THE LISTENING SEED
I’ve been having a strong urge to spit lately.
As I get lost into the tangle of thoughts that have been spiraling through my mind I suddenly find myself salivating.
It’s not the kind of salivating you do when you’re thinking about that delicious chili relleno plate they do at your favorite Mexican food place.
And it’s not quite as severe as the I’m-about-to-be-sick salivating.
It’s a gradual accumulation of excess saliva in the mouth that seems to happen at the same rate as my mind has been producing thoughts of negativity, darkness, and fear.
I just want to spit it all out.
It’s as if my body recognizes toxic thoughts and wants to get rid of them.
In the same way that the body finds ways to expel physical toxins from itself, thoughts that are detrimental to the body’s wellbeing will also be targeted for ejection.
How does the body release a thought-form?
Traditional Chinese Medicine views everything as energy, or qi. The qi expresses itself in a vast variety of forms, and thoughts are one of those manifestations.
If thoughts are an expression of qi, we can use this idea to identify thoughts that don’t serve our highest good, acknowledge them without judgment, move them along, and dispel them from our energetic systems.
So back to my saliva.
In Chinese Five Element theory each element corresponds to specific organs, tastes, senses, sounds, directions, animals, numbers— the associations seem limitless. Emotions link up to distinct elements, and so do bodily fluids.
Excess saliva, it turns out, is connected to the element of water, which is also the element of the emotion, fear.
Duality in Harmony: Yin Contains Yang and Yang Contains Yin, photograph by Brea Fisher
My body knows my mind has been thinking fearful thoughts that aren’t working toward my best self, and it wants to move them along.
One way of releasing fearful thinking is to spit it out, literally.
There are other ways to ease fear, of course; techniques that don’t involve bodily fluids.
Try targeting your kindness crosshairs on anything, and everything.
In times when fear floods into our hearts en masse, it spreads like a sickness, traveling from one person to the next and building in its power by way of dividing us.
Fear wants us to think we are separate, different from one another, and therefore having the capability to be wrong or right.
If fear induces separateness, the antidote is loving kindness, which illuminates one with the immediate sense of unity.
Have you been finding yourself walking around the world today thinking, “I wonder whose side they’re on”?
It doesn’t matter what issue you have in mind, this is something many people are thinking when they navigate through their communities these days.
Love does not take sides, and kindness has the power to transform an opponent into a teammate.
Try this. If you are around people right now, the next person you see, whether you know that person or not, take five seconds and wish for that person happiness. If you’re alone, simply think of someone.
Don’t tell them what you’re doing, or do anything at all other than think the thought.
This is an exercise offered by Chade-Meng Tan, a Google engineer who has been with the company many years and is now their personal and spiritual development specialist.
Meng says his dream is to “create the conditions for world peace in [his] lifetime.” He’s an author and there are videos of him you can find online, but I happened to hear about him on a recent podcast episode of Note to Self.
Meng offers an exercise I just love, and so, I am passing it on to you as the Qi Challenge this time around.
It starts with those five seconds of happiness wishes. You can do it while driving, choosing people as you pass them by on the road. You can do it while alone, thinking of people in your life. You can wish happiness for those you love dearly, or you can wish it for complete strangers.
Do this throughout your day and see how you feel. You can do it at random times, or, for a more regimented routine, Meng suggests doing it every hour on the hour for a different person each time.
When you send kind thoughts out to others you find instant relief in the exact moment of your choosing.
When you send out wishes for another to be happy, it instantaneously brings to you a sense of contentment, peace, and love.
This means you now have a tool for instant feel-better-ness.
I’ve been practicing this exercise in loving kindness for some days now and it has changed me. My fearfulness has dissipated.
Regardless of whose side they’re on, what color their skin is, where they live, how much money they make, how old they are, what the believe in, or what they ate for breakfast, thinking loving thoughts of kindness about one’s fellow humans is a direct way to dissolve fear and create a sense of harmony.
I’ve stopped going around spitting every time I get worked up about the state of things. Now when I feel that palpable energy of the collective seeping into my own energy field I just start wishing.
I wish happiness for you, my friend. I wish happiness for you. I do. I wish it for you as you read this article. I wish it for you after you’ve forgotten about this article. I wish you happiness. I wish you happiness. I wish you happiness.
Who did you send wishes for happiness to? Tell me the story below. We all need to hear it right now.