March - the courage to change
“Master, I am afraid of change. How do I welcome him?”
“There is a person who can show you the way. Go to the blacksmith and stop and observe his work!"
“What can a blacksmith teach me?”
“The art of transformation. He uses fire to shape metals. He shapes them according to his will. He is the father of creation. Like the blacksmith, you too can shape your life, give your days the shape you want. You are the father of change. How can you be afraid of your creation?”
“I'm afraid of the change that comes from outside…”
“If you are afraid of fire, you burn yourself. If you learn to dominate it, you become the creator of wonderful masterpieces. Just like the blacksmith who with his millenary art manages to melt metal and bind it to give life to a new object, you too grasp the change that comes from outside, burn it with your inner fire and bring out new life, new ideas, new thoughts.”
“I'm not sure I can…”
“Your problem is not the fear of change but of the fire that is inside you. It's burning a lot, at very high temperatures, because it wants to accomplish its assignment. But you are turning it off. With fear, worry, fatigue. Don't be afraid of seeing new parts of you born: the blacksmith is an artist and what he creates is only a work of art."
Spirit Focus: grasp the change
From the Classical Chinese Medical point of view, the above story talks about three Elements: Fire, Water and Wood. The Fire and Water elements are the heat and cold used by an iron maker to melt and solidify but his hammer is a vector of creation, that is the Wood element - the element of Spring. Whereas the Fire and Water elements are the basis for any existence, they also maintain each other in equilibrium by their interplay. The Wood element is the courage with which the iron maker raises his hammer and decides on his next move in accordance with his vision of what he intends to create.
The passion of Fire although essential for creating, is not enough without an act of doing. Spring is just about that: taking the steps, raise your hammer and change the shape according to your vision. Those who burn inside but do not apply the hammer (here meaning: direction, decisions, moving ahead, etc) will produce certain psycho-somatic symptoms, especially so in Spring.
Mind Focus: resistance is in the mind
The Nature does not resists that which is inevitable. The realisation of self is a natural result of us being born and alive. Not accomplishing our destiny (called Ming by cinese) is when the disease sets in. The only obstacle on your way is your mind, precisely the resistances you have created in your mind.
What are your beliefs about not doing, having or being who you burn inside to be? There isn't a better month in a year than March to challenge what you think about yourself and the world. The winds of change blowing in Spring will help you be more creative and flexible with your thoughts.
The resistance is also in our daily habits, daily actions we take to go about accomplishing tasks. We are still at the beginning of Spring feeling so much potential ahead. It is a perfect time to address all your self-sabotaging behaviours, be it health-wise, relationship-wise or work-wise.
Body Focus: Marching like the Liver
There are two seasons in the year when the energy helps us to detox: the Autumn and the Spring. In Autumn we let go to create space. In Spring the release happens as the byproduct of the propelling force which must move ahead and leaves behind the unnecessary. It is thanks to Liver, known as the General of our body.
Liver is so strongly energised in Spring that even slightest support you give it, will help it cleanse your body of the Winter accumulations. If you followed my February advice to start gently on detox (https://www.dorotao.com/post/february-sprouting-time), this month you can boldly get into it.
Continue, if you have not done it yet, withdrawing heavier foods from your diet (check out my February blog) and add lighter foods instead. This month add daily one of these seasonal liver "friendly" vegetables:
- red beets (root and leaves)
- wild greens (dandelion leaves, nettle leaves, foraging greens).
As a supplement, I have prepared and used daily a hydro-alcoholic extract of Milk Thistle seeds. If there is one Liver herb I would use this month it is Milk Thistle. Apart from its known function in western herbalism of protecting and tonifying the Liver; in Chinese herbal medicine it moves the stagnation of Qi and Blood - aiding that propelling force of Liver to move ahead. Additionally, it helps removing the toxins out of the body via urine and intestines.
Exercise wise, this month you are bound to feel like doing much more than just gentle stretches suggested the past month. Do get out and walk to stretch your ligaments and include some exercises to strengthen your muscles. Otherwise, how are you going to sustain this month's work of forging the iron?
If there are any symptoms that arise at this season or get worse in Spring, do contact me for a thorough personal diagnosis.