Springtime: The element of Wood

In my ongoing quest to understand the Chinese 5 elements, I have been looking at the natural seasonal cycles. It is believed that certain positive practices and behaviours are more effective when performed in specific months, harnessing the dominant elemental energy present at that particular time of year.

So in terms of the energy of Spring, represented by the Wood element, what would be the best positive practices to be working on at this time of year?

To feel this energy I am supposed to be harnessing, I decided to imagine what it would be like to learn to fly. Having watched our baby pigeons do it, I felt it beautifully represents the essence of spring and it turned out to be very enlightening.

Imagine you are a baby bird. You’ve got a couple of wing-things and you are learning to flap them but initially with no seeming control. They just seem to take on a life of their own… goodness knows how they are supposed to get you into the air.

But over time, a few belly flops, dive bombs and embarrassing branch entanglements later, there is a moment where for the briefest of milliseconds, you FEEL it. It's not actual ‘flying’ but you feel how it could become flying, your body weight didn’t drop quite like normal, there was a tiny but epic moment where you winked at gravity and overcame it.

This, I think, is the essence of spring, the feeling of the wood element. The moment a hope, a dream or an idea, becomes a KNOWING, when the seeds we plant begin to grow into what we intended them to be.

Most importantly, their trajectory is not random, those seeds were carefully chosen for what they would become. Acorns always grow into oak trees not sometimes beech trees. Pigeons are always meant to fly.

So to harness this dominant Wood energy, full of focused growth, expansion and optimismwe should be planting carefully chosen seeds, with thoughtfulness and expectation, planting blueprints to a future outcome that we want: we should be INTENTION SETTING.

Not at New Year, where it is traditional to set our resolutions for the year, when the elemental energy is Water with its characteristic stillness, inward focus and hibernation- not the right time at all! It's no wonder we all fail at sticking to them!

A previous blog post looks at the best ways for us to set intentions https://www.atticteas.com/blogs/health-facts/alchemy.

Unfortunately the ‘knowing’ isn’t enough, then the regular practice needs to come in. As with yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness, meditation, tea drinking, breathing techniques and any other positive ‘practice’, it is the repetition over time that will begin to change you at a cellular level, until the hope you will be able to fly, becomes the knowing that you can fly, becomes the reality that you can fly, becomes simply who you are.

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