The Power of Stopping

I used to say my husband, Jason was “the oil in my lamp.”

He’s slow, steady, and deep—all attributes of the Water Element in Chinese medicine.

I, on the other hand, run circles around him like a wound-up chihuahua. My spastic movements, goofy humor, and awkward shyness are hallmarks of the Fire Element.

I never thought I had a lick of “Water” until I explored the Elements more deeply. I started paying more attention to each of the seasons and how they made me feel in my body and mind. I also learned how to recognize and strengthen the healthy aspects of each Element—a practice my teacher Thea Elijah calls “Living the Elements.”

Low and behold, something unimaginable happened.

I discovered qualities about myself that I didn’t know I had—including my own slow and steady depth. And I realized just how crucial these qualities are in keeping my light shining brightly.

Regardless of your constitution, a healthy Water Element is absolutely essential for your health and happiness—because just like in nature, without clear, flowing water, there’s no growth, vitality, and abundance.

So how do you nourish your Water Element?

Stop. Just stop.

Put down your to-do list and let yourself do absolutely nothing–even for just a moment or two, but preferably much, much longer. And yes, that includes thinking about what you’re going to do next (that reminder is for me too).

Sleep more.

Go to bed earlier, even there are other things you’d rather do or think you *should* do. If the kid in you is kicking and screaming, just try going to bed half an hour earlier to start, and then increase until you begin to feel more rested. It sounds so simple, but how many of us prioritize sleep over browsing the internet or watching Netflix? I rest my case…

Embrace darkness.

I said it in my last post about pilot lights and oil lamps, but it bears repeating… Turn off overhead lights and LCD screens for a while, especially in the evening and early morning. Let the quiet and stillness of the dark replenish you and lull you naturally into a deeper state of rest.

I know it’s easier said than done, but I can’t tell you how important it is to make rest a priority, especially in the winter months.

Your life literally depends on it.

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