Winter, water, flow

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Frozen bones, steamy breath and frost covered everything was a gentle smack in the (numb) nose that winter has taken a firm hold over our lovely city. Shivering Matariki celebrations bring hope of a distant summer making it’s way back towards us. Strong low wintry suns are welcomed with grace and reverence for the luke-warmth they offer.

Winter is the season that corresponds to the water element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the most powerful, deep and flowing of the five elements. It is a time for internal reflection and deep work inside ourselves. It is a time for embracing the yin aspects of life – hibernation, relaxation, rejuvenation.

“Of all the elements, the sage should take water as his preceptor.

Water is yielding but all-conquering. Water extinguishes Fire,

Or finding itself likely to be defeater, escapes as steam and re-forms.

Water washes away Soft Earth, or when confronted by rocks, seeks a way around.

Water corrodes Iron till it crumbles to dust; it saturates the atmosphere

So that Wind dies. Water gives way to obstacles with deceptive humility.

For no power can prevent it following its destined course to the sea,

Water conquers by yielding; it never attacks but always wins the last battle.

The Sage who makes himself as Water is distinguished for his humility,

He embraces passivity, acts from nonaction and conquers the world.”

Tao Cheng – Eleventh century A.D.

What does this passage bring up for you? Where in your life can you add more yin, do less, nurture yourself more?

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