The Autumnal Equinox
This is a magical time of year! On Tuesday, September 23, we will experience a time when the days and nights are of equal length, otherwise known as the Equinox. Since this day is all about BALANCE it’s miraculous that this experience occurs in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Everyone in the world can celebrate together!
In the northern hemisphere, the nights are growing longer. When this occurs, your energy gets drawn inward so you can find the light within. In the southern hemisphere, the sunny days are more plentiful and you can enjoy the light of the world as you bask in nature. Either way, this is a celebration of light! Nature always reminds us that whenever there is darkness, light will soon follow.
The Equinox also marks the beginning of the sign Libra. In astrology, Libra is the first of what’s known as the relationship signs, and teaches you how to find balance within, no matter what is happening around you or what other people are doing.
The Libra loves to be in partnership – whether it’s romantic, friendship or otherwise, so the tendency is to want to please other people, often at the expense of your own needs. Whenever you do this, this can throw you OFF BALANCE. Have you ever had that experience where you want something and you don’t want to cause conflict so you keep it to yourself? When you do this, you create INNER CONFLICT instead. Eventually, you need to find balance between your needs and pleasing other people. That’s what Libra teaches us!
What’s beautiful is that the day that initiates Libra, the sign of BALANCE occurs on the Equinox – the same day there is harmony between day and night and day, light and dark, yin and yang. We’re going to be in Libra from September 23-October 23. This is the perfect time for you to create more harmony and balance in your life.
New Moon Magic
AND… not only that, but on Tuesday, September 23 at 11:14pm PST (6:14am UTC on September 24th) we will be under a brand new moon. Every new moon is an opportunity for you to set your intentions for the month ahead.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself this new moon:
Am I giving to others so much that I don’t have enough time for myself?
Do I make time in my life to play, recreate and pursue my passions?
Do I give to others more than I allow myself to receive?
How much time do I allow myself to rest instead of work?
Do I keep my thoughts and feelings to myself because I don’t want to disrupt relationship harmony?
Are there any relationships in my life that are no longer making me happy?
Now ask yourself… what do you want instead?
Once you have clarity about what you really want, declare to the Universe that you will choose relationships and situations where you feel inner peace as well as outer harmony. When you do this, the Universe will respond in kind and that’s when magic happens!
Remember, your inner light will always shine no matter what season it is. So have fun, be good to yourself, and radiate love!
~ Kari Samuels
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), alongside Ayurveda, is one of the two oldest established paradigms of herbal medicine that people still practice. “It is the second-largest medical system in the world after Western medicine,” according to Alan Tillotson, Ph.D., R.H., a Chinese herbalist in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware, and a prominent member of The American Herbalists Guild.
The history of Chinese herbalism is one of persistent and ongoing processes of observation and refinement of ideas in the real world. Centuries of formulation of theories, and testing of these theories in practice, have resulted in the system we recognize as Traditional Chinese Medicine today.
Fundamentally, the ancient sages concluded that “like increases like”. In other words, an external factor, when introduced to the body, will create a similar reaction in the body of the person experiencing the change. For example, going out into the cold weather will make your body cold. Battling the wind will make your metabolism instable. Eating heavy food will make your body heavy. This seems obvious on the surface, and it is ultimately pretty easy to grasp intuitively, but putting together all the intricacies of every possible effect of every possible natural medicine on every possible person is a daunting task. This metaphor of energetics creates a system that is complex enough to represent the tremendous complexity of the human being, yet simple enough in concept to be useful.
Energetic evaluation of the body is based on experiencing the body with the human senses. Since everyone experiences the world in subtly different ways, it takes centuries, potentially, for a consensus to develop among practitioners about any given remedy. It creates a structure in which herbs can consistently be identified and understood. According to energetic systems, including TCM, the sum total of an herb is the important consideration.
For example, we may know from modern science that an herb has antibacterial activity. We want to give that herb to treat an acute bacterial infection. But we also know that the herb tends to increase body temperature — it is “hypermetabolic, or “hot”. If the patient has a fever, or is a person who is particularly prone to develop inflammation that is difficult to control, we would think twice about using that specific herb. It might kill the bacterium very nicely, and treat the infection, but the whole person would be worse off as a net total than before we started. Instead, we would seek out an herb that would kill the infection, but which had a “cooling” energy. This difference in approach can make a world of difference in clinical practice, and gives us an invaluable tool in managing a case for the best in the long term, and in treating the person as a whole human being. We don’t want to make people better in the short run, while we make them worse in the long run.
