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Fall… the Holistic Way

By Genevieve Siegel, HHP




It’s hard to believe we are already at the beginning of November.  We just had what I remember us calling Indian Summer or unseasonably warm weather.  

What does the Fall season mean for us in a holistic sense?

First of all, as I’ve mentioned in my other holistic and seasonal articles, holistic or wholistic pertains to the whole being. As most of you know, I am a Holistic Health Practitioner, and I approach a client or patient’s health and well-being holistically. I facilitate his or her healing needs mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. For instance, as I wrote in my summertime article, if a client comes in with certain symptoms, I will address not just the complaint, but how the person thinks (mind), their physical symptoms (body), how their energy feels (spirit), and how they are feeling (emotions).

All in all, I am practicing what I preach and living my life holistically, and would like to share how I do it with you. So, how does the season of fall affect each of us in a holistic sense, and how can we approach this season in the most harmonious way?  Let’s take a look…

Mind

When the weather starts to cool off a little bit and all the summertime fun begins to fade, we tend to slow down a bit.  Students are going back to school and parents used up most of their vacation time and are back at work in full force.  The fall is the time to start focusing, grounding, organizing and carrying through.

In other words, all those ideas you have planned and created in the spring and put them into action in the summer, it is now time to carry them through with focused energy and solidify them.

The fall energy is also related to soil or earth. So if your mind is still spinning, then you may want to consider being in a more supportive or nurturing environment. Or take some time in the garden and plant some fall crops. Another suggestion may be to eat some grounding and nurturing foods such as pumpkin, squash, cabbage, carrots or cauliflower.

Body

Your body rested and rejuvenated during the winter. Then your body cleansed during the spring. And then your body was go, go, go for summertime fun in the sun or just more activity.  Now, the fall is a time to slow down, get organized, manage your cash flow, get grounded and get re-connected with your body.

After the summer flurry of fun and constant activity, our bodies need a break.  The weather is getting a bit cooler and sometimes there is morning cloud cover.  On these mornings, if our kitty cat doesn’t wake me up and I don’t have any early morning clients, I love to sleep in a little bit or wake up, do my castor oil pack and self-care or read a book and snuggle up for a few more minutes before I start my day.  Or if my body is still sore from Dance Church like it was this morning, I like to just give my body some rest.

And as far as what we put into our body, according to Seymour Koblin’s book, The Art of Zen Touch, some other good harmonizing foods to keep our soil energy balanced are:

Grain:

Millet

Vegetables:

Radish, Burdock, Onion, Beets

Fruits:

Apples, Cranberries, Figs, Pears, Persimmons, Quinces

And for some more harmonizing tricks, you can try wearing soothing rustic colors like yellow and orange.

Some grounding activities you can do:

One great exercise to get grounded is the Chair Pose in yoga or Utkatasana.  For more information, click here.

Also, doing your Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT) Self-Care will help you ground, re-connect with your body and benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.  For instructions on how to do the ATMAT Self-Care, you can make an appointment with an ATMAT practitioner or click here.

And an even more fabulous way to slow down and ground is to receive a full body massage.

Again, this is a very grounding time of year, so enjoy the earthy energy.

Spirit

As mentioned above, fall is a great time to ground your energy.  What does this mean for your spirit?  Just like fire energy is radiating and expansive, grounding energy is very down to earth.

Within us we have what are called energy centers, known as Chakras in yoga and Ayurveda practices. Each energy center represents different aspects of our lives.  This fall grounding energy relates to the 1st Chakra, which is the foundation of your entire Chakra system.  According to Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Workbook, “This is the chakra that is the ground that supports and nourishes you.  Without a solid foundation, your temple will not be strong.  Without deep roots, your tree will not grow tall. Without an anchor, you have no stability.”

This root energy center represents the right to be here, the right to have, the right to experience safety, security, and prosperity.  We all have a basic right to be here on this Earth.  What does that mean?  The right to be here means being comfortable with the right to fully occupy your body and live your life, and to take up a reasonable amount of space in doing so – neither too much nor too little.  The right to have begins with having what you need in order to survive, and depends greatly on the right to be here. The right to have may include the right to have success, prosperity, time to yourself, pleasure, adventure, friends, or any number of things.[1]

So being in a supportive environment, and accepting your role as a “participant” in this world are two good ways to soothe and ground your spirit.

