We’re face-to-face with a new year, and guess what? I don’t care about my weight. I don’t care about your weight. I’m not even particularly interested in talking about whole foods and exercise, despite how much I’m sure we all could use more of these things right now. There is only one concept that has been occupying my brain space these days, and that is:
Let. It. Go.
Perhaps I’ve been more-than-subtlely influenced by Disney’s Frozen. Or maybe I’m sentimental after reviewing the successes, good-times, challenging experiences and lessons I learned in 2014. But right now I’m obsessed with this concept:
It’s time to let go of the things that are no longer serving you.
The process of determining which aspect of our lives fall under this category requires some exploration into the questions of, “Why?” In other words, what is your purpose on this earth, in this lifetime, that drives and inspires you to do what you do? Are your purpose and your actions in alignment? I do not profess to be qualified or capable of taking you on the journey that will answer that question for you, but I know a few people who are. Simon Sinek’s TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a good place to begin. His website, book and discovery course will help you “Start With Why.”
From a Chinese medicine perspective, the process of planning one’s life, making decisions, and letting go of that which is no longer serving you is controlled by the physical, energetic and emotional aspects of multiple organs, including the liver, gallbladder and kidneys.
The liver has a soul of sorts…an “Ethereal Soul”. This energy is said to influence our ability to plan a life for ourselves and establish a sense of direction. If the liver is healthy and well-nourished, we have the wisdom and vision needed to plan our lives. If the liver is weak, we can feel lost or confused as to our life’s purpose.
And the gallbladder? The gallbladder is the Roy to the liver’s Siegfried. (If you’re not into Vegas circus shows, then think of Batman and Robin. Or Bert and Ernie.) The liver and gallbladder depend on one-another to perform their respective functions and there is an aspect of the gallbladder energy that contributes to fulfilling your life’s purpose. The gallbladder controls the capacity to make decisions. It helps to turn our drive and vitality into positive and decisive action. It’s no coincidence that we describe someone who is both virulent and steadfast as having the “gall” to do something.
If you’re not feeling fulfilled by your job, your relationships, your perception of your body, your “stuff” or other aspects of your life AND you have been discouraged, plagued by indecision or otherwise unable to take action that creates lasting change, we might look to a deficiency in your gallbladder. When it comes to letting go, we need courage and initiative. We need “gall”.
Our kidneys are involved in this as well. Chinese medicine recognizes that the kidneys determine our will power. If the kidneys are strong, the mind will be focused on our goals and will pursue them without distraction. If the kidneys are weak, the mind will be easily discouraged or might meander aimlessly.
As you reflect on the past year, you might find it useful to critically assess which people, activities, endeavors, choices, habits, patterns, things or experiences have brought you a sense of fulfillment and joy, and which have felt like a big fat NO. If you’re serious about this, you might even set aside some quiet time to write or to allow yourself to feel the sensations that come up in your body as you review this list.
Figuring out what you need to let go of is a project in and of itself. Actually letting go can require some support. Don’t worry, we’re here to help (see image, right). You can register for our next workshop here.
If you feel that your liver, gallbladder or kidneys could use a jump-start in 2015, we’d love to have you come in for an acupuncture treatment. Remember that you can now book appointments with us online at your convenience. If your guilt, fear, busy schedule, or checkbook is keeping you from doing what you feel you want or need to do, let it go.