The properties of herbs are collated systematically according to their energetics — taste, temperature, effect before and after digestion and similar factors.
The TCM system of health care begins with a differentiation of the individual’s energetic situation, starting with the most basic divisions, and extending the process of differentiation to a great degree of individuality.
TCM is based on the principle of unconditional, unifying energy of all phenomena. Called “qi” (pronounced “chee”), it is ephemeral, active, constantly changing and warm. Qi is vital energy, the basis for all organic life, and for all inorganic substances, as well. It is the animating force that gives us our capacity to move, think, feel, and work. When one is young and energetic, one has abundant qi, but as one’s qi declines with age, one becomes subject to degenerative diseases and lowered vitality. This concept of qi is the basis for the success of TCM in the area of health maintenance and longevity.
Qi is all about movement, evolution and change. It’s ephemeral, so we perceive its effects, not its substance. It is associated with movement, odor, sound and form. It is connected with the intuitive, unlimited and spiritual qualities of life. The great symbol of qi is the sun, the most unlimited source of energy we experience in daily life.
In the Chinese view, the primary principle of health is recognizing and promoting the flow of qi and eliminating its blockage. All TCM techniques, whether herbs, diet, acupuncture, or others, are ultimately aimed at balancing qi.
Each person is a garden in which doctor and patient together cultivate health. Every being has a unique ecology to be planted, tilled and tended. Like a gardener uses compost, water and weeding to grow robust plants, TCM uses acupuncture, herbs and food, seeking to tenderly nurture and nudge the entire garden back into harmony, to recover and prolong good health.
TCM views people as worlds in miniature, so it seeks to improve our capacity to balance and replenish our own capabilities. TCM minimizes the erosion of our soil by enriching it, makes the most of the flow of nutrients by increasing circulation, and helps avert blocks that obstruct the movement of bodily fluids and energies. Therefore, TCM anticipates problems by upholding our interior landscape.
Contrast that worldview with that of contemporary medicine, which looks for “busted” parts to replace. Typically, modern conventional medicine intervenes only after a crisis arises, whereas TCM aims to correct depletion and stagnation at earlier stages, avoiding greater problems later on.
While Chinese medicine excels at enhancing recuperative power, immunity, and the capacity for pleasure, work, and creativity, it can remedy ailments as well.
According to Chinese cosmology, the whole of creation is born from the marriage of two opposite principles, Yin and Yang. Earth and Heaven, winter and summer, night and day, cold and hot, wet and dry, inner and outer, body and mind are reflections of this pairing of opposites. Creating and maintaining a harmony between these opposites means health, good weather, and good fortune, while disharmony brings disease, disaster, and bad luck. The entire aim of TCM is to restore harmony, in the world and in the body.
TCM is based upon a universal notion, expressed in nature in bi-polar terms Yin and Yang. Energies that characterize the complementary yet opposing materialization of all phenomena, yin and yang are the most basic divisions of energy in the universe. That which is above corresponds to a below; heat is complimented by cold, night is pursued by day. In all of manifest creation, qi is divided and apparent in duality.
The concept of yin and yang pervades all of traditional Chinese thought, not just in medicine, but in other forms of science and art as well. The concept of yin and yang is the idea that everything has its opposite.
We might think of this as two basic forces operating in nature. One force is an outward, expansive, linear, positive force that changes things. The other is an inward, contractive, downward, negative force that is hidden and unmanifest. The outward force is the yang force and is associated with heaven, light, up, daytime, male traits, function and so forth. The inward force is the yin force and is associated with such things as darkness, winter, nighttime, female traits and structure. All matter and energy in the universe can be represented on the spectrum of yin merging into yang. Health is yin and yang in balance.
Taste is one way of deciding which herbs have the needed actions. It represents a sensory method of ascertaining the biochemical action of a given herb or food, in other words, the remedy’s “energy”.
The five tastes include pungent (spicy), salty, sour, bitter and sweet.
We do not actually have taste buds for pungent. It is called a taste, but is more correctly an irritation of the tissues- a mouth sensation. Spicy taste stimulates, warms and dries dampness. It is used in conditions of excess dampness (mucus) in the lungs, which are associated with the metal element. Spicy taste increases digestion, circulation and secretions.
Salty foods, such as seaweeds, bring out the yang flavor of food and provoke a yang effect in the body. Salty taste retains fluids, moistens tissue and supports the kidneys. It softens masses, such as cysts and benign tumors, and relaxes muscles.
