Now that we are in the second month of Winter, and hopefully taking the opportunity to have a little more time for ourselves, I wanted to talk about Water. As the dominating energy of the season, its arguably the most important element – it’s certainly the deepest.
The Importance of the Water Element
Water has introspective and thoughtful qualities. It encourages us to look inwards, to embrace the stillness and tranquillity of the season, and bring out our inner Philosopher.
Like the Kidneys (the organs associated with Winter), Water energy is linked with the emotions of wisdom, stamina, gentleness, composure and ancestral memory. It is a quiet and thoughtful energy, happiest when it is calm and still.
But when the Water element is out of balance, that overriding emotion is fear. I don’t mean being terror-struck; it may present itself as feelings of anxiety, insecurity or isolation, or you may have a lack of willpower or courage, or perhaps a low-lying sense of concern. These emotions can really affect our health and wellbeing if left unchecked for extended periods of time.
Why the Kidneys Are Associated with Fearful Emotions
The Kidneys hold our most basic energy. Chinese Medicine states that they are the root of our constitutional strength and vitality, and the storehouse of our ‘jing’ – our inherited, pre-natal essence and one of the “Three Treasures” that needs to always be nourished and protected.
If we don’t properly care for our Kidneys, our jing reserves become depleted, and it is often these prolonged and chronic fearful emotions that cause the most damage. That’s because the ancestral aspect of jing naturally holds fear, because it naturally holds the seed of our destiny – and that can be fearful. After all, we are often afraid or anxious of the unknown.
Looking After Our Kidney Health
We need to nourish, protect and rebuild our Kidney jing, and Winter is the perfect time to do this because it is the season of going inwards. You need to welcome the stillness; give yourself permission to slow down and make effort to nourish yourself.
There’s plenty of things you can do. Try to rest by sleeping later and going to bed earlier. Eat warming stews and soups. Try to avoid going out when it is dark. Meditate, read, take a bath, write in your journal – whatever helps you unwind.
Allow your inner Philosopher to guide you and, like Water, flow with courage and purpose towards your destiny.