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I saw clearly after the last writing - it might be time to point out that our experience doesn't need to be a long one.

We often fear getting lost or even of drowning...in our own depths.

Isn't this perhaps why we stay on the surface of our days - allowing - even coaxing ourselves further away into distractions...? Distracted by anything and everything that pops up, floats by us?

Is this perhaps why we stay busy all the time? Making our lists, our schedules, plans...filling up our space and time with Things to Do...

We haven't learned well enough what might be possible for us right here and now, in this moment. And thereby, be able to trust a potential inside us for sane, calm, stable peace.

Actually our elemental, essential aspect of WATER - shows us what already is true about us.


The last post - insights on the Metal element - sets us up for penetrating sharply into our inner world so that we can see this. And feel its value.


We stop. We see. Then we think: "This is what is happening right now. I am sitting, breathing into my own experience as fully as I can right now. That's all."

We explored Metal to see more clearly what there is to contain, structure and frame our natural 'Water-ness'. We are MADE of Water. Every function of us takes place in Water (consider with me in the next post all the ways we have discovered this our modern scientific Metal world of facts about the water that IS our body).


We have taken out our mental pointer to focus. Just a momentary noticing helps us form some concentration.

We hold it right here, in this moment.

We are train in using the object of our breath (inhale, breath, taking in) as our reference point.

And nothing more, nothing less is desired, needed or longed for. It gives a sense of safety: just knowing what I am, right here right now.

The past disappears, the future is not yet here.

There's nothing BUT here. And we get to taste the direct deep moment of Now. This time, now, becomes more precious and important to us.



Often, when we get a chance to stop, rest or even slow down a little bit, a part of us gets nervous, anxious..."But I have too much to do...I have so many things today that I have to accomplish! I don't have time!"


This, ironically, can happen because we have never even stopped to see what IS happening. Or - if we have practiced this mindful state a couple of times before - we either have no taste of stillness or peace to savor and remember, so that develop a perpetual craving for it.

We keep craving the active moving parts of us. A patient of mine, lying on the table in my clinic's Water themed room, discovered after a few mindful moments, a belief on her mental surface said: "If I don't give myself all these things to do, I won't be able to move forward!"


Or. If we have tested out our mindful state - we loved it and we may want to stay in it: "Oh! I like this! I don't want to come out of this..."

And then we will do nothing else for the rest of the day.

(interesting thing to fear and avoid, isn't it?)


So, we have learned through our conditioning - and perhaps built a whole monument of our identity of it - to believe action is the more valuable thing. That our action must be the thing we or everyone else can see with the outer eyes.



The inner eye of our wisdom, our intuition, hasn't been edified and exalted as a treasured enough resource. So then it makes sense that we have trouble prioritizing it. And it is logical now to see why it gets forgotten as an actual source of clear, efficient and effective activity when it's time.

No one can convince you of your own inner peace and that you already know what is needed. But it is deep. And, it does mean a willingness to dive in.


So, we can do this quickly and briefly.



First, the breathing into the moment. Then, allowing the distractions and interruptions to this moment to fade and dissolve around your edges (softening the sharper awareness of your physical structure or body).

Now, the waiting. Just a moment....

Here.


You can just imagine that you are like a bubble in a body of water. You are in the water, and also of the water. You are made of water and it also surrounds you. And if then you can: imagine that this body of water is the right temperature, the right amount of calming light, and soothes you from all sides.


If you feel that a deep plunging is a little anxiety-provoking, just stay in an imaginary boat. Just be aware of the water - it's around you, it surrounds you, is beneath you. It is also you. You are also water, even inside the boat.


And just float. Abide. Let the water around you in this mental picture just hold you.

In the safety of our moment's restful imagination, we can just be someone who doesn't have to move your arms, know how to swim, or drown without air.


The key here (Note: Metal tool) is to allow and feel your own mind creating the safety in this floating and abiding (Metal container).

Thinking: "This is my own mind. I am not in an unsafe place because I am the one creating it."




Practice this today a little bit. Here - and then as each next "here and now" comes up. ...When you start to feel that you are being swept away in any waves of busyness. When the distractions start making waves in your moment...


When a swirling eddy grabs you up and even your own thoughts start making your little personal ocean feel like it is rocking your peaceful boat-like body. Breathe in. Wait a moment. Dive into your mental water source and abide.

When you then arise and look out to see 'what's next?" - trust the wise clarity of your own mind...



Next: Some Beneficial Truths about Water


Waving at you from here,

Deann




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Within the system of Chinese Medicine, five elemental phases (Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Water) describe and express how nature's rhythm intersects and interacts with our individual physical, emotional and mental being.


Here, we look into the phase of Metal. Although it is associated with the seasonal energy of Autumn, 2020 is the year of the Yang Metal Rat (see my previous post). This shift in energies gives an opportunity to explore how each elemental phase, or aspect, is always appearing within the others.

Metal is rising up through this Water, or Winter, season as we dive into 2020. Some of its main qualities are INSPIRATION and ELIMINATION. (These come up within the energy pathways of the Lung and Large Intestine channels inside our bodies. Some more on that below).

It's a continuous cycle.

The aim is to cultivate a structured, yet moving, rhythm. This helps us engineer our personal structures - honoring our own natural tendencies and expressions - to give a flexible physical and emotional framework.

This allows new flow, new resources to come in and makes room for our plans and wishes to manifest.

We also have the energy to see what obstructs our flow - what we haven't removed or released.


