April is over halfway gone and summer is finally on the horizon. Our windows are at least cracked most days and Minnesota had its first thunderstorm. And with that rain and lightning came the final seasonal node of spring: Grain Rain. Like Clear and Bright, the Grain Rain seasonal node is both wood and earth, carrying the upward energy of generation and the tumultuous energy of transformation. There are steps we can take to harmonize these two energies, ranging from how to eat to how to journal. But as always, the first step to resonating with a seasonal node is to understand its flow. Photo by Rocsana Nicoleta Gurza from Pexels

Grain Rain: Transformation into Summer

April is over halfway gone and summer is finally on the horizon.

Our windows are at least cracked most days and Minnesota had its first thunderstorm. And with that rain and lightning came the final seasonal node of spring: Grain Rain.

Like Clear and Bright, the Grain Rain seasonal node is both wood and earth, carrying the upward energy of generation and the tumultuous energy of transformation.

There are steps we can take to harmonize these two energies, ranging from how to eat to how to journal. But as always, the first step to resonating with a seasonal node is to understand its flow.

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While we’re all adjusting to stay at home orders the world around us marches on. This past weekend the spring equinox seasonal node shifted to the clear and bright seasonal node. It’s this inevitability of change that is giving me a foundation of hope and positivity in chaotic times. The only universal constant is change. Cycles persist. So, while our lives are wrought with emotional anarchy, social disharmony, and disruption to our routines, maybe we can find solace in the quiet, patient turn of the seasons. And to do so for the next two weeks, we turn to the wisdom of the clear and bright seasonal node. Featured image and cover photo by Dom J from Pexels

Clear and Bright: Centering and Growth for Spring

While we’re all adjusting to stay at home orders the world around us marches on. This past weekend the spring equinox seasonal node shifted to the clear and bright seasonal node.

It’s this inevitability of change that is giving me a foundation of hope and positivity in chaotic times.

The only universal constant is change. Cycles persist.

So, while our lives are wrought with emotional anarchy, social disharmony, and disruption to our routines, maybe we can find solace in the quiet, patient turn of the seasons.

And to do so for the next two weeks, we turn to the wisdom of the clear and bright seasonal node.

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Can you believe that spring is only a couple of days away? At least, spring as the modern Western world understands it. For those of us who work with the seasons for preventative health, we’ve been working in spring for about six weeks now. But on Thursday, the yang of the day will be equal to the yin of night and every day after that will bring us closer to the summer solstice. Are you ready? Do you have the reserves of energy necessary for the hard work of summer? Is the machinery of your life in proper working order to manage the generative and expansive energy of the coming months? Not sure? Read on. Featured image and cover photo by Tabitha Mort from Pexels

Flow Freely with the Spring Equinox

Can you believe that spring is only a couple of days away?

At least, spring as the modern Western world understands it. For those of us who work with the seasons for preventative health, we’ve been working in spring for about six weeks now.

But on Thursday, the yang of the day will be equal to the yin of night and every day after that will bring us closer to the summer solstice.

Are you ready? Do you have the reserves of energy necessary for the hard work of summer? Is the machinery of your life in proper working order to manage the generative and expansive energy of the coming months?

Not sure? Read on.

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Things are moving beneath the earth. Rather than being the premise of a horror movie, this is an exciting sign of seasonal progression. Roots spread their toes and stretch through the soil, drawing in the nutrients needed to drive shoots upward, out of the darkness, towards the sunlight. The frost releases its hold on the topsoil, allowing water from melting snow to bathe the new life below in the water. And insects awaken. They run the winter’s hibernation from their eyes and get to work beneath the eath helping with nutrient exchange and prepare the plants above them for the tremendous growth ahead. The Insects Awaken seasonal node is about movement: upwards toward the sun and around our bodies, underneath our skin, to help us function better in the world around this. And the way to accomplish that is simple.

Insects Awaken: Movements in the Earth

Things are moving beneath the earth.

Rather than being the premise of a horror movie, this is an exciting sign of seasonal progression.

Roots spread their toes and stretch through the soil, drawing in the nutrients needed to drive shoots upward, out of the darkness, towards the sunlight.

Franco Vannini via Flickr

The frost releases its hold on the topsoil, allowing water from melting snow to bathe the new life below in the water.

And insects awaken.

They run the winter’s hibernation from their eyes and get to work beneath the earth helping with nutrient exchange and preparing the plants above them for the tremendous growth ahead.

The Insects Awaken seasonal node is about movement: upwards toward the sun and around our bodies underneath our skin, to help us function better in the world around this. And the way to accomplish that is simple.

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Despite the recent -35 F windchill, 2020 marches forward into the Rain Water seasonal node. Practically speaking, we Minnesotans are a long way off from literal rain water. But then, we’re also at a very different latitude than the Ancient Chinese sages who named the seasonal node thousands of years ago. But the different latitude doesn't mean that we escape the energetics of the next two weeks. The days are getting longer which means yang is getting stronger. The generative energy of spring is getting more obvious every day and if we wait until we see actual rain water, we’re going to miss out on a huge part of the season. The Rain Water seasonal node, like the Great Cold seasonal node, is about two very important things: protecting our qi and protecting our yang. But this time, we’re protecting these vital substances for a very different reason. Featured photo and cover photo by Sitthan Kutty via Pexels

The Rain Water Seasonal node: Fighting off the Damp

Despite the recent -35 F windchill, 2020 marches forward into the Rain Water seasonal node. Practically speaking, we Minnesotans are a long way off from literal rain water. But then, we’re also at a very different latitude than the Ancient Chinese sages who named the seasonal node thousands of years ago.

