The art of cultivating stillness while simultaneously being available for transition is the theme of the moment as we shift to the new calendar year. How to internally build and support capacity is one of my greatest explorations and curiosities. As we attempt to remain fluid in our day to day activities, it feels equally as important to remain paced and gentle with ourselves. This is the art of regulation, which is to move from one energy state to another.
In this process, extremes sometimes appear. The brightness of the external world, coupled with the depth of the more subtle need to let go and be still. All the while, paying attention to the needs of the skeleton and the wisdom of the bones. In Chinese medicine, this would be referred to as the Water element. And here within, lies the Jing or Essence, which many of us know as
In the northern hemisphere Winter is governed by the Water element. As I lean into the exploration of embodiment and how to stay alive in the process of being contained in the layers of the physiology, accessing the Jing, while also being available to the needs of others. Growth, meaningful dialogues with the external world, interwoven with the art of the 'pause' that is required to preserve Jing.
In an age that is fueled by the sympathetic response, learning how to negotiate the changing energy states of physiology remains a life's work.
Sometimes when we are in transition, what we need is the 'pause' in order to gently move into the next energy state. We are often rewarded for the push, for breaking through, overriding and ultimately exhausting ourselves and draining our life force.
My current exploration is cultivating time and space for the in-between, so that we may in turn practice more of the 'pause', thereby reaping the benefits of its' spaciousness.
I chose these botanical images as representations of these concepts. The bright and beautiful Amaryllis in bloom in the clear Winter light and the skeleton of a magnolia leaf that was gifted to me by a friend. How different these two images are and yet they are vivid reminders of the juxtaposition of internal and external. Yin and Yang. Aliveness and stillness.
In Chinese medicine, there is a wisdom that expresses one of the gifts of the Kidneys, it states that all of the other organs are controlled by the the Kidney's efficacy in balancing Yin and Yang. This is possible because they are the store house of the resources. By nourishing the Water element, we are in fact nourishing the capacity to live in the spaces between movement, impulses and activation.
The leaf is tapped to the window just next to the red blossom.
Gentle reminders of how nature pendulates between life and death, Yin and Yang, in a rhythmic continuum. Day after day. Season after season.
How curious is it to see the gentle softness of a fading petunia along side the rough and spiked external surface of a Jimson seed pod from Accabonac Harbor. There are so many beautiful layers to the stories in these two images.
So as we transition into the new year and we allow the depth of Winter to wrap us in cold and hold us still, I hope that we may all remember the 'pause' as we pendulate between the brightness and the darkness, the hardness and the softness, the Yin and the Yang, as we build capacity to stay present within each moment.
Wishing everyone a beautiful and very gentle new year.