Spring Equinox, Finding Balance and Supporting the Liver

Spring Equinox, Finding Balance and Supporting the Liver

We find ourselves once again at the turning of the wheel, where light balances dark and we are called to see what it in and out of balance in our lives. The equinoxes are my favourite times of year, heralding a great change from yin to yang and yang to yin. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are blessed to be moving into spring and here on the West coast the world is singing with fertility and life. when I go on my morning walks, the birds are singing their merry tunes and the daffodils are waving hello, the cherry blossoms wave in the wind releasing their intoxicating scent. We are reminded that are that died away in the fall has given rise to this new life and so I hope for you that what you released in the fall has given rise to new and fresh dreams within you. 

For those of you who wish to take a little quite time and reflect at this powerful time. Find a quiet space and time, take a few deep breaths, light a candle and call on your guides and take some time to consider these questions:

  1. What has happened in your life since the fall equinox?
  2. What was revealed to you in that time?
  3. What feels out of balance in your life?
  4. How would you like to bring new balance to your life until the next equinox?

In Chinese Medicine we have fully entered into the season of wood. Wood is ruled by the Liver and the gallbladder and helps us to dream, plan and take action in our lives just like the little sprouts that are pushing up towards the sun. Wood is resilient when it is flexible, breakable when it is too rigid. It harnesses the deep nourishment of the stillness of winter and the water element to help guide its dreams and create change with loving kindness. You may find that if you wood element is excessive, you become dictatorial, forcing life to happen and raging when it doesn’t go the way you want it to causing your body to tighten and ache from the tension and if it is deficient, you may lack the drive to dream or plan, be stuck in a depression and feel lost in the world. 

    In order to support your wood element, I offer you hear some tips and tricks;

    • begin each morning with a room temperature glass of water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in to awaken your liver and continue it’s digestive processes
    • try not to eat any fat or protein rich foods until afternoon, instead eating fruits and salads (ensuring these are room temperature or even warm if its still cold where you are)
    • start to add in fresh spring greens; nettles (here is one of my favourite nettle recipes), dandelion, arugula, chickweed, wild mustard and other bitter foods
    • move your body daily (go for a walk, dance, do some yoga, or qi gong….) Here is one of my favourite qi gong sequences for the wood element.
    • take time to dream, plan, and create; make art, draw, do a vision board
    • apply some bergamot essential oil to the following acu points: Liver 3 and Gallbladder 13
    •                     

    For those of you who would like to go on a little journey to tap into the energies of spring and the medicine it has for you. Check out this Drum Journey I recorded last year. 

    I wish for you a spring filled with renewal, dreaming, planting and creation.

    Many Blessings to you and yours

    Lessons from the Dark

    Lessons from the Dark

    It has been a while since I have written I have been enjoying a much needed break from all the extras in life. After the wild ride 2020 has offered us up, I have been spending time with my family, friends and clients and in quiet contemplation and reflection as i truly believe this time of year is meant for. 

    This time to nourish myself and take care of my body has offered a great many lessons, including some deep transformations of family patterns and bodily manifestations of these patterns, which only seemed fitting after teaching a course on Ancestral healing and medicine. I am still working at it as we all are but I can feel the shifts with the eclipses and solstices.

    I know from speaking to many of you,  that either you or those you know are also experiencing such things. It may show up in an emotional pattern, a dis-ease, a traumatic accident. All of these things are coming up to help us shed the last vestiges of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn which as an earth sign is focused on the physical, our structures and habits and patterns. Each awakening of a pain, illness or broken bone is an opportunity for us to learn and shift. Bones and teeth particularly hold our oldest patterns from our ancestors and even our past lives. So though I know it can be hard and painful and seem so bleak when we initially discover experience these pains and traumas, remember that it is always darkest before the light and with some quiet reflection and the desire to learn from our situations we can begin to shine our own light on the darkness and discover the medicine that resides there. 

    So I invite you all to sit a little in the dark and get curious see what is there for you and with love and compassion begin to light your inner light on the situation asking what you need to learn from this and what support you need. If you are having trouble awakening your own light, you can try lighting a candle and asking the spirit of fire to enter into you heart and burn away the fear, and hucha there and once it is gone ask the fire to help grow your inner light, a bright clear light that is part of who you are as a person and what the world needs right now. 

    And of course if you need more support I am always here for a session to help you find out what it is the dark is trying to tell you and how you can awaken this light to help transform these pains into crystals. 

    With so much love and Gratitude,

    Immune-Boosting, Earth-Nourishing Chai

    Immune-Boosting, Earth-Nourishing Chai

    Once the signs of autumn roll in I immediately start craving chai. It has been a favourite drink of mine for a long time but especially after living in India and daily finding the Chai wallah on the closest street and sipping on the warm, sweetly spiced beverage. Here is my version that I make at home. You can adjust i based on your preferences either doing a base of black tea if you want a little kick or some medicinal mushrooms if you want something more rejuvenating (chaga and reishi are my favourite) or a simple herbal base like red rooibos. You can also adjust the spices to your liking making it more heating and spicy with chilies, ginger, black pepper and clove or more neutral and sweet with cardamom and cinnamon. You can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, sugar, xylitol or stevia and add any animal or alternative milk based on your preference. 

