“Clay can be dirt in the wrong hands, but clay can be art in the right hands”.
—Lupita Nyong’o (actress)
My late mentor, Dr. Richard Tan, showed me how to look at the patterns of life and health in a very mathematical and predictable way.
This is one of the reasons Chinese medicine explains your symptoms so systematically and your environment is included in the equation (which really is the definition of Holistic medicine).
Using a big picture view, I look at how things are naturally connected.
Dr. Tan also had an absolute fascination with Chinese astrology.
Now it may seem to you counter-intuitive to put math and astrology in the same sentence, I’m sure. Think of it as using the same holistic principles with an even bigger picture.
It helps to be prepared; to align your lifestyle with these predictions.
And always remember, like it says in the quote above, you determine what your hands create with it!
How to make the most of the Lunar New Year?
This annual 2-week pre-spring event is a great time for you to get that last bit of rest and play so desperately needed before it’s time to ‘plant and sow’ again.
Ideally, your preparations are already completed (you’ve cleaned out your clutter and swept your threshold) and now you take the time to welcome in the energy of what comes next…
There are a whole bunch of superstitions attached to this ethereal branch of Chinese medicine (called Ba Zi).
The art is to see underneath superstition to the common-sense that created it.
Let’s take a look at what is expected in this New Year and how to stay healthy in it!
Welcome the Year of the Yin-Earth Pig
Think of it as The Muddy Pig Year!
This may help you understand what I mean, bear with me…
Looking at the symbol, note that Yin (the dark) relates to fluids
while its opposite, Yang (light) relates to energy
Yin + Earth is ‘damp’ like soft clay or mud, and the animal symbol next in the timeline (the last of the 12) is the Boar…..and that’s how you get a muddy pig!
Okay, got it?! Now how does that affect your health this year?
Pigs love to wallow in mud, right? It’s their happy place!
You can take time to enjoy that too. Let’s call it ‘basking’ instead of wallowing, okay?
There’s nothing wrong or unnatural about it. Totally in the “NOW”!
But even a pig can get into trouble if they sink too deep because there’s too much water.
Like the clay on the wheel – it needs the right moisture content to stand up.
The skill is creating the right amount of damp -here’s what I mean.
Let me show you how to prevent getting ‘bogged down’, which will be the propensity for this year.
Dampness begins in your digestion.
In your body, dampness is:
All of which you could not live without, right?
Yet too much and you get symptoms of ill health!
Too much dampness looks like:
- Sinus congestion
- Heavy pressure
- Candida overgrowth
- Prostate swelling
Oy! Not fun! But good news…these are all treatable! You can manage dampness.
3 things to do right now to get you started…
1. MAKE ONE FOOD SHIFT
From gummy carbs to crisp veggie fibers
Remove one source of processed flours from your life (like skipping the dinner roll). These create damp.
Replace it with a double serving of lightly cooked veggies, full of fiber and nutrients (and add a little healthy fat while you’re at it!)
This will balance your energy and prevent the blood sugar ‘crash’ that leads you to give-in and lose your center.
2. TASTE YOUR HERBAL ALLY
Dried citrus peel (especially tangerine!)
Known as Chen Pi, is a lovely fragrant digestive herb that is safe and tasty and damp resolving.
Peel your own and dry them or purchase pre-made. Do your best to get an organic source since it’s a highly sprayed crop.
How to make “Chen Pi Infusion”
- Steep a palmful of dried peel in 3 cups of hot water for 7-10 minutes.
- Strain and drink throughout the day. Also a great for an after meal beverage!
Tangerines are a symbolic food at the Lunar New Year celebrations, representing good luck and wealth. Both of which come naturally in a Year of the Pig.
This infusion is great to prevent you from ‘giving in’ to too much sweet flavor or sweet cravings.
3. HOLD YOUR CENTER
The best mindset to align with this year is to focus on this mantra:
“Right Here – Right Now”
Say it with me…
Where does your attention go?
When I say it, I go back to my center and into my body’s senses. How about you?
We do this because it’s hard to look ahead accurately when you are at mud level, and it’s not going to be easy to do that this year. You may have blinders on and not even realize it!
Instead, enjoy body sense instead of projecting forward your worries or fears (that may be false).
You’re staying in “the now”.
Projection can be used for good, but more often it is a mind trap.
This year- we want to avoid collapsing into this trap.
Because mind-traps and overthinking create more DAMPNESS…ah ha!
- This happens because your ‘fight or flight’ response in turned on
- In turn, your ‘rest and digest’ mechanism is turned off
- Dampness accumulated from lack of digestion
Here’s something to think on instead…
- Let your sense of self-trust rule the day, rather than fear of the future.
- Work on you and the clarity of what’s inside your Heart.
- Set yourself up for success and be prepared rather than empty projecting.
- Have your support systems in place and know that where you give support matters.
MANTRA TIP: Put a rubberband on your wrist. Give it a little snap everytime you need to return to your center. Give it a try…then share how that worked for you in the Wellness Warriors.
Again- it’s all how you craft it.
YOU can control the amount of DAMPNESS in your body.