Emotions

As the weather cools down and you feel more grounded, you may notice that your emotions shift a bit as well.  You may feel safe and secure. You may feel more nurturing and compassionate.  Or in your relationships, you may feel like bonding and listening. Fall is a great time for snuggling and to get those oxytocin levels boosted.

If you are not feeling so grounded or are feeling insecure, fearful, not wanting to be alone, feeling abandoned, or blaming others, you may want to consider doing some of the aforementioned items to balance these feelings and get grounded.  See the above exercise or eat some of the good harmonizing foods, or get a full body massage.  When I receive a full body massage from a fellow Holistic Health Practitioner or Massage Practitioner with whom I feel incredibly safe, I feel so balanced and grounded!

Holistic - Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotions

So overall, enjoying the change of the seasons in a holistic way may lead to a more balanced, fulfilling life. May you have a joyous rest of the Fall Season filled with positive and focused thoughts, a healthy nurtured body and organized home and work. And may you have a grounded spirit and feel nourished, safe, and compassionate during this time.

September 2015 ~ Updated November 2015

[1] Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Workbook

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Happy Chinese New Year
By Genevieve Siegel, HHP


Chinese New Year started on January 30th and it’s the year of the Wood Horse.  Being born in the year of the Fire Horse, I can already feel the intensity of this new year.  My intuition told me that this is the year for mindful movement and taking decisive action.  And now after doing a little research, I realize that my intuition was spot on. According to an Astrologer and Feng Shui consultant, the year of the Wood Horse is a time for fast victories and unexpected adventures. Energy is high and production is rewarded.  It’s a time for decisive action, not procrastination. And if you are not 100% certain about the decision then do not do it.  In a Horse year, things happen fast and you don’t want to race off in the wrong direction.

With all this galloping fast action, how do you stay centered in the year of the Horse?

My suggestion is to make sure that you replenish and stay nourished in all aspects of your life – mind, body, spirit, and emotions. 

Your Mind

Sometimes, when we have a cluttered mind, it is represented in a cluttered room at home or at the office.  It may be a good time to take some action and clean up that area.  However, if you just have an active mind, at the end of the day, you may want to clear your mind by either journaling or writing a To Do list. Getting all those swirling thoughts out and on paper can help ease the mind a bit.   Then, listening to a relaxing or meditation CD before you go to bed would be helpful.  Get a good night’s rest so you can be ready for action the next morning.

Your Body

As far as our body, make sure you eat healthy, hearty meals to sustain your energy levels.  Do your best to cut out caffeine.  Your adrenals are going to be working hard enough keeping up with the fast pace, so don’t make them work harder than they need to. 

Another way to stay centered is by doing the Maya Abdominal Self-Care massage you learned in one of your sessions with me.  As you know, Self-Care massage will keep things flowing, keep you connected to your body and help you stay grounded. For those who would like to know how to do self-care, I can either show you during a session with me or you can follow the instruction posted here.

And if you want to just completely let go, relax and replenish you can always book a holistic healing session with me.

Furthermore, finding the right exercise program for you is always a good thing to add to your daily routine.  And remember to be mindful in your movement. Be careful not to overdo it.

Your Spirit

Nourish your spirit. Do things that feed your soul! If you love to dance, then let the rhythms move you. Dance, flow, express and move in ways you have never moved before! If you love to cook, try out some new recipes and throw in a dash of positive thoughts and affirmations. Let those creative juices flow right into your foods and see how your gifts transcend the taste buds of others.  If you like to garden, feel the grounding soil beneath your feet. Feel the warmth of the sun touch your face as mother earth nurtures you.  If you like to cycle, hear the wind rush past your ears and feel the clean air fill your lungs and your heart pumping as you race around those hilly curves. Whatever feeds your soul or ignites that fire within you, Do It!

Your Emotions

As I have suggested in the past and will continue to suggest, allow yourself to fully feel your emotions. Express them in the best ways you know how, and then allow yourself to let them go. Besides verbally expressing your emotions, you may want to try expressing them in song, poem, dance, body language or art.

Need Assistance?

