#metoo - A TCM Perspective
I have been thinking a lot about the shifting energies in the world regarding women's movement and the #metoo revolution. To me, it really feels like we have entered a period of release from pressure that has been building for centuries. I thought I would discuss some healing ideas about this from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view.
In TCM, the emotions coming forth guilt, shame, blame, anger and more are signs of imbalance in the body and culture. These emotions cause harm to your lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and spleen, draining them of vital life-force energy needed for a full, healthy life. While emotions in their own right aren’t bad, in fact, they can be a force for change and growth. TCM would suggest that whatever emotion is involved let it be tempered with empathy and a level of internal awareness of where you are, what you need and how it is effecting you. This will bring in more clarity especially if we also work from the place the you are worthy of love and support in this (and all) situations.
The ultimate intention of life from a TCM perspective is to invite in harmony and balance into your body and life as a whole. Internal awareness with an emphatic heart can create the conditions for the healing to begin. By beginning with the self, you create the environment to identify the areas of concern, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual and in many cases all of the above. Then, you are able to confront/release the issues at hand using dialogue, creative expression, community building and more, which can initiate change within you and your community, offering growth into a new energetic space.
In TCM, life is about the constant flow between the yin (feminine) and the yang (masculine). With the #metoo movement, the yin is seen in the nurturing of self and others, periods of rest to recuperate, while also being the dark, heavy energy of secrecy. On the other hand, yang is seen in strong actions of saying NO to further transgressions, bringing light into the darkness and the extreme yang energy of the patriarchy.
Healing can only begin with awareness of these things while allowing empathy to be your guide. The opposite of that is blaming and shaming of both yourself and others. This creates a feeling of smallness around you, a moving away from the subject that needs attention and an energy of I am bad or you are bad and therefore unworthy of love and respect. This usually turns to anger and frustration. Unfortunately, there is a possibility of a violent retaliation towards any person assigning blame including energy directed at yourself, which can lead to depression. All of this is extremely detrimental to your health and vitality.
On the other hand, empathy is a harmonizing emotion with a more balanced energy. It is the energy that is best supported in the Earth element, which are represented by the Spleen and Stomach. It is an openness to hear other’s situations with a nurturing presence, it is about supporting strong social networks and building loving communities. In the practice of Qigong, there are many exercises to can bring more harmony to the Spleen and Stomach and invite in some well deserved nurturing. Check out a few of them below to begin setting the intention of healing.
Earth Qigong - A grounding exercise to lower anxiety, re-root yourself into the present moment and increase awareness of your inner power.
5 Yang Exercise - An exercise to support flow with the digestion. Good metaphorical question to consider while doing this exercise, “What am I have trouble digesting in my life?”
Traditional Chinese Medicine is about removing blocks to your flow, to open to new possibilities and use the powers of your awareness to maximize health and vitality physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So as we move forward into the days and years to come, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your thoughts, emotions and actions that don't serve your highest good. May you find the answers you seek as we support each other in the process with empathy and compassion.