The Importance of Flexibility

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on April 25th, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I missed you last Wednesday. I was visiting family in WVA. I hope you all are well.

Spring is here in the most unusual way. It’s been cold, hot, wet, dry, windy- And it seems to be throwing most people for a loop. The Spring corresponds to the Wood energy from a Five Element Acupuncture’s perspective. To understand what Wood energy and the Spring time is all about, let’s look at the life of a tree. It starts as a seed, full of potential. That seed grows wherever it was cast. It starts to grow up and outward and down and inward all at once. A healthy tree is flexible, bending and yielding, as well as strong, durable and persistent in the face of any obstacles. This tree is firmly rooted to the ground, and it stands tall and straight. All of these characteristics describe a creative, vibrant, go-with-the-flow human being who is always willing to look at life with fresh perspective. People generally trust following this person as a leader as they delegate with a fair and benevolent hand, considering all sides to every situation.

Now, this isn’t always the case. If someone has an imbalance in the Wood energy, they can be poorly rooted and easily pushed over. Without a healthy root system, they can be off balance, dizzy and even experience vertigo. Anger and frustration can stagnate qi which can slow, cease or even pervert new growth. This often shows up as rheumatism and other arthritic conditions. I picture a gnarled cherry tree in this instance. This collection of qi (aka stuffed anger) can smother, depress, invoke nightmares of feeling trapped and bring about digestive upset. And as I’ve said before, the seed of the tree does not pick where it grows. Many times children develop weakness in the Wood element as a result of a less than supportive childhood. If the parent is overbearing, the child does not have the freedom of self expression, and therefore will likely suffer from low self esteem and timidity. If the parent does not provide rules and direction, the child can be aimless, and therefore unsure of their path.

There is a chinese proverb that states:

“The tree that does not bend with the wind will be broken by the wind”

This is a reminder of the importance of flexibility. Life will most likely not always go our way. Even the most well thought out plan can use some tweaking once life shows up and changes the game. How do we show up in the face of adversity? Do we snap? Do we belligerently try and force our original plan as we repeatedly run into a wall? Do we have a tantrum? Do we sigh and give up? Or do we step back, take a deep breath and come up with a new course of action?

Everything is connected. We are certainly more than the sum of our parts. We are a hologram and our body is the vessel that guides us on our path to rediscovering our soul. All that we need is inside of us. Our job is to listen. If you experience life as obstacle, take a step back and look at that truth you have created. Is there room for more flexibility and patience? Is being right more important than being in partnership? Do you see the world in black and white? Is there more room for possibility? Things to ponder…

I hope you all are having a wonderful Spring. Till next week, be well.

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