If you are having trouble staying centered in the fast pace of this new year of the Wood Horse, know that I am available for holistic healing sessions. You can contact me at 619-865-6619 or email at gen@gentouchmassage.com to book an appointment.

February 2014

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Summertime… the Holistic Way
By Genevieve Siegel, HHP



The sun is shining, birds are chirping and it’s getting a bit warmer in San Diego. And during my trip to Joshua Tree this past weekend, it hit triple digits. Yep, summer is officially here.

What does this new season mean for us in a holistic sense?

First of all, if you didn’t click on the holistic link above, holistic or wholistic pertains to the whole being. As most of you know, I am a Holistic Health Practitioner and I approach a client or patient’s health and well-being holistically. I facilitate his or her healing needs mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. For instance, and as I wrote in my April article, if a client comes in with certain symptoms, I will address not just the physical, but how the person thinks (mind), their physical symptoms (body), how their energy feels (spirit), and how they are feeling (emotions).

All in all, I am practicing what I preach and living my life holistically, and would like to share this with you. So, how does the season of summer affect each of us in a holistic sense, and how can we approach this season in the most harmonious way?

Mind - Hard to focus?


When we think of summer, we think of summertime fun; quick getaways to the nearest beach or waterpark, or we plan for a luxurious vacation to Bali. Some of us even plan to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to a place some of us call home in the middle of dry lake bed.  And some of us are getting into STAYcations to save a little bit of cash.

Nonetheless, in the winter we dreamt, rested and rejuvenated. In the spring we have been planning for new adventures and projects. And in the summertime we will be all about ACTION. There is so much to do, especially living in a paradise such as San Diego.  There are rocking concerts in the park, somewhat smooth waterskiing in the bay, fun-filled beach frolicking, mouth-watering backyard barbeques, crazy swim parties, exquisite meals at outdoor restaurants, fun and interesting movies on the big screen at Balboa Park, history-filled museums, the world famous San Diego Zoo, and exhilarating Wild Animal Park and much, much more.   

Not only is the summertime associated with action, but according to the Five Elements Theory, is related to FIRE, passion and feeling inspired. All those well laid plans from the springtime are now going to be ignited into action. So hang on to your shoes, because it’s time to rock & roll!

It’s great to be filled with passion and fire and it is fun to DO a lot of things.  However, when it comes to your mind, you may feel like it is hard to concentrate, because your mental energy is on FIRE. There is so much to do, so much to see, and so many people to connect with. You “should” be focusing on work, yet the glorious beach or serene forest is calling your name. You are on the computer hammering out a big project and… SQUIRREL! You get side-tracked.  The key here is to stay focused to get the much needed tasks done, and then you can go play! So take a big deep breath, and just know that your springtime planning will now pay off.  AFTER you have put in a good hard day or week of work, you can go PLAY. Remember that the days are longer, so we can do more things! If just knowing these things and breathing more deeply is not enough, then try massaging your feet, especially the tips of your toes. According to reflexology your brain is represented in the tips of your toes.  So, massage away and feel more focused and relaxed! 

Body - Be Good to Your Temple


Your body rested and rejuvenated during the winter.  Your body cleansed during the spring. And now your body is ready to surf, dance, move, run, play and have fun!  If only we can afford to just passionately play for 3 months.

Nonetheless, we need to take care of our temple to make sure it gets from A to Z with little or no pain.  So even though it’s against that fiery passion of going, going, going nature, it’s important to get some rest too and eat well to support all your activities.  You may want to take some time to stretch before you go on that 10 mile hike down to the exotic waterfalls of Havasupai, or be well prepared if you are even thinking about participating in the Iron Man race. And of course, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

According to Seymour Koblin’s book, The Art of Zen Touch, some good harmonizing foods to keep our fire balanced are:


Grains:
Corn, Amaranth and Quinoa
Vegetables:
Large leafy greens such as kale, collards, dandelions
And of course Fruits:
All the juicy summertime fruits that keep you hydrated such as various berries, watermelon, oranges, etc.

You can wear harmonizing colors such as red or fluorescents.

Last but not least, you may want to use some sun-screen! I know that I have very nice skin because I am half Asian, however I strongly believe in protecting my skin as well.  Some people believe that the higher the SPF the better. But are they better? According to Florida dermatologist James M. Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays.