Sour taste is found in foods containing organic acids. Sour taste enhances digestion, especially of proteins. It also enhances liver function. Sour also dries mucus, tightens tissues, stimulates digestion and promotes bile flow. The concept of sour taste also incorporates the tissue sensation of astringent, which is the tightening and drying of tissue.
Bitter taste is, all in all, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Bitter remedies can be used in small doses before meals as a digestive preparation, stimulating secretion of digestive juices and provoking both appetite and efficient digestion. Bitter taste is cold, so is used to “clear heat”- reduce inflammation, in Western terms.
Sweet taste is nourishing, so is used to tonify. It builds, feeds and harmonizes tissue. The waste byproducts of this building process are acid, though, so we need to be conscious of keeping the body pH balanced when we are in a rebuilding, healing, phase.
Turn up the Heat
An important factor of Chinese energetics is the temperature of the disease. TCM classifies herbal actions based on temperature, and the concept includes influence on metabolic rate and effect on actual body temperature.
A good way to understand the broad concept of temperature is a spectrum from hypometabolic (cold) to hypermetabolic (hot). As the metabolic rate increases, more calories per minute are burned. Temperature and all other biological processes increase. The opposite is true for the cold direction.
Less extreme conditions are classified as warm or cool and most illnesses fall in this range.
TCM always has something to offer for nagging chronic complaints that bother us. Western medicine may heroically rescue us, but Chinese medicine can protect and preserve our health every day. These two great systems offer a great set of complements to each other.
When is the last time you took a moment, a moment to center yourself, your life and your heart. I’m very serious. When … is…. The…. Last…. Time… You…. Took… a…. Moment, for Yourself.
If I could make one request of you at this very moment it would be to go out into life this weekend and find a beautiful location that speaks to you and sit, breath in slowly…. Realeaseeeeeeeeee….. Smile on the inside and the outside. Feel the love of the Universe and the love of life for about 10 minutes. The smile part is the most important part. As simple, foolish, artificial and or ridiculous that may sound to some, it really works to change your brains outlook and it’s something you can CHOOSE to do to change your life. Retrain your brain.
If your life is dismal and down, then double dip and get twice the benefit!
Think of your life like a spinning top on a table. Every time something negative happens the top aka your life / consciousness begins to wobble erratically out of control. Bumping into and creating more problems for yourself.
When you take a moment hence a time out for yourself and do the above. You take that control back and the top rights its self into a balanced position. The more you right yourself, the more control you take back in your life.
Here is one more thing to think about. The optimist vs. the pessimist
1. The tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things
2. Hopefulness; confidence
3. The doctrine of the ultimate triumph of good over evil
4. The philosophical doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds
1. A person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.
2. An adherent of the doctrine of pessimism.
Most of us are by default in the second half, lol and probably a bit cynical about life, but we also have the ability to change our thinking and our lives!
Research has been piling up over the past decade that shows optimistic people have better lives. There relationships are better, finances are better and they live longer! If that doesn’t piss you off!, lol
Interestingly, there are a few people who said that they simply felt cursed at some point in the life. That nothing would go right and they even considered giving up. Then they discovered meditation, and that they could in fact take control of there life. These very same people less then a few weeks later stated that after applying the simple techniques they learned life had righted itself for them and they were excited to see what each new day would bring!
I myself have up’s and down. Shitty things happen and you need to deal with it. By nature I am admittedly an Pessimist, And it is so much easier to just go into that state of mind. But in meditation I learned decades ago that “Mindfulness” Is my secret Kung-Fu of the mind and it helps me to realize at that very moment, I am heading to a deep, dark shitty place mentally! I then take charge as I had learned in my practices and re adjust my mind, attitude and perspective My energy…and just like that the bullshit begins to lift and if it is a slow process I choose to speed it up by applying more technique just like the above and I can literally watch hour by hour things getting better.
You are not powerless, you are not hopeless and God has not forsaken you.
You are powerful, you have a purpose and God is your admirer you just have to decide take charge to your life.
Most people don’t know what to make of Higher Balance because we talk about meditation, altered states of consciousness, paranormal phenomenon etc. the truth is we love it all and we are experts. We see all of those things connected and believe they all interact with each other manipulating and forming your life and its purpose. We believe that can be changed and or improved by your choice if you choose to take action in your own design. We show you things that have been hidden from you that will very much shock you at first and then its followed by revelations of amazing possibilities you truly have and never knew about.
Right now you may be feeling that all you need is a time out from life and what I said earlier seem like the perfect tool to do the job and it is! But it’s also really good to know that when you are ready to take bigger steps that they are ready to be shared with you.
Higher Balance … think about the name and think about the spinning top.
~ Eric Pepin