An important station point in the year for me is the moment it’s clear Spring will not be held back. A tipping point, subtle to be sure, a tipping point nevertheless. Like transiting the apex of some hills, you may easily miss the watershed moment if your attention is elsewhere. Even though Gaia runs by other than anthropocentric rhythms, many of our various cultures have standardized these stations on the wheel of the year to help us mark time. Lunar New Year in Asian traditions is also known as Spring Festival; we’ve just entered the year of the Earth Dog. Perhaps you’ve noticed a difference in how the daylight appears (certainly when it appears), new birdsongs, a hint of scent in the air or other changes evocative of Spring and the awakening of life from hibernation. The heart lifts, doesn’t it?
Happy New Year! “Detox” is the sound bite: cleanse from wintertime’s sedentary nap and begin to refresh inside and out. Now is the time to set health in spring, New Year’s resolution and spring cleaning all wrapped up together! Create Heath through rehab: re-habit your life for good Spring planning and planting. I know you can, you do have the technology!
In the Chinese Five Element system, Spring is when Qi rises up from its hibernation deep in the ground, overwintering in a protected and restorative place. Little green shoots appear, days are longer and warmer, the impulse is to be out & moving freely. As winter wanes spring grows, both interweave along this process. It’s not always a smooth ride, is it?
Begin to be a bit more active outside, keeping cozy clothing at hand to ward off sudden chill. If you had the flu this season, take extra care, especially keeping head, neck, upper back and shoulders protected. Protect your growing strength. Enjoy the spring sky and sunlight (all the more appreciated on cloudy days), powerful therapeutics this time of year! Step by step you’ll arrive; enjoy the process of your journey. There’s a lot you can do for yourself (hints and suggestions below)! The really good news is we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. In fact, it’s reasonably essential to have help along the way, a second opinion if you will. Acupuncture and related modalities serve to regulate and balance your internal energetic environment.
Decluttering = detoxing Declutter your environment (outside), declutter your body (inside)! Pretty simple. A basic technique in Feng Shui is getting rid of excess and in-the-way stuff - it’s all speedbumps to free flow of Qi. Remember, Spring Qi is about rising up with new life. Do you really want to obstruct this process? Interested in more about Feng Shui? Get in touch with Cid Tamagno, she’ll take care of you in style (link) .
How about “inside” decluttering? In winter we eat heartier foods like stews and baked casseroles that bank our energetic furnace. Start to lighten up your food choices as spring seeps in; you’ll be able to move more freely. Include some more fresh fruit (see baked sour apple recipe below) and vegetables, especially green veg. Don’t dive into a predominantly raw approach, though, that’s better tolerated in the heat of summer. Another tip for easing into Spring by helping your digestive system has to do with simple food combining. Try animal-based protein with non-starchy vegetables and without carbs in your meal. Plant-based protein is ok with carbs and starchy or non-starchy veg.
Rehab your habits with some of these suggestions to get back to yourself, your true self. I can help and am ready to be part of your personal good health posse. One more internal decluttering tip: check out my 5 minute “Center Your Heart” guided meditation for a simple reset you can do anywhere you have a few minutes.
Recipes and Cooking Hints for Spring
Lighter soups, steamed and sauteed vegs, spring foods are more lightly and quickly cooked. Have a salad with warm soup or broiled chicken. Lemon water, so good for you first thing in the morning (you can substitute apple cider vinegar for the lemon, extra cleansing!). A cooked breakfast still the way to go, until winter is long gone. An easy crockpot vegetable soup, adapt as you desire: crushed tomatoes, shredded green cabbage and other vegetables and seasonings as the mood strikes. Here’s a little secret: I use frozen mixed veg for a variety and extra convenience. Finish with some sprouts and a drizzle of oil (olive, flax, coconut - whatever works for you!) for a clean meal.
Helpful herbs and seasonings include basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, onion, tumeric, ginger, cardamom, cumin, horseradish, mint. Grains good for spring are oats, quinoa, millet and wheat. I know wheat’s had tough times recently. If you do eat it, please get the best quality you can. Choose beets, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, asparagus and radish (including daikon) for some spring vegetables.
I’m finding a baked Granny Smith apple to be intensely satisfying lately. Core the apple (skin on is my preference) and set in a ramekin or small dish to hold. Where the core was I layer in a pitted date, some walnuts, powdered cardamom and clove, a little coconut oil and another date to top off. Bake for about 45-60 minutes ‘til cooked through. it’s a fairly forgiving and adaptable recipe; play around with the fillings. How about fig, 5-spice powder and some grapefruit or orange zest (organic here, please)?
It started out as a silent sound in my sensibility: “tensile silence” was what I heard. What in the heck could that mean?!?
Letting the echo play out for a while to buy time, I was waiting for some meaning to filter down to my understanding. I thought of course if there is tensile silence there would be tensile sound. N.B. silence/sound: Yin and Yang in action! But what’s the tensile about? Tensile strength is how susceptible or resistant to stretching forces on a material. More resistance is greater tensile strength. In other words, able to stretch more and longer before breaking. Often discussed concerning properties of various metals but applicable to other materials and situations as well, including the human experience.
Speaking of playing, you must admit “tensile” has a sonic presence. Fun to say and hear “tensile silence.” “Tensile sound,” significantly less auditorily vivacious. Very soon thereafter “tensile resonance” showed up with its own sonic attitude and understanding blossomed.
So here’s where I ended up with this bit of passing ephemera heard out of the corner of my mind’s ear. Silence and Sound stand in yin-yang relation, polar opposites united in the condition of vibration we experience as sound or resonance. Tensile, as a capacity, is a type of durability, able to withstand stresses and strains without significant (or, goodness forbid, fatal!) injury.
Humming along at one’s unique fundamental signature frequency means all our parts are running well; it’s a state of vibrant health! Chinese Medicine historically recognizes internal and external roots to imbalance, leading to unhealthy states. Let’s face it, we live in a rich stew of stimulation for all our senses these days. I think in order to make it through, day to day, we tune out the vast majority of what comes to us through sound, sight, scent, touch. Perhaps even a good portion of what we say! That doesn’t mean we’re not being affected. How much of what comes your way harmonizes with you? How much of what comes up in your internal realm is harmonic?
Here’s where many of what are commonly called complimentary and alternative modalities come in. They aim to return you to your best self, to your own best resonance, to tonify (“tone up”) your Tensile Resonance capacity. My work is about helping You get back to Yourself, using a variety of tools and modalities, including sounds. One of the aspects I like about using sound is the dual nature of its effect. While your whole being is bathed in sonic restorative resonances and simultaneously your ears receive the same impulses and transmit that energy directly to your brain. Harmonics wash over and through, inside and out!
Can you hear your Tensile Resonance now?