"After that, it just gets silly," he says.  


Knowing this information, I have been Goldie Locks of sunscreen… some are too thick and leave either a white residue or a thick greasy feeling. Some do not have enough SPF, some have too much of the bad chemicals, and some just smell funny.  I personally use Alba Botanica’s Natural even advanced SPF 15 for my face.  I love the way it feels on my face and it smells yummy! And according to the Food Babe, Alba has good sunscreens!

Spirit - Ignight that Fire


Summer time is also a great time for igniting your energy.  If you rub your hands together, separate them and then, put your hands close together, what do you feel? You feel your energy.  You feel heat. Summertime is filled with heat and a very expansive energy.

Within us we have what are called energy centers in our bodies. These are called Chakras. Each center represents different aspects of our lives.  This summer fire energy relates to the 3rd Chakra which is your personal power or self-worth, empowering others, your will, and your strength.  According to Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Workbook, “This is the chakra that directs your actions and propels your vehicle down your life path. The crux of third chakra power rests on the strength of your will.  It is this unique quality that changes random circumstance into desired outcome.”

If you are feeling low on energy, one way to increase this fire energy is doing a Kundalini or fire breath exercise.  This breath can really get you going in the morning. There are many ways to do this type of breath. Briefly, it is bringing deep breaths in through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth fast. You will build up the breath rhythmically until you have equal fast breaths in and out.  However, I highly recommend learning this from someone who knows how to do Kundalini or fire breath, because we wouldn’t want you to hyperventilate or pass out from quickly going into this with short breaths.  Again, this breath work is for people who need MORE energy! So if you have plenty of fire and energy, you may not want to do this breath work!

Another way to increase the fire in your life or claiming your power is to take a little more risk.  According to Anodea Judith, “There is nothing safe about claiming your power.  Power is like a muscle.  It doesn’t grow unless it is exercised. Power is only developed when you take risks, move beyond your comfort level, and push yourself into new territory. And when you move beyond your comfort level, you will make mistakes and feel clumsy and perhaps self-conscious. Perfectionism is symptomatic of attaching too much importance to “looking good,” and can only make it difficult for you to move forward.  Give yourself room to explore, to flounder, and to learn.”

If you have too much fire then increasing the water element will be helpful. You can do this by drinking more water or being in more water and it will help smooth this energy or decrease the fire.  You can also learn to do grounding meditations or just breathing deeply and slowly for at least 20 minutes a day.

Emotions - Passion, love, Enjoy


According to Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Health & Energy section about the 3rd chakra, “Spiritual and emotional issues that can block energy in the Third Chakra are challenges with self-confidence, self-respect, competence and skills in the outer world, substance abuse, aggression, defensiveness, making decisions, and competitiveness.” 

She also has a great article, Self-Esteem: Seven Keys to Well-Being, which explains the seven areas of self-esteem and spiritual and holistic options to boost it.  The seven areas of self-esteem are as follows:

1) Physical Prowess
2) Social Skills and Social Comportment
3) Self-discipline
4) Self-trust
5) Financial Literacy
6) A place in the sun
7) Positive self-image.

For more information please visit Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Self-Esteem: Seven Keys to Well-Being.

On a more social note, when you think about summertime you think about heat.  And when some of us think about heat we think of passion.  And when we think about passion sometimes we think about summertime fun filled with a love.  Do you remember in the movie Grease, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John and one of my favorite childhood karaoke songs whose words were, “Summer lovin’ had me a blast… Summer lovin’ happened so fast…” And know that this intense fire and love may just be for the summer.  Enjoy it for what it is!

However, on a more committed note and for more long-term feelings, I have heard that June is one of the two most popular months to get married.  Honeymoons are enjoyed in exotic places such as Bali or Thailand. Anniversaries are celebrated at local resorts or with a beautiful romantic dinner at home.

Regardless of the length of the love, summertime is a good time to spice things up.   It’s a great time to let go, move forward, let the fire burn, enjoy the warmth, love and laughter and have some fun!  


Holistic - Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotions

All in all, summertime is a time for taking action and for those life changes that will benefit you. Enjoying the change of the seasons, as well as touching upon all aspects of your life (the holistic way of living), may lead to a more balanced, fulfilling life. May you have a joyous Summer Season filled with positive and creative thoughts, well-balanced nutrition, a healthy body, a free and playful spirit, and love and passion in your heart.

