Most years since I created this website I’ve been drawn to writing a blog post as we move into the spring. It’s such rich pickings, if you like, for inspiration – full of hope for more light, better weather, colour in our surroundings rather than greyness and gloom. And an increased expectation that it’s going to be worth sowing some seeds- whether literally, like my husband who as I write this is populating our vegetable garden with nature’s benign time-bombs in the form of beetroot, parsnip and carrot seeds; or symbolically like booking holidays for later in the year, or planning new work ventures.
And as so often happens, the transition between the end of the winter and the genuine establishment of proper spring this year has been far from a smooth ‘onward and upward’ trajectory. We didn’t really have a Proper Winter, did we (unless you count unremitting mildish greyness)? Then we had an implausible exuberance of Late April in Early February. This had the more optimistic warmth lovers donning shorts and sitting on the grass on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge (I charitably regarded said optimists as misguided rather than delusional). And then it all went off rather dramatically with an extravagant display of vicious wind chill that lasted ages. The daffodils, fooled into flowering way too early and having had to share inappropriately the same moment in the sun with crocuses and even snowdrops, looked positively exposed and vulnerable. Now, still way before the end of March, they are all beginning to ‘go over’ and blossom is starting to bust out. And we all know that, honestly, frost might well be round the corner and then where will the fruit-growers be? (This acupuncturist is prone to muttering darkly about the weather being right at the wrong time, or wrong at the right time … and don’t even get me started on the imminent Changing of the Clocks)…
You see, Five Element acupuncture which is one of my chief guides and sources of inspiration in my work, is predicated on there needing to be a natural and dynamic balance and flow between what is going on Out There in nature, and what is going on In Here within us. And that ‘within’ is of course a body-mind-emotion-spirit territory. So when things are anomalous Out There, there will often be comparable unease In Here.
I’ll give you an example. A few weeks ago, while out for a walk, I came across a grass labyrinth in a churchyard. I like to walk a labyrinth whenever I have the chance. I use doing so as an opportunity to pose myself a question, or acknowledge to myself a dilemma or a troubledness of mind as I start. There are lots of ways one could speculate about what goes on when pacing a forward-backward-round-this-way-round-that-way route between entrance and centre when one could easily just override the paths and do it in one short straight line. But however one does or does not analyse it, my experience has always been that about 2/3 of the way towards the middle of the labyrinth, that which was murky in my mind starts to become pellucid, that which was turbulent has become calm, that which was glum has become calmly hopeful.
So on this occasion, I entered the labyrinth with an awareness of feeling anxious about whether a particular plan I was working on would have a particular hoped-for outcome which mattered to me. And there was anxiety there because I knew that while I could do a lot to control the efforts I made in planning, whether the outcome was indeed the one I hoped for was actually totally out of my control. By the time I had done a few minutes of back-forth perambulations, I had been vouchsafed the clear insight that Hope and Trust were at opposite ends of a spectrum, and that a choice to trust things to unfold involves acknowledging that unexpected outcomes that differ from the hoped-for ones in life will most probably be something that one survives. We just need to embrace the possibility of having to be flexible.
And this is relevant to acupuncture how? Well, simple. The spring in Chinese Medicine is connected with the Liver and its role in Planning and Strategy (not enough space or time to go into the theory of that statement just now!). To be able to plan and strategise we need future vision, judgment and hope. And if we are wise, we will need the ability to be flexible with our plans and keep a weather-eye on making sure that we consider what is really important to us about our plans rather than getting fixated on one particular route to that goal. So at this time of optimistic hope for spring warmth and gentle sunshine, I keep an eye on how those processes are going with each patient who comes through my door. If you are struggling with frustration, hopelessness and stuckness when you want to be looking positively towards the expanding year ahead, I know of no better remedy than an acupuncture spring treatment.
Why not book one for yourself now? Clinics in Cambridge and Stapleford … just call on 07970 295177.