angerI want to address the prevalence of anger, impatience, and rough edges in our culture today. This, from an energy, mind-body point of view. What do the annual fires in California tell us about the increasing prevalence of anger and impatience in our lives?

We live in our heads. Think, think, think, think, think! In every waking moment. Our smart devices, cell phones especially, are a snapshot of this. We have become mere extensions of our technology and the servants of it.  We’re thinking and weighing and discerning and reacting and reacting constantly.

We eat only in order to take in sustenance and quickly be done, seldom also to linger in friendship or intimacy. We are productive, economic functionaries. We need to bring back the poetry!

According to the energy model, there are five elements or qualities of energy out of which are woven our bodies and our lives. In the chest is the Air Element, the seat of thought and thinking as well as the physiology of the heart and lungs. Healthy Air: Gentle breeze; excess Air: destructive wind. In the abdomen is the Fire Element, the seat of vitality and intentional, directed movement — and anger when it’s thwarted — as well as the physiology of digestion and assimilation. Healthy Fire: vitality, the warmth of a gentle campfire; deficient Fire: poor digestion, lack of focus and motivation; excess Fire: Rage. In the pelvis is the Water Element, the seat of our creativity and emotional nature — our soft, nurturing, self-nurturing side — as well as the physiology of reproduction and the process of fluidic, lymphatic cleansing. Healthy water: lushness, plants in your living space, healthy cleansing current and flow, easy movement, resilient, “going with the flow,” we take time to smell the roses. Excess Water: too much drama; deficient Water: Drought, not in touch with emotions, not in touch with nurturing, self-nurturing, appreciative side.

We and nature operate in accordance with the same principles. How nature operates is a metaphor for how we operate. Here’s one way nature mirrors to us our anger and impatience. Getting this gives us solution.

In the summer comes California’s dry season and months of drought. The Santa Ana winds come sweeping down out of the east. With everything hot and dry, especially with all the naturally lush foliage now dry, the slightest spark can start a fire which, with the winds, can spread widely and quickly. Raging fire out of control, overwhelming man’s most advanced efforts to subdue it. Excess heat, insufficient water, excess winds: Destruction.

angerNow let us shift this to ourselves.

Our Air quality gives mental activity. Our Water quality gives us soft, fluid movement, time-out, and self-nurturing. Our economic culture — the Attention Economy — is a mental one. We’re in our heads in virtually every moment. We seldom take time to linger, notice the subtle, and appreciate the simple, yes, to smell the roses, sit by the water, linger with a friend outside of business networking, read a poem . We live in our heads: We’re in excess Air: Strong wind. We’re seldom in our softer side: Water. We’re Air excess and Water deficient. Everything to fan our personal Fire, nothing to soften it, keep it a gentle, nurturing warmth. We’re easier to anger and impatience: Fire. Rage: destruction.

Healthy Water gives us grounded calm and joie de vivre, happy resilience, margin to not overreact. We’re centered but supple, naturally poised..

Polarity Therapy addresses this. By softening our Air Element excess and strengthening our Water Element deficiency, we soften our Fire Element excess. We step out of fight-or-flight, out of sympathetic nervous system overdrive. We toggle back into our parasympathetic nervous systems where we’re naturally calm and our innards hum quietly and efficiently. We linger just a little longer until we recognize that pause in our lives as an old friend we want more time with. Besides taking random moments in my day to stop,  stretch and breathe deeply, I turn my phone and computer off by 8:00. I go outside, walk slowly and mindfully, taking in the smells, sights and sounds of the night, and sit — outside of time — on the bench by the nearby lake and its fountain. I turn off the wind of my monkey-mind, let flow the soothing water of my own time-out, and my fire become as a soft campfire.

Unplugged. Sweet.

Larry Witzleben, LMT

Orthopedic Massage – Polarity Therapy

A Whole-Body Reset!

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