June 2013

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Self Love
By Genevieve Siegel, HHP

February was my birthday month.  In honor of it, I decided I was going to spread the love to all I knew. Then I realized, before I spread love to others, I better start by giving love to myself.  How could I possibly give all that love if I did not give it to myself first? Well, I could certainly try, but I believe that would not serve anyone.  So, I decided to dedicate last month Self-Love Month. 


The history of celebrating for more than just the day of my birth started several years back. A beautiful friend of mine shared a tradition she made up for herself. She said, “I like to celebrate my birthday for a minimum of 11 days before and 11 days after.” Her birthday is in November, so I am assuming that’s why she picked the number 11. Since my birthday is smack in the middle of the month (for those who do not know, yes I am a Valentine’s Day baby), I just decided to celebrate the whole dang month. A few years back, I shared this tradition with a fellow I was talking to at a pub and he said, “Wow! That’s a lot of celebrating and drinking!” I replied with a smile, “There are other ways to celebrate besides drinking alcohol!” He had to think about it, but he eventually concurred.  Nonetheless, the tradition of celebrating me has turned into celebrating and loving me in mind, body, spirit and emotions.


So, on a Wednesday around the beginning of Self-Love month, I took a ME day! I have been busting my little behind coordinating collaborative Holistic Fertility Retreat and instead of burning the fire fans at both ends, I reminded myself of BALANCE.  I actually practiced what I preach as a Holistic Health Practitioner. Since it was an ebb day and I only had one client, I allowed myself to take care of me.  In the morning I did a castor oil pack while I read my fun novella, Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Then, I intuitively picked a card from my Mona Lisa Shultz’s Mind Body Makeover deck and reinforced a positive affirmation. The affirmation I chose was, “I release the worry of health, finances, and work; I trust the future will take care of the past with the help of my Higher Power.” I took that as meaning not to worry about health, finances, and work and to stay in the present. I also understood to surrender to the powers that be, as everything is as intended.


As I ate my brown rice porridge, I started rereading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, while I kept my feet warm on my soothing hot water bottle.  He reminded me that “the human mind is a fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas, and concepts. You plant a thought and it grows.  The word is like a seed and the human mind is so fertile. What is important is to see which kind of seeds our mind is fertile for, and to prepare it to receive the seeds of love.” The first agreement of the Four Agreements is, “Be impeccable with your word.” I thought it meant, say what you mean with clarity.  I found out that literally, impeccability means “without sin.” A sin is anything you do which goes against yourself. In other words, do not say things that would go against you. This includes not saying anything ill against another as they may be upset with you for saying it and thus, you may feel consternation. So, it is still going against YOU! I lodged this concept into my mind.


The rest of the day was spent giving my friend/client a nurturing and healing massage, and feeding my heart and soul with healthy yummy foods. In the evening, I met with fellow beautiful Goddess friends, whom I have not seen in ages. We laughed and enjoyed each other for a yummy bite to eat at Casa De Luz. I came home to my beautiful life partner who made me popcorn, a hot water bottle to warm my feet and we watched “Jesus Henry Christ” on Netflix. This movie was a little rough at first but most fulfilling after that.


The next day I woke up and did some yoga-inspired movement therapy and danced to one fun song in the living room. The rest of that day was a good busy day of website updates, confirmation of guest speakers, and writing emails.  The day also consisted of running errands, attending to household things, the garden, and the chickens and helping prepare dinner by harvesting some tasty greens from our garden. It felt like it was a good productive day and I still managed to get in my self-love in the morning.


