According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, grief and sadness, along with blame and shame can be signs of a possible problem within the Metal Element, which are represented in your body by your Lungs and Large Intestine. This element is also represented by the season of autumn so it is quite pertinent now.
Last Saturday, brought it directly into view with the horrific shooting at the Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This tragic event, along with countless others in the USA and around the world, is a reminder of the preciousness of life AND the importance to finding ways to communicate with others you may disagree with. When a person can get so caught up in their thoughts and beliefs from stirring in the stew of blame and shame of others, then violence on innocent victims can be a result. I am so saddened by this senseless violence, while at the same time strengthened by the show of support that has been reported on multiple levels. This strength is a great example of integrity (the virtue of the Metal Element) and living from a space within your heart flow...that connection that binds us all.
As we try to come to grips with the fear, grief, blame and anger of such gratuitous violence happening on seemingly endless cycles. It is important to remember to continue to work as much as possible from love and integrity. In other words, it is important to allow time for saddness and grief and even mourning, if you need to. This can be true of any challenging event in your life. They only become an imbalance when they aren't allowed to flow in their own course and time.
One of the many psychological associations of the Lungs is the idea of taking in and letting go, no only with our breath, but our thoughts and emotions as well. These energies need to have a chance to flow and be felt so that they don't settle in and cause us harm physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. Emotions are good indicators that something is happening that needs your attention, a boundary has been compromised. By allowing them to flow through will aid in supporting your health and vitality and help you strengthen your boundaries.
Qigong has many ways to support moving intense grief through the body, but the best one is called Dry Crying. In this exercise we work with the issue at hand and begin to allow it to move out of the body and transform this "negative" energy into something more positive. For a written copy of this exercise click here.
Another good exercise is called The Old Man Searching for the Reflection of the Moon in the Bottom of the Tide Pool (yes, it is a very long name). This exercise works with sound, a great agent to cleanse the body, breath and movement. With these sounds, you can release stuck energy and promote better sleep and restfulness.
Unfortunately, we are in a violent world where many bad things can and do happen. We can, however, use them to be an agent of change, growth, love and support for ourselves and those around us. It all needs to begin with you. How can you be an individual that lives with integrity and compassion? A good start is living by example and being gentle with yourself and those that you love. And hopefully, slowly, but surely, we can begin to shift this current vibration into a more loving and safer space.