Bean sproutThe plants are making their way up through the soil, reaching for the sun.

It is the spring, time for  the sprouts of winter’s seeds to push up and out, expanding back to life. We might notice a similar energy within ourselves, a desire to get going, start new things, turn over a new leaf, commit to a certain course of action.

This urgent, fresh desire to grow and renew can get out hand. Rather than being a fun sensation of bubbling energy it can feel like we are on a treadmill of new ideas, scattered, unfocused and unable to remain committed to our goals.

Wood energy is expansive, busy and rising.

We  can learn to focus and direct this energy in order to reap the benefits of it. Without focus, Wood energy can take us on a wild ride of big dreams, wild ideas, yet nothing is manifested. With focus, Wood energy can be the driving force for our greatest accomplishments.

In the Creation and Consolidation/Control Cycle, Metal controls Wood. Allow the negative connotation of the word “control” to drop away, and become curious about this relationship. The dynamics of the Five Element Cycle teach that moderation brings the greatest benefit.  Too much or too little of any ingredient throws the whole thing off.  So in springtime, when the Wood is rising all around us and within us, we call up the resources of Metal to temper, focus, consolidate, direct the energy.

Creation_Control cycle

Creation – Control Cycle

How to increase Metal

Metal is related to the Lungs and so our breath. If ever there was a time to try meditating for a few minutes every day, now is it! All the expansion, action, and extroversion of Wood is balanced by the stillness found in meditation.

Come on – give it a try!

Simply sit comfortably, in the quietest place you can find. Insure that you will not be interrupted by family, friends, or pets during this time.  Gently and compassionately, call your attention to the flow of your breath. Feel for the motion of your diaphragm and lungs, notice the pauses between inhale and exhale, exhale and inhale.
Count your breaths to ten, then start again. Complete cycles of counting ten breaths a few more times. And then you are done.

A $5 bet:

Five dollars says that you will be taken off this simple track by ideas, thoughts, notions, words, an insistent voice complaining that this is a waste of time. You will have to find a way to settle your mind, to reassure yourself with patience and persistence.
Give yourself three to five minutes of practice attending to your breath as often as you can.  My experience has shown me that the big mouth of my mind quiets more quickly with love, compassion, and humor than it does with demands to shut up, or angry demands, or sadness about the state of my mind.  It takes time, it takes practice, but it does not take forever! Try it, you’ll get the hang of it.

A little at time we lead ourselves along, we attend inwardly for a few minutes each morning.  Soon, we notice how spontaneously and smoothly the day flows and our goals are achieved. As Metal and Wood cooperate to infuse our goals with fresh energy and focus, we feel the fruits of balance within the Creation and Control Cycle.

Please use the comment section below to let me know if I owe you $5!

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Cindy Black, L.Ac.

Founder/Instructor at Meridian Massage Institute
Cindy Black, L.Ac. has been practicing alternative medicine for 20+ years in the fields of Massage Therapy and Chinese Medicine. Her experiential teaching style emphasizes simplifying complexity while cherishing the mysterious wisdom of Nature.

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10 Responses to “Soothing Wood with Metal”

    • Cindy Black

      Karen, I’m betting your mind might be as loud as mine, so maybe not? Or, let’s not forget, it’s the thought that counts! :)

  1. Amy Whitney

    I like how doing this brings the control back home, (internal locus of control!), helping soothe the springtime overwhelm I experience when I feel like there are too many external demands. Thanks Cindy!

  2. cat

    Cindy, you are inspiration to me; to continue my meditation, the use of my shiatsu/acupressure in my practice…
    Women’s Sweat Lodge here in Sayre this Friday evening at 5, led by Sue Hirschberger. Fire building at 1 or 2, meal after. You are welcome, as would be any of my colleagues from your class. We’ll be about 7 women.


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