Getting Your Groove Back
Here it is, already the end of August, late summer and a time when the heat is intense and yet, there is something different about the clouds suggesting the soon to arrive autumn days.
The spirit of late summer beckons us to hear our authentic voice, the song that only one person can write and sing: Your unique song. Not only is this the sound you make and words you use, but also the imprint you leave in the world. Lorie Eve Dechar* writes that the Taoist perspective believes there is a sound seed in us, waiting to unfold. She says, “’…our true destiny is the materialization of our original nature, our celestial sound, in time and space, which reflects the intrinsic beauty and order of the Tao.” Late summer reminds us to digest our thoughts and to bring them forth into the world. Thoughts create form and there is no better time to manifest your creativity than now.
Beautiful, right? Bottom line, we are all music; a vibration causing a rippling effect throughout the universe.
Every day I see people who are not in sync with their authentic sound. They’re singing out of tune, or worse, not singing at all. They’re living lives that are expected of them, making choices that do not fill their hearts, but instead will make an impression on someone they look up to, whether it is a family member, a partner or someone in the community. They are marching to the beat of a song that doesn’t resonate with their soul. This is very disheartening. I once heard a minister say that the riches of the world are buried in the cemeteries. He believed that most people die with all their inspired thoughts, all the unwritten books, all the inventions and good will they never dared to attempt out of fear of going against a particular belief system.
So, let’s talk about what this has to do with this particular time of the year. Late summer, in Chinese medical theory, is a time to reflect on how we are digesting our lives, how we are manifesting our unique song. ‘Digest’ is the operative word here. If you find yourself brooding over the past, worrying and obsessing over things that you have no control over, these are signs that you are not ‘digesting’ your life as it is. Let me also add to this list being co-dependent, suffering from fatigue, being scattered in thought, having issues with attention. Physical digestion will mirror these patterns. In other words, what you cannot digest psychologically you will also have challenges digesting physiologically. If you are not following your heart’s calling, then your digestive distress may be a signal to pay attention.
To put this another way, if your body is not transforming the food you eat properly, then it not only appears in your physical health, but in your attitude and mood as well. You see, digestion isn’t just about your stomach and intestines. It is also how you digest your life’s circumstances. Is life always challenging? Do you believe the people in your life do not understand you? Is it difficult for you to accept loving gestures? Are you easily shaken to the core when someone disagrees with you? Are you afraid to say ‘no’ because you thrive on being the good son or daughter, which always reflects in all relationships (this is a topic for another time and boy, is it a doozy!)? If so, I would guess that you will also have some digestive issues or allergies.
If this sounds like you, then you need to get your groove back! Start now. You have everything to lose if you try, like, acid reflux, constipation and diarrhea, bloating and distention. Think about distention and bloating for a minute. It’s mostly off-gasses, trying to get out. Doesn’t this resemble the feeling of trying to get out of a life that is uncomfortable, the feeling of wanting to explode because you are trapped? Just saying….
Let’s get started with a few simple things.
First, recognize that you have stopped singing. If you want ‘Shining Qi’ I would suggest you start singing – literally. It doesn’t matter if you can sing well. All that matters is that you are singing or humming a tune. The vibration of sound will start to break up the stagnant ways of your life, not to mention, will oxygenate your blood giving you more energy. Singing fills the heart and reminds you of the person you are meant to be. And how will you know this is working? Because you will find yourself smiling as you wash the dishes or do laundry. Suddenly, the mundane is tolerable. You will start to get sparks of inspiration, memories of the person you always dreamed you would be. Sing in the shower or sing in the car. Sing with your children or sing to the dog. You will start to see that everyone around you is lighter and easier to be around, including yourself. And, you might want to keep a pad of paper around to write down all those idea’s that will begin stirring from the recesses of your mind and soul.
Second, slow down and step away from technology. Digestion isn’t just about food, but about everything your eyes, ears and senses take in. Instead, step away from your computer and tablet periodically throughout the day. Connect with the people in your house, face to face. Remember how to look someone in the eye rather than texting?
That daily list of tasks can be shorter. Be happy if you accomplish only one or two things daily. That is plenty. At the end of a week, you’ll still have accomplished 7-14 errands and tasks. That’s a lot! And, make a rule that technology is off limits after 8:00 pm. If you want to sleep well, make this a strict rule. No one can sleep after the stimulating light of any computer, iPad or smartphone screen. And when you find you are unable to remove yourself from a critical mind, your new mantra is: Enough is enough! Then you can break into the Donna Summer song, if you’re old enough to remember her and that song…
Last, make a cup of tea. This is the season of sweet tastes. Your body will benefit from the sweeter herbs, such as chamomile, astragalus and licorice. Chamomile is a soothing nervine, relaxing the stomach because it calms the nervous system. Astragalus is a great immune booster and naturally sweet tea. It will start to build your immunity up for the coming cold and flu season. And licorice is soothing to the digestive tract, easing any bloating and discomfort.
Here’s a recipe that will help you with all that I’ve listed here. Drinking this will not only improve your digestion, but will help you to slow down and ‘digest’ your life. Sit with a cup of any tea, and you’ll feel refreshed and renewed. And, you just might start to hear music from a distant time and place, a tune that quivers every cell, every heart string. Pay close attention because it will be soft at first, that is, until you realize your full potential. Then, it will be a well orchestrated symphony with your name on it.
What you’ll need….
10-15 small slices of astragalus root**
2 tablespoons dried ginger root or one small knob fresh root
2 tablespoons dried orange peel
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1-2 cardamom pods
3-5 allspice berries
¼ teaspoon cloves
6 cups water
Place all ingredients in a pan. Bring to boil and simmer for one hour. Strain. Add milk and honey to taste.
Until next time, I offer this with all my heart,
* Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing, by: Lorie Eve Dechar