Making the Seasonal Shift into Spring: Your How-to Guide
Spring is officially here.
As we shift gears from hibernation mode into the uprising energy that is spring, it’s easy to find yourself unconsciously resisting. The uprise in energy can feel a bit turbulent and unstable. Yet, with that turbulence comes the promise of both release and action.
Fall and Winter are times of going inward, rest, reflection, and letting go of what’s no longer serving us to make room for the things that match up with our authentic path.
This is the time where we hone in on the skills we’ve been contemplating and cultivating over the past few months and where we get to utilize the energy that we’ve been generating in winter quietude. This is where the caterpillar breaks out of it’s cocoon and takes flight as a butterfly.
In Chinese medicine, each season is associated with a specific organ system. The Liver and Gallbladder are the organs of the Spring. Generally speaking, Spring is a time for these organs to thrive. But like I said, the transition from Winter to Spring can be tough, as these organs are just getting their footing. During this transition, here are some common signs that your liver and gallbladder are struggling a bit as they come into the spotlight, and what you can do about it.
- Irritabilty and feeling “on edge”
- Eye issues, such as red, dry, or itchy eyes
- Vivid dreams
- Muscle tightness and tension
- Digestive upset
- Depression, feeling of stuckness
- Menstrual irregularities
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can help bring the Liver and Gallbladder back into balance. Another way to ease the growing pains of this seasonal transition is to recognize the shift that’s taking place and embrace it. It’s a change and many times the first response to change is to resist it. Pay attention to your body and your environment. According to the cosmology of Chinese medicine, humans are considered microcosms of the universe. Internally, we are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature.
Another way to embrace Spring is to go green. Green is the color that’s associated with both Spring and it’s organ system. Eat green foods like leafy greens and enjoy being in nature. By being in harmony with your environment, you make it much easier for harmony to take place internally.
Come October I always claim Fall as my favorite season, lusting after crisp evenings with cozy scarves, more sleep, and going inward. As a naturally introspective person, fall and I fit together. But historically it’s also been the hardest season for me, which makes me not mind bidding it farewell come Winter. When Spring hits, I’m usually craving that energy and action-taking stamina that’s been lacking. Spring is the time to take action and soar. Looking back on my life thus far, some of the biggest and most life-changing events have taken place during this time, or at least this is where the action began. I’ve started new jobs, left jobs that were no longer fulfilling, moved to Los Angeles, and started and finished grad school all within the confines of Spring.
You don’t need to start big, just start where you are and with what you’ve got. The energy of the season has your back. Here are 5 ways to make the seasonal transition as fluid as possible.
1. Make a list of what you want.
The energy of the wood element and Spring is all about planning. Where do you see yourself the most happy? What are you doing? Who are you with? What would it take to get to this place?
2. Remember there are no wrong decisions.
The gallbladder is responsible for clarity and decision making. Often in periods of growth we are asked to make decisions. Whatever decision you make is right for you in this moment.
3. Physical flexibility = mental flexibility.
Both mental and physical rigidity can be common this time of year. Loosening up physically helps loosen you up mentally. Another way to strengthen this “go with the flow” muscle is to practice keeping your cool when plans change.
4. Practice patience.
Patience is the virtue of the wood element. There are going to be hiccups along any new venture. Growing pains got their name for a reason. When you hit a roadblock, take a deep breath, look at the big picture, and relinquish control.
5. Keep things simple.
The rising of yang energy after the more inward time of year can seem overstimulating at first. By keeping plans as simple and attainable as possible you avoid unnecessary overwhelm.
Wood, the element of the Spring, is one of the fiercest of all the elemental energies, and it's here to support you in whatever growth is in the cards for you right now.