On the official day of Self-Love month, I woke up and attended to the chickens. I rushed back inside and snuggled back in bed with my yummy warm partner.  When he got up, he prepared me a hot water bottle.  I did a castor oil pack while I finished my novella. My hopeless romantic side shed a tear because they finally…wait… I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! Nevertheless, with the remaining minutes, I read the rest of the First Agreement chapter. I decided that with this Agreement and Self-Love Month in mind, I would make the agreement to “Be impeccable with my words.” And as I did my Maya Abdominal Self-care Massage, with each stroke I said an affirmation.  While working gently on my lower abdomen and 2nd chakra, I said one of these affirmations, “I rejoice in my divine sexuality,” or “My income is constantly increasing,” or “I only attract loving, positive, sensual people into my life.” These are affirmations I learned from the book, Urban Tantra, Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Carrellas. According to this book, the 2nd chakra relates to sexuality, relationships, creativity and power. And then I began to say, “I am loved, I am loveable.” According to Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Workbook, not only does the 2nd Chakra have to with the aforementioned, but it is also about your emotions and emotional identity; your basic right to feel, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually. This chakra is also about nurturing of self and others, healthy boundaries, ability to enjoy pleasure, embrace change and graceful movements. A bunch of positive thoughts and affirmations came running through my mind and rolling off my tongue.


Then, I proceeded to my upper abdomen and reaffirmed, “I am worthy,” “I am safe,” “I trust.” According to Urban Tantra, the 3rd chakra is about self-esteem, courage and trust. And, according to Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Workbook, the 3rd chakra has do with ego identity and the right to act, and “coming from a place of power and responsibility.” With each stroke, with each affirmation, I took full deep Prana breaths in and out, to lock in the positive energy and affirmation and to release anything that did not benefit me.


Throughout the month I did at least one thing for me each day, such as journaling, castor oil packs, self-care massage, meditating/breathing, napping, eating healthy and tasty foods , long soaks in Epsom salt, writing affirmations, having a casual lunch with a friend, reading inspirational books, receiving massages, releasing negative patterns and installing new ones, gardening, interacting with our chickens, playing at the beach, practicing and dancing with my new fire fans.  I did things that fed my soul, stimulated my mind, healed my body and expressed my emotions throughout the whole month. As the month came to a close, I realized that I did a great job of doing self-care each and every day. Then I realized I should be doing this EVERY DAY of the year not just during my birthday month! We get so caught up in our daily lives that we seem to forget the most important thing is our health and well-being, which starts with loving ourselves.

I invite you to join me in taking this challenge of Self-Love and Self-Care. So, as I remind you, I remind myself that Self-Love and Care is crucial in leading a well-balanced life. The more I love myself, the better I can love others and the better I will feel!


March 2013



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Changing with the Seasons the Holistic Way

By Genevieve Siegel, HHP


We are a few weeks plus into the new season of Spring.  We had the Spring Equinox on March 20th to ring in the change of seasons.  The birds are chirping, our community garden is producing some amazing vegetables, and my roses are blooming and ever so aromatic. 

What does this new season mean for us in a holistic sense?

First of all, if you didn’t click on the holistic link above, holistic or wholistic pertains to the whole.  As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I approach a client’s/patient’s health and well-being holistically, by facilitating his or her healing needs mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  For instance, if a client comes in with certain symptoms, I will address not just the physical, but how the person thinks (mind), their physical symptoms (body), how their energy feels (spirit), and how they are feeling (emotions).

With that being said, how does the season of Spring affect each of us in a holistic sense, and how can we approach this season in the most harmonious way?

Mind

When we think of spring we think of April showers bring May flowers.  We think of the shedding of our winter layers, we start to come alive and spring into action.  Many people think that the time for planning is when we ring in the New Year.  According to the Five Elements Theory, the wood element or springtime is the time for planning and the birth of new ideas. So give yourself some slack if you didn’t come up with a plan right after you rang in the New Year.

Another thing you may want to consider, the purging of some of those negative thoughts that you may have been brewing over the winter.  Challenge yourself to think differently.  As soon as you recognize a negative thought, visualize a stop sign or mentally hear the word stop, and then slowly replace those thoughts with positive ones.  Sometimes you may need aids such as journaling, or writing positive affirmations and leaving them all over the house until it gets programmed into your thought process.  It takes us 28 days to create a habit.  Try it and see what happens.  If you think you may need some assistance, some other good ways to break thought patterns are through visualization techniques guided by your local and skilled Holistic Health Practitioner, hypnotherapy or Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Body

The Spring-time and wood element is associated with the liver and gallbladder.  It’s a great time to do a liver cleanse or detox.  You can try to do it on your own; however it’s best to do this under the care of a knowledgeable health practitioner.  If you do not want to take formulas and be on a restrictive diet, then you can naturally cleanse by eliminating all of those favorite things that may tax your liver more than it needs to.  It is been known that in order to cleanse naturally and gently, you need to eliminate all toxins such as:

