…of Chinese Acupuncture to help us evolve to a higher understanding of our present circumstances
By Chloe Faith Wordsworth November 20th 2016
(reprinted with permission)
Stress – a fact of life
Most of our problems, if not all of them, relate to stress.
Research has shown that when we are free of stress, our immune system is strong and well-functioning, and that in stressful circumstances our immune system becomes depleted and loses it optimal functioning.
But research has also proved that when we handle stress in a successful way, our immune system is boosted, even higher than if we had no stress at all.
The challenge of this past year of stress and its opportunity
This year, on a national level, if not globally, millions of people in the US have been seriously stressed out.
Even if you have no political interest, you probably have clients who are angry, afraid or suffering grief as a result of the Trump-Clinton polarization.
In schools, lesson plans were abandoned because children were terrified. One practitioner related that she knows people who are throwing up as a result of the election results. These kinds of election responses illustrate the level of stress that both adults and children are experiencing.
How the Inner Tradition of Chinese Acupuncture may help
The Inner Tradition of Chinese Acupuncture shows that for a deeper level of healing to take place, we must integrate and resonate with a new understanding and spiritual awareness.
Let’s take a look at the Inner Tradition concept of the Five Elements as a way to help us understand why we are stressed and how we can begin move beyond our stress to a new level of consciousness.
The disturbed emotion of the WOOD ELEMENT is belligerence – anger, rage, resentment, blame, judgments and criticism.
This year we have all been exposed to a lot of anger through the media, and our collective Wood is stressed out by this excess.
The result of this stress manifests as a Wood imbalance: many are feeling hopeless. Some want to move to another country. Others feel like giving up. Yet others are reacting with angry protests, without necessarily thinking of the underlying cause of their anger, and the direction that would address the underlying cause rather than the symptom.
The opportunity for our Wood Essence
In the Inner Tradition, the Essence of Wood (Hun) empowers us to evolve, learn and grow by raising our consciousness and striving for the best within ourselves.
Hun asks us to stay connected to heaven’s plan for our life and, with its virtue of benevolence, to rise above all judgments of good and bad, to see things differently, to keep seeing positive options – no matter how dire the situation may be.
As we strengthen our Wood, we keep moving forward with a positive assertive energy to manifest the vision of what is possible for ourselves and others. Giving up is not an option. Hopelessness is simply an opportunity for a new vision and positive action.
The disturbed emotion of the FIRE ELEMENT is loss of joy. The Essence of the Fire Element in the Inner Tradition is Shen.
The opportunity for our Fire Essence
Shen empowers us to know our truth, follow our truth and go into right action based on our conscience.
This year our national Shen Essence has been undermined. We have been exposed to lies. We no longer trust that people are telling the truth – whether political figures, corporations, the media or advertising.
Our Fire is disillusioned. We can no longer sort out what is true and what isn’t. Our Fire wants loving connection and a sense of safety, and yet what we have seen is disconnection, a lack of love and a lack of safety. Communities and families are divided, polarized and disconnected as a result of deep political differences. And yet underneath these differences, we all want the same things: truth, fairness, kindness, caring – the basic human needs. Our Fire wants love with all people. Anything less than love creates stress for us.
The virtue of the Fire Element requires that we follow our heart’s conscience and intuitive knowing, that we speak the truth and live the truth – a high ideal that is rarely modeled in the political arena, or for that matter by us! We all have lessons to learn here about what it is to live the truthful life.
The disturbed emotion of the EARTH ELEMENT is lack of sympathy.
The virtue of the Earth Element is reciprocity: we are nourished deeply when we do good in the world – for all people, rather than for ourselves alone or just for the tribe we belong to.
We want to take care of each other. We want to know that others care for us. In Japan during the tsunami, this was illustrated when people would come home to find that someone had left food on their doorstep. Little actions towards strangers that show we care for each other’s security and survival.
The stress/anxiety that so many are experiencing is a reflection of a disturbed Earth Element: people are insecure about their survival, about whether they will have a home, whether they will still belong and be accepted, whether they will be deported and many are feeling deeply sympathetic for the thousands who may lose their homes and be deported.
The opportunity for our Earth Essence
On a deeper level, healing of our Earth Element asks us to maintain our center of balance in the face of the unknown. It requires that we focus on how we personally can align our thoughts, words and actions with our heart’s truth – no matter what others choose to do – and how we ourselves can express kindness and caring for each other beyond our differences
The disturbed emotion of the METAL ELEMENT is grief.
The stress that so many are experiencing is caused from the grief that the popular vote for the next president didn’t lead to Hillary Clinton being the first woman president.
When expectations are not met, it leads to suffering, grief, depression, and a feeling that nothing has any worth. When values of truth, honesty, upright business practices, respect for women are turned upside down, the culture must do some serious soul-searching.
When Metal loses its balance, money becomes god: money takes priority over every other consideration, whether spiritual or human. To successfully handle this stress we must look at where we make money a priority over honesty, generosity and caring. If corporations are dishonest, we don’t buy their products. Our Metal Element is willing to make some sacrifices to stand by a higher ethical code.
The opportunity for our Metal Essence
Po is the Essence of the Metal Element. And Po empowers us to receive inspiration, to know there is a higher purpose to everything that happens and to be receptive to grace.
The virtue the Metal Element is righteousness – the ethical upright mind, which we cultivate when we see every situation as a gift for our higher spiritual transformation. Each of us is challenged to see how we can apply this ideal in our personal lives – if we want to impact the hologram of the nation and global village.
We need to resonate with letting go of unmet expectations, pain and loss. And we need to resonate with holding on to what has true value within ourselves, to our spiritual values, and putting our values into action in our personal and professional life
The disturbed emotion of the WATER ELEMENT is fear, and this is the primary disturbed emotion that most people are experiencing. The country is deeply in debt. We are spending too much money. Most of us are living beyond our means.
The virtue of Water Element is wisdom – to conserve our vital energy and to know when we are wasting our energy in the way we think, feel or act. Wisdom gives us the courage to face the ups and downs of life and to direct our energy towards what is most important: manifesting our life purpose and our spiritual purpose.
The opportunity for our Water Essence
The Essence of Water is Zhi — the will to make conscious choices, right choices. We have the opportunity at this time of national and global insecurity, about so many issues that threaten the survival of so many, to make a positive difference through our wise choices.