This post is dated February 29, 2016. It was originally sent out as the first in the Monday Meditation series.
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The air is warming and the insects are awakening. The trees are beginning to give off their pollen and our sinuses can feel it. The days are lengthening, giving us opportunity to expand our perspectives and start anew.
Welcome to spring!
Using the Chinese seasonal calendar, we now find ourselves at the start of the new season. Each season correlates to one of the five elements — Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, or Earth. Dates and time frames include transition periods, which are represented by the Earth element, and in contrast to the Gregorian calendar most of us are used to, the Chinese “rural calendar” uses the Equinoxes and Solstices as marks of the midpoints of the seasons as opposed to the beginning dates.
Wood is the element of spring, time for new beginnings!
On February 26 we moved into the Wood time of year, which peaks at the Vernal Equinox on March 19 at 10:30PM Mountain Standard Time (MST). Wood is the element of the liver and gall bladder, the eyes, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It corresponds to the positive aspects of excitement, growth, and productivity.
This spring call upon the element of wood to charge up your intentions with excitement, eagerness, and enthusiasm.
From now until the Equinox, be sure to give a boost of excitement to whatever it is you are intending for yourself. If you have a new project you are envisioning, a business or personal endeavor you are about to begin, or a new path of focus you would like to set forth, take time at least once a day to imagine it coming to fruition in the best possible way.
And get pumped about it!
Creating something new requires commitment to take each step to reach your goal. But this doesn’t have to mean forcing yourself into a stressful grind to hustle your way there.
Half the job of creating discipline comes from the act of remembering to do your work.
This week’s Qi Challenge is a simple practice of setting intentions. It only takes a few minutes and has profound effects.
The most important step of this challenge is to create a reminder. Write yourself a note and place it somewhere in which you will pay attention to it. Use your smart phone or computer to set a daily alarm labeled something like, “State your intention!” or “Declare what you want!” or better yet, write your intention directly into your alarm label or handwritten reminder.
Each day, at a time of the day at which you will be available to turn your attention inward for a few minutes, follow these steps for creating a welcoming place for your intentions to be nurtured.
Close your eyes and cover your lower dan tien with your hands, one on top of the other. The lower dan tien is the energy center located a couple inches below your navel, on the midline within your body. Move your awareness into your body. Look inside. Listen.
Then, choose your personal resolve for the next two weeks. What do you want to start? How do you want to feel? Where would you like to see your passion take you? What fresh start would make you feel inspired and joyful?
Examples may be, “I will make healthy decisions about what I eat and drink,” “I will find peace and rejuvenation in my tai chi practice,” or, “I am open to receiving inspiration toward learning what it is I truly want.”
State your personal resolve three times, mentally, or out loud. Take a moment to imagine what your life would feel like having attained your objective. Then feel a sense of excitement, as though you have reached your goal already. Feel the excitement fill you up and then follow it up with gratitude.
When you’re ready, open your eyes, release your focus, and take that inspired feeling into the rest of your day!