Caffeine

Alcohol

Recreational Drugs

Chemicals

Tobacco

Artificial Sweeteners

Processed foods or foods with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics

Not purified Water

And eat more organic fruits and vegetables, drink filtered room temperature water, and exercise for 120 days. By doing this, your liver may completely rejuvenate and you’ll be amazed at how good you feel. You will have a lot more energy, feel healthier and maybe have a kick in your step.  Please note that if you are taking prescription medications you should consult with your doctor before you incorporate these suggestions. If you decide to do this cleanse while you are still taking prescription medications, your body may not feel the full benefit, but you are sure to notice an improvement in your health.

Even if you do not do a liver cleanse or eat healthier, you may still notice some physical changes during the spring season.  We all know that during the spring time the bees are buzzing and pollinating as animals are mating and the flowers are blossoming.  What does this mean for us humans? Suddenly you may notice a certain twinkle in a friend’s eye that you have never noticed before. You notice that guy you were dating just smells exquisite after he’s gone for a light run.  Or you notice that the woman across the apartment complex wears too much perfume and the mail lady smells heavenly in her government blues.  These are our pheromones in action. He or she may be emitting just the right kind of pheromones to attract a mate, or maybe just to date you.

If you want to actually mate and not just date, then a great time for this is around May Day or Beltane. May Day is on May 1st and it’s a time for gathering and celebration at the height of Spring.  Females, if you are in tune with your body you may feel more fertile than normal. To get a clear picture of your fertility signs, you can learn from your local holistic health practitioner who specializes in fertility, or you may want to read, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler, MPH.  If you are not looking to have a baby, or are not fully in tune with your body, then you may still want to read the book to AVOID those fertile times.

Spirit

Spring time is also a great time for cleansing your energy.  If you put your hands close together, what do you feel? You feel your energy. Sometimes, especially during the winter time we can feel slow, sluggish and even stuck.  Spring is a time for movement and getting that energy of your spirit to move and flow.  Some cultures believe that a good way to cleanse the spirit is to use White Sage to smudge the body. Doing this may make you may feel a bit lighter, energetically.  Another way to cleanse the spirit is to make some changes in your life.  If you have been divinely inspired during the winter time, it’s time to make the plans for those dreams to come to fruition. You can also stir your spirit by being spontaneous or more creative. Do things that feed your soul. Go on a spiritual retreat. Just being in Mother Nature feeds my soul!

Emotions

Some not so fun feelings that are associated with the wood element or spring time are anger, frustration, worry, or impatience.  Ways to balance some of these emotions, as mentioned above, are to eat healthier by eating sprouted vegetables, or go through a liver cleanse. Some harmonizing behaviors are to do something spontaneous. If you are healthy, you may want to try parachuting out of an airplane.  If that is not your style then waking up and deciding to take a day trip or getting a therapeutic massage on a whim with some friends. Being creative or playing freely are other ways to balance some of the negative emotions. Write a poem or a song.  Create some new free flowing dance moves, or a fabulously delicious dish that has fresh sprouted greens in it. 

Another way to work with your emotions is to take the time to figure out what it is that you are truly angry, frustrated, or worried about.  Maybe you need to forgive someone or yourself. Actually, forgiving yourself is probably the hardest thing that you will do in your life. So you may want to start off small.  Forgive someone who you perceive as being rude to you by cutting front of you at the grocery store. Imagine yourself spontaneously writing a poem about forgiving an ex-lover, friend, or parent you may have felt wronged by. Then, you creatively express yourself by dancing to your favorite song, and afterward you eat a freshly grown salad topped with alfalfa sprouts. You would feel so incredibly balanced.

Holistic - Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotions

All in all, spring time is a time for renewal and sowing the seeds for those life changes that will benefit you. Enjoying the change of the seasons, as well as touching upon all aspects of your life (the holistic way of living), may lead to a more balanced, fulfilling life. May you have a joyous Spring Season filled with positive and creative thoughts, well-balanced nutrition, a healthy body, a free and playful spirit, and love and forgiveness in your heart.

April 2011
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