Many of you have heard me mention Liver Qi (pronounced “chee”) Stagnation as a common diagnosis in our part of the country. Why so common here? It develops as a reaction to stress, busy-ness, over productivity without the balance of time to stare out the window, take a gentle walk, have a day without a schedule, or get an acupuncture treatment. Some of the symptoms with this diagnosis are: road rage, jaw clenching, tight upper body (shoulders up to ears with tension), and PMS symptoms.
When we are caught up in the business (busyness) of life, we often become detached from the body states and the symptoms serve to wake us up, to pay attention, almost like our own internal indicator light (check the freakin’ oil already!).
Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs) views the mind, body, and spirit as expressions of the same life force energy - your Qi. Health is the alignment of your Qi flow. To me, health is much more than just a lack of symptoms. When we are healthy, we feel ourselves reaching our potential, following our callings, listening to our intuition, and being fully present in the moments of our lives. We are flexible. We are resilient. We relax. We are present. We are home inside ourselves.
Last fall, I was doing some personal work around integrating my mama self with the rest of me; exploring how I could feel healthy within the complexities of home, kids, relationships, and work. I discovered a book, The Desire Map. Written by Danielle LaPorte, this book helps people uncover how they want to feel in the different areas of life (family, finances, career etc) and then develop your goals accordingly (“goals with soul” as she calls them).
In reading The Desire Map, I came to two powerful realizations:
- My emotional vocabulary was totally stunted and needed a major overall. When she asked how I wanted to feel, I thought, “um, happy, content, peaceful?” Now I know I want to feel “Connected. Aligned. Home. Vast. Captivated.” Those words mean so much more to me and feel so different, right?
- I realized that I had CHOICES in how I was feeling and that even if I was feeling overwhelmed by my world of toddler wrangling, that didn’t mean I had to give up on ever feeling Connected, Aligned, Home, Vast, or Captivated.
The strategies and activities that emerge from The Desire Map workshops are in alignment with this concept of health. How do you want to FEEL in your body in this life?
“The journey has to reflect the destination. You can’t crank it out to ease. You can’t suck it up to joy.”
- Danielle LaPorte