The Wood element of Spring gets plenty of attention here in the west! In general, western culture worships the Wood element to such an extreme that many of us live with a Wood imbalance. We’ve been living with it so long that it can seem “normal.”
When the Wood element is “too big,” we have physical signs of tension and conditions such as headaches, menstrual cramps, irritability with angry outbursts, a sense of always being on guard, and neck and shoulder pain. If the condition progresses we may have TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome), high blood pressure, insomnia, sciatica, or a crabby, negative disposition that isolates us from others.
Balance Wood with Metal
Fall is here, so we can take advantage of the season that balances Wood to bring ourselves into harmony. Wood is the beginning of Yang. So, it is extroverted, expanding, exciting, loud, doing, active, and full of big ideas and vision. Fall is just the opposite. The Metal element is our expression of inner attention, contemplation, editing, letting go, being quiet, feeling ourselves, being, breathing, meditating, and self-reflection.
We bring our attention to our breath as a means of bringing our awareness deeply within ourselves. Attention on the breath utilizes the Lungs, the organ associated with the Metal element, which increases the resource of Metal within us. This is a simple strategy for soothing Wood and harmonizing our Qi.
Although it takes extra effort to turn toward our Metal element in our fast paced mega-stimulated society, it is well worth it. As the leaves are falling off, the trees and plants retreat to their roots. It is time to contemplate and bring our awareness inward. By finding our way to our breath, to our stillness, to our inner world, we practice harmony with the Nature within us and around us, bringing balance to our Qi.