The series “Clinical Impressions” will recommence in the new year.
My original post last week was supposed to share with you an acupuncturist’s guide for getting through the holiday season. A number of our students and graduates had been sharing the article and its suggestions were atypical and useful compared to most similar articles about holiday stress. However, in light of last Friday’s shootings in Newtown, CT I held back from posting something that seemed irrelevant and almost irreverent under the circumstances. And so I must diverge.
As a native of Connecticut, married to a man who grew up in Newtown and went to elementary school at Sandy Hook, this tragedy is personal. I got married in Newtown and I know the community. I’ve heard it described in recent days as storybookish, quiet, rural. It is all of those things. But the tragedy isn’t worsened by the fact that something so violent and shattering happened in such a quiet, out of the way place. It’s that it happened at all. And so, we grieve.
Grief in Five Element theory falls under the jurisdiction of the Metal element, which is associated with the season of Autumn. Autumn is the natural world’s representation of the process of grief, of letting go, sifting through what is most important and letting the unimportant fall away. This process calls for self-reflection and retrospection, inviting a search for meaning and providing space for us to receive wisdom and inspiration. We find ourselves bowing to the weight of grief now, with inspiration the farthest of hopes.
Nowhere in Five Element theory does it say that this process is quick or easy, or painless. It is simply natural, and one that we do not have to fight against. We must go through it and find the wisdom in the end as best we can. Together. Grief does not have to be isolating.
While it is not in the scope of this blog-space to enter into the political debates now swirling in the media, it is in the scope to offer love and support. I am uncomfortably aware of how little words can do in times of sorrow, but I offer them anyway in the hopes that they can provide a little solace. The more I think about the original article that I had planned to share last week, the more I think that some of the suggestions might be helpful in dealing with the shock and grief our nation is trying to cope with. So, I am sharing it with you to read whenever you’re ready to click here.
I urge you: get out into nature, forget the “shoulds” racing around in your brain, and go about your life with purpose. More importantly, love your loved ones a little harder, a little more expressively. Share that love with those you don’t know as intimately. Be kinder. Be gentler. Be more forgiving. And let these emotions be the light that guides you.
And so, I am taking this moment to reach out to the AFEA community and tell you that when we in the administration think of our loved ones, we include you in our thoughts and hearts. You are training yourselves and your senses to work with grief, sorrow and pain. Your skills are deeply needed in our society and the work that you do to spread healing in this world is of monumental value. Whether you are a practitioner, student, prospective student, or interested bystander, your positive, healing energy is what we need. Let it shine.