Much of Chinese Medicine is founded on the balance of the five elements: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. At the moment we are in Spring, the time of Liver/Gallbladder and the element of wood. Soon we will move into early Summer, the time of the Heart/Small Intestine and the element of fire. As you may know I’m co hosting a workshop about the relationship between Spring/Summer – Liver/Heart (see drop down menu – cooking classes) and as they say you teach what you need to learn I thought I share what I learnt last week about the relationship between the two.
Recently I have been feeling very stiff – my shoulders especially but also my back, my hips, my calves and even in my eyes. I know the tendons, ligaments and general stiffness fall under the domain of the Liver/Gall Bladder but when I asked my body what it wanted to eat to help ease the stiffness it came up blank – I didn’t want anything. Adrift in a lack of desire, I wanted nothing in particular and wasn’t fussed if I didn’t get it. I have always used my love of food to guide me, so I was confused, (liver domain), and asked my body again what it wanted, it showed me a picture in my mind’s eye of me painting, drawing, sitting on the beach and sketching. Well that sounded easy enough – a morning to myself, just a couple of hours to get my paints out and fool around. But I just couldn’t find the time and my body got stiffer. With the launch of the book there were too many jobs that had to be done, too many dominoes that had to line up so that everything would manifest gracefully. From the outside it probably seems like the process of publishing a book is very creative but in reality I was locked into my familiar love affair with to do lists. Following the launch much of life has become fulfilling orders, organising publicity and sorting out paypal buttons.

The computer being in the same room as my paints was creating a physical block, it’s much easier to stay superficial and check emails than to sink inside and paint what comes through. That requires commitment, so I made a date, got a babysitter and took myself out to a life drawing class. I haven’t drawn a life model for about fifteen years so it took me a while to get my flow but I loved it and time flew.

On the drive home everything looked so beautiful. People and cars in the city centre moved like dancers in a ballet. The trees on the skyline made stunning shapes and the air seemed so soft around my skin. Then it dawned, my lack of desire and stiffness was there because I hadn’t been supporting my liver. I was stuck in a frustrating cycle of to do jobs with very little space for creative expression. As soon as I tended to that need, the wood energy of Liver then supported the fire energy of my Heart which is responsible for connection to the heavenly beautiful, unexplainable world. Over the next few days my stiffness dissipated and my chest relaxed and expanded with heart opening joy. I began to desire food once more. Strangely enough the food my body asked for were all liver foods. I wanted big dark green leafy salads with plenty of gherkins – the chlorophyll from the green stimulated the gall bladder to produce bile which helps break down any fats that maybe clogging up my bodies energy and the gherkins sour flavour stimulates the liver to rid itself of any toxins held in the blood and thereby increasing circulation to the heart. So now I’m liver flowing and free, happy to be heart feeling I’m useful and creatively contributing to the world.

Anger and frustration are the emotion of the liver and my frustrations with Paypal buttons and the internet seem disproportionate and daily ? So I’m glad to be hosting the Spring Into Summer workshop, where I can really immerse in detoxing and stretching the liver, practice happy heart exercises and of course now that the book is launched create a whole new vision board child.

Cost: early bird until 22 April €245,thereafter €275
Includes food, accommodation & tuition
For more info 086 607 0432