But the different latitude doesn’t mean that we escape the energetics of the next two weeks. The days are getting longer which means yang is getting stronger. The generative energy of spring is getting more obvious every day and if we wait until we see actual rain water, we’re going to miss out on a huge part of the season.

The Rain Water seasonal node, like the Great Cold seasonal node, is about two very important things: protecting our qi and protecting our yang. But this time, we’re protecting these vital substances for a very different reason.

Featured photo and cover photo by Sitthan Kutty via Pexels

Picture by Secret Garden Daily via Pexels

How to boost your libido with breath work

It has been a long time since I’ve gotten sexy on this blog. In fact, come to think of it, I don’t even think I’ve ever actually talked about sex (except for that one fertility essay, I guess). Kind of weird when you consider that my practice wouldn’t exist without it.

This Valentine’s Day I want to give you a gift to celebrate the generative rise of yang energy that started last week. My gift to you: better sex.

Not only do I hope that this simple qi gong exercise will help raise your libido, but I hope that if you’re trying to conceive it gives you an energetic boost of fertile, springtime energy.

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Helping Yang Up the Mountain: the Beginning of Spring

Despite the icy roads, dirty snowbanks, and freezing temperatures, spring has finally come to Minnesota. The trees aren’t budding and the flowers aren’t blooming but the upward movement of yang is finally showing itself in noticeably longer days.

February 4th marks the Beginning of Spring seasonal node, and these next two weeks are about harnessing the generative energy of spring. When we ride the upward momentum of spring with proper dietary changes, exercises, and lifestyle choices everything flows a little more easily.

Gone are the days of me telling you that it’s time to rest. We’re leaving that behind in the cold and dark days of winter. Now it is time to plant those seeds of yang you birthed at the winter solstice and make some changes in your life.

This past winter has been long, cold, and dark. Hopefully, you haven’t accomplished much. I mean that in all sincerity. After all, winter is the season of hibernation; we’re not supposed to accomplish much. Winter reminds us that rest is important. I say so often that rest is the root of productivity, something that a culture obsessed with action often forgets. But rest is also the root of creativity and motivation. If we spend winter resting appropriately, not only can we recover physically, but we can recover mentally and spiritually as well. In other words, in order to be truly prepared for the dynamic, generative, and upward movement of spring we have to engage with and process the still, slow, and inward movement of winter. And the best way to do that is through journaling.

Born from yin: Six journaling prompts for the end of winter

This past winter has been long, cold, and dark. Hopefully, you haven’t accomplished much. I mean that in all sincerity. After all, winter is the season of hibernation; we’re not supposed to accomplish much.

Winter reminds us that rest is important.

I say so often that rest is the root of productivity, something that a culture obsessed with action often forgets.

But rest is also the root of creativity and motivation. If we spend winter resting appropriately, not only can we recover physically, but we can recover mentally and spiritually as well.

In other words, in order to be truly prepared for the dynamic, generative, and upward movement of spring we have to engage with and process the still, slow, and inward movement of winter. And the best way to do that is through journaling.

We're coming up on the halfway point of liver season and I promise I'll start talking about something else with the next blog post. But understanding the elements of Classical Chinese medicine is crucial to recognizing patterns of imbalance in yourself.

Finding your Flow: Balancing liver disharmonies with Classical Chinese Medicine

We’re coming up on the halfway point of liver season and I promise I’ll start talking about something else with the next blog post. But understanding the elements of Classical Chinese medicine is crucial to recognizing patterns of imbalance in yourself.

That’s why this year my focus is on teaching you the foundations, so that you can bring seasonal living together with learning what your body needs, and what season your body is in. Because while we are part of the world, we are not always in synch with it.

This blog post is about imbalances in the liver system and what it looks like when our qi isn’t flowing optimally.

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Spring seems like it's a long way off in Minnesota. Just last month we hit a record for snow fall in February. But cold and snow notwithstanding, the wood energy of spring is still flowing. Now that I've covered how to live in accordance to each season, I thought it would be a good time to move to talking about the elements in Chinese medicine. Just like the elements of the periodic table, the elements of Chinese medicine represent the basic components. You'll recognize a lot of the movement and terminology in this post from thespring living blog, but this one will take it to another level.

The Wood Element: Raising Yang

Spring seems like it’s a long way off in Minnesota. Just last month we hit a record for snow fall in February. But cold and snow notwithstanding, the wood energy of spring is still flowing.

Now that I’ve covered how to live in accordance to each season, I thought it would be a good time to move to talking about the elements in Chinese medicine.

Just like the elements of the periodic table, the elements of Chinese medicine represent the basic components. You’ll recognize a lot of the movement and terminology in this post from the spring living blog, but this one will take it to another level.

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