FAST WISDOM™ NEWSLETTER
by Lonner Holden
Spring Equinox: Migration and Digestion as Equatorial Balance
Circadian Rhythms . Shame . Transformation . Regeneration
In my youth a three year old boy I occasionally cared for awoke one morning, rubbed his sleepy eyes and promptly announced, “I woke up.” This simple declaration immediately held in it a profound awareness that to arrive somewhere, you had to come from somewhere else. And in young Nathaniel’s waking he was aware that his waking had come from his sleep.
In a way, to be aware of where we are is to also be aware that there are other geographical, physiological and psychological possibilities; that we could be standing somewhere else, be in a different state of psychological or physical health. This may seem obviously simplistic, but the implication here is what I am after. For in being fully present to our current state, we are also more sensitive to movement and change, which is to be aware of potentiality - to have choice. The artist Andy Goldsworthy once wrote, “To see things change, one must stay in one place.”
The Spring Equinox will be upon us in a few days. The Sun will cross the Equatorial in the afternoon of March 20th this year. Night and day will be nearly equal in length. Winter will become Spring. The Sun will cross a threshold signifying moving from darkness to light; from stillness to motion. As we approach this event we naturally become aware of the cycles of light in nature and that this cycle affects us. Do you feel more motivated to ‘Spring Clean,’ get outside, start new projects?
Synchrony in Circadian Rhythms is being recognized as essential to healthy functioning psychologically and physiologically. These basic rhythms of our biological clock are on a 24 hour cycle resulting from the endocrine system responding to dark and light influences - essentially sleep and waking. When our sleep and waking hours are sufficient and of good quality our adaptive processes are dramatically more effective. We are more psychologically resilient and physically healthier. When our night/day cycle is balanced, memory, cell repair, proper sugar and fat utilization, body temperature and coordination function well. Disease and ageing is deferred.
During sleep the brain flushes out protein debris, enhancing brain repair, making for clearer thinking during waking hours and mitigating or preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Pineal Gland, also referred to as “the light body,” secrets melatonin in the absence of light. Imbalances of melatonin are traced to insomnia, depression, mania, agitation, confusion, clumsiness, rheumatoid arthritis and many cancers, for starters.
So the balance between Winter and Spring and between dark and light has strong implications for us. Looking back into winter’s stillness encourages taking stock of prerequisites to opening. In winter’s stillness, dormancy, introspection and storage preceded opening. Dormancy is an activity that allows expansion. Looking in and respecting what is below the surface allows healthier expression as that energy mobilizes to become extroverted. This principle is also expressed physiologically: from the dark aquifers of our bone marrow immune blood products migrate to the surface to repair skin and kill invading pathogens.
Maybe you feel stuck in your life in someway that is challenged to be resolved so you can move into what more deeply motivates you. Spring asks us to forgive ourselves and others when we have remained locked up in ourselves or in relationship with another. The cycle of dark becoming light asks us to be present with held judgement, shame and anger which constrict us against the will of emergence going on within and all around us. Acceptance and forgiveness are ways of arriving where we are so that we can move on. Spring is a time to apply the rotting accumulations of winter to the life force of Spring’s rebirth and regeneration. Dark migrates into the light best when the dark is claimed as one’s beginning. We wake up best when we know that, and how, we have been asleep.
The dark/light cycle in balance offers us life as we break down old structures and ways of being; cleaning out the old in the dark so we can expand renewed into the light. What we have ingested and experienced as obstacles is transformed into life-giving nutrient. We can process and digest life more effectively. Judgement becomes discernment; shame becomes compassion - understanding that you could be that other person, or self-compassion - that you innocently are just who you are.
Spring is the time to plant new seeds. What seeds have you cultivated in your quiet winter that in their transformation increase your well-being? How much intention and priority do you give to nurturing those seeds? What will you do to support that priority?
- What am I not beginning because of something I have not let go of?
- Who have I not asked for forgiveness? Who have I not forgiven?
- How can I improve my sleep habits?
- Notice when you feel like being still or alone; when you feel like being active or with company.
- How do these things feel in your body? Do you feel numb, tense, anxious, calmed, curious, etc?
- How do you feel when you begin something new?
- Find some neglected, messy corner of your material world and clean it up.
- Give a gift to or do a favor for someone you have held resentment towards.
- Take some quiet time for yourself. Transition back to the company of others only after you feel curious about them.
JIN SHIN JYUTSU® HEALING HANDS SELF-CARE:
- Gently hold the length of your right middle finger and right ring fingers together with the gentle fist of your left hand for 5-20 minutes. Middle finger helps ingestion & digestion; ring finger balances dark and light endocrine functions in the body.
- Place right hand over left shoulder so fingers touch the top of the left back near the base of the neck; Place left hand to left sitz bone. Sustain for 5-20 minutes. Reverse hands to the right side of the body for the same period of time. Helps digestion.
RESTORATIVE NATURE PRACTICE™:
- Notice the buds on trees and bushes. Imagine the invisible force behind what you can see in the branch or limb.
- Listen for birds in an open, inquiring way. Feel how their sounds affect you. Do their sounds feel stressed, content, combative, needy to you?
- In the evening, bring your attention to the dark outside and the light inside your home. What if you were to go to bed when it got dark outside and got up when the sun rose?
More Info »
NEXT MONTH: Prevention: Sensing Subtle Symptoms
- Add fermented foods to your diet. Fermentation happens over time and creates active bacterial cultures rich in enzymes that are essential for digesting food. Miso, yogurt, kefir, pickles, vinegar dressing, sauerkraut are all common fermented foods.
PICK OF THE MONTH: Headstand - Yoga Program for At-Risk Youth Fundraiser
See events on calendar »
- Healing Hands Self-Care Course Morning Series, Mill Valley: April 9 - 23 (3 Thursdays)
- Healing Hands Self-Care Course Evening Series, San Francisco: April 28 - June 2 (6 Tuesdays)
- Restorative Nature Practice™, Marin County: April 18, May 16, June 20
- Marin County Tracking Club, Point Reyes: March 29, April 26, May 31, June 28
Fast Wisdom™ is the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice. Each issue explores a theme of living approached in the context of healing. Included is a simple Jin Shin Juytsu® Healing Hands Self-Care exercise, as well as a Restorative Nature Practice™ activity to practice which relate to the newsletter theme of the month. Nutrition and health tips too, so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.
© 2015 Lonner Holden