So, we would need to know: What am allowing IN? What am I holding onto?

What happens when I consider taking a dive, going deeper, to explore my inner truths?


So, check: Are you willing to pause and take a few moments to experiment?

Let's go inside ourselves together for a few moments.

It's just about inquiry. Asking ourselves some questions, then just listening to the natural answers.

We use the immediate and available awareness of our own breath.


INSPIRATION

Breathe in for a moment. Keep reading and let yourself become more aware of taking in the air.

Observe and feel the sensation of the air moving into your nostrils and down into the chest.


What do you actually feel physically as this happens? (Without allowing an inner critic to take over) just hear any commenting inside your mind.

What is it feeling like, to pause gently and do this?

See how far the air goes in.

Notice when it actually seems to expand your lungs.

What thoughts start to come up, just sitting and watching, feeling your breath.

At this stage, we just keep merely noticing.



ELIMINATION

At some point, the air builds up inside and it turns to find exit.

Keep observing this.

At what point does it tip over the top of the expansion of breathing and want to go out.

Just notice if there's anything that hesitates, waits, or rushes, hurries.

And as before, notice if any thoughts come up as it releases.

THE PROCESS

Really, just keeping it this simple can sometimes show us interesting information about our internal automatic experiences. Even if this information is that it bores you or makes you unsettled.

What's interesting is that this is the first way to train ourselves to seek and find the deeper place of ease and peace in our body and mind.

What's wonderful (and valuable) to realize is that the breath itself is naturally peaceful. It just sometimes is running into blocks or is getting hung up in places that don't allow a flexibility of movement.


So, right now, is your breath coming in with ease?

Do you notice any places inside you that it doesn't move as easily?



HOW IT FLOWS

In acupuncture training, we learn the technique of feeling the pulse. In western medicine, we often think that the pulse only measures heart rate or blood pressure. However, in eastern medicine, we also use it to register the more subtle flow of your energy circulation.


By feeling the pulse at the wrist, we start tuning in and detect the qualities of energy circulation. Each position on the wrist where we place our fingers matches a location for various pathways of this internal energy flow.


Each pathway has a general personality or quality. Lung and Large Intestine channels, for example, run through those named organs. They include these physical organs and geographical areas, but also contain and express our emotions, moods and feelings.


Lung and Large Intestine pathways are designated to TAKE IN and what we RELEASE. They indicate - how is our internal landscape inviting, welcome, accepting what comes in, and what is, or not, releasing.


So when we observe our own breath process, we can get direct information.

Even the way we say things about ourselves and our life:

"There's too much coming in!"..."I can't take another thing in!"..."I need more!"

OR

"I am so inspired!...WOW! Look at all this for me to take in!...this is so valuable to me, I welcome this!"

That's our Lung, or Metal part, talking.


And, the other end (literally) of the spectrum:

"I can't let this go...I can't move on...there's too much I haven't done with this...I still don't know what I got out of what I took in..."

Large Intestine speaking. The structure that has received from the outside, and is responsible for preparing and releasing what has been used.

("Am I rushing to finish and get rid of things too quickly...? Am I not letting go when it's time?")


So we can see - sometimes things are coming in or leaving too fast, we are hurrying. Shallow breathing, choppy, tight, strained. Sometimes too, a rushed expulsion of our "waste" or a constipation - we're stuck, holding on.


The correlations between this and uncomfortable symptoms we have are often remarkable. And, are much easier to understand and connect our attention to than we think.

We can just slow down enough to watch our own felt experience.


This is what the Metal shows a practitioner like me. I am taught first to listen to symptom words, what a patient is saying. Then to wonder with them:

What has been 'coming at them' in their life recently?

Are they struggling to 'digest' their present situations?

Are relationships (outside connections) a struggle right now?


It's always startling to see how symptoms like clogged sinuses, infections, cough, bloating, constipation or diarrhea show up in tandem with someone's story.

It helps me see and understand more vividly their flow may be obstructed.

These physical experiences speak candidly to me of any possible emotional and mental energy blockages, weaknesses or imbalances.


The VALUE of INQUIRY


I've found that it's well worth the time to explore this directly. Not only do my tools to evaluate physical parts of a person, but merely listening to what the body is trying to say can be more efficient.


This skill and function of Metal is called DISCERNMENT: the ability to distinguish. We want to find out what is VALUABLE to us. WORTHWHILE.

What, now, is worth TAKING IN and Keeping.

What, now, is a WASTE of our time and energy to hold onto.


Studying ourselves from questions like:

  • Am I taking in too much?

  • How stuck or cluttered do I feel...physically, mentally, emotionally?

  • Is my rhythm clear and easy...or jagged and tight?

  • Am I seeing things that happen to me as possibility...refreshing, new and expansive? Or...recycled (same ole, same ole)...stale and stuck?

ENGINEERING & FRAMING

We can't feel stable enough to move forward without this knowing. Being willing to construct - within our own framework - takes us with ease into our Water element, which is about our deeper knowing. This is where we discover our wisdom, our intuitions, our deeper truths.


In the next post, I will discuss more about the element of Water. But for now, I offer you the inquiry:


What can we learn and see that is valuable to us at this point in time?

What is most meaningful to take in, have, and experience?


These answers are unique to you. We can point out to ourselves to creating new space for new thoughts and things that are valuable and worthy to us.

We explore like this to remember what truly inspires us and how to trust our own insights.


Forging on,

Deann






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