Listen to the episode and explore the ways that these emotions and elements seem linked in your own experience. We’ll be back next week to talk in-depth about the emotion of fear, associated with the Water element and our current season of Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Resolutions are rigid. They call upon a certain hardness and lack of flexibility and give us a sense of “sticking to it—no matter what.” That’s why they fail. That’s why gyms are packed to the gills in January and back to normal by Valentine’s Day.
This rigidity is also a big part of why resolutions don’t feel good.
For the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the way that people talk about setting their goals at this time of the year. The impulse to reign in some of the wild abandon that sets in around the holidays is still present, and so is the intention to give a little bit of thought & structure to the seemingly blank slate of a new year stretched out before us. Yet, I’m also noticing that people are getting fed up with the rigid nature of resolutions and looking for a more compassionate (and long-lasting) way to imagine their goals and set their intentions.
Today’s episode begins with a moment of pause, as we ask our hearts what we really want in 2015. Then, I’ll talk a little bit about why starting with a heart-centered intention is so important, and how to use this intention to guide you in 2015.
(And I’ll be sending a free mini-course to everyone who’s subscribed to the psyche & soma email list, too! Listen to the episode for more info about what to expect, and make sure that you’re registered to receive it. Click here to get on the list if you’re not yet a member. It’s free.)