    Immune-boosting, earth-nourishing Chai

    Ingredients
    • Base- two bags black tea, two tablespoons medicinal mushrooms or other adaptogenic herbs or one tablespoon red rooibos
    • 3 cups Milk- Goat, cow, sheep, almond, cashew, oat,…
    • 3 cups water
    • thumb sized piece of ginger – peeled and sliced
    • one tablespoon spice mix (cinnamon, clove, chilli, cardamom, black pepper, fennel, fenugreek, allspice, nutmeg,….)
    • sweetener- honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, xylitol, stevia
    Instructions
    1. Pour water and milk into a pot and put on medium high
    2. Peel and slice ginger and add to water
    3. Collect what spices you like and grind in a mortar and pestle (I usually make lots and keep extra in a jar)
    4. Add spices to the pot
    5. If using medicinal mushrooms or other herbs add now
    6. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10- 20 mins
    7. Add black tea or rooibos
    8. allow to steep for 5 mins
    9. strain into a cup and add sweetener as desired
    10. Enjoy!!
    Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

    Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

    I am a firm believer that re-establishing the connection between spirit and our conscious, unconscious and bodies is the greatest work we can do and with these truly incredible times we are living in where we are being asked to rewrite the story of humanity centered on our connection with spirit. As I have mentioned in previous posts in Shamanism we believe that we are constantly dreaming our worlds into being. This is an incredibly empowering and scary concept that has truly been seen in our covid lockdown. How quickly have we changed our lives for something we can’t even see. Collectively we believe that it is worthwhile to protect the lives of those most vulnerable and have been willing to transform our lives for it. Now that this has been proven others are demanding this same respect and protection for black, indigenous and other people of colour. Are we willing to transform our lives even further and instead of governments telling us what to do, can we the people transform our governments ( who after all are supposed to be in place to support the collective voice of the people)

    As an empathic, white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied, educated, middle class Canadian woman who practices indigenous healing, I am deeply aware and grateful for the immense privilege I have in this life time. Not all of my life times have been like this, I have been slave and slave master, warrior and witch. The list goes on how long I don’t know some privileged and very brutal. In watching the Black lives matter movement roll out in front of me, I have deeply felt all the emotions rolling around in the world, the rage, grief, anger, sadness, powerlessness, despair, hope, fear, frustration,… dragged up from the depths of my own ancestoral lineage and my past lives that my spirit and bones still remember. I have had the privilege to be brought to my knees by them and am blessed with the time and space and knowledge of how to process them.

     

    My beliefs have all been challenged this week and no doubt yours have been too. It has been hard to witness my complacency and apathy in the systems that keep this world separated and segregated. Acknowledging that I am indeed apart of this collective dream. I can see the very real consequences of having the structures of our reality built on the backs of others and the degradation and exploitation of the earth and its people. The thought of dismantling it all seems so momentous and the huge changes that need to happen are rattling to the nervous system.

    But one truth I do know and feel at this time is that we are triggered when there is something that needs to be cleared and right now we are all being given the chance to do some incredible healing work. We each carry in our bodies and DNA the stories and traumas of our ancestors as well as of our past lives and these get passed down to each generation creating our realities. In order to make true change we must address our own traumas and the traumas of the world. Just as our DNA is marked by these stories, so are the systems we live under. The rules that govern us were created out of slavery, rape, pillaging, war, fear, hate but also out of love, inspiration, creativity and hope. We as a species have come through so much and together can create a new way forward.

    I would like to begin by acknowledging all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. It is truly the first step in healing.

    So I have been asking myself how can I help dream a new world into being both in spiritual practice and lived action. A world that recognizes each person’s sovereignty, unique wounding and perspective, while remembering we are spiritual beings having a human experience that we have chosen.

    I begin at home by educating myself and having the uncomfortable discussions with my friends and family.

    I continue to learn about and work at transforming the trauma that I carry and my friends, family and patients carry.

    I am working on practicing Deep listening and honouring each humans unique experience, while remembering that they are spirit and perfect, whole and complete.

    I will be offering special sliding scale sessions for those who do not have the financial means but wish to do the powerful work of transforming trauma.

    I will donate 5% of my revenues to regenerative projects that are actively working to create resilient, flourishing and equitable systems that respond to the needs of society while respecting the integrity of nature.

     

    I offer my humble gratitude to all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. If your are interested in doing this work here are some of the people I have found most helpful and transformative:

    Resmaa Menakam

    Rachel Rickett’s Spiritual activism course

    Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD Being an antiracist practitioner

    Jose Stevens PhD, Slavery, A closer Look

    The Ritual as justice School

    Light Watkins

    D’orjay The Singing Shaman

    Janaya Future Khan

    Tracy Stanlee

    Through all of this be gentle with yourself. Our egos love a good opportunity to make us feel guilt, shame and fear. They are our biggest slave owner and doing the work to recognize this and transform it is crucial to being able to make meaningful action in the world.

    So much love to you all

    Marika

     

     

    How to stay calm and centered in the face of stress, change and overwhelm

    How to stay calm and centered in the face of stress, change and overwhelm

    How are you doing?

    It has been over six weeks since we started self-isolation here on the island and as with most things it feels like forever and just a few days ago at the same time. There are days when I love it, the ease and gentleness that a day can take puttering around the house, playing with ayana, getting my hands in the dirt and then there are others where I wake up with this intense agitation like a bird trapped in a cage and I want to rage at the powers that be for telling me I can’t be free and do what I want to do. If you know me you know I love my freedom and in a year with a collective need for freedom this feeling of being locked up can seem extra intense.

    So I wanted to share with you some of the tools I use on a daily basis to help clear and release these energies, stay centered and grounded, protect my energy from the collective fear and grief and recharge myself when I am drained. I have actually started a youtube channel and will be posting these exercises in more detail so check it out for more info and let me know what you think.

    As a mother of a tiny human and a solopreneur, on top of everything else I find it essential to go to bed early and rise at least an hour before my daughter. I do this for myself first of all and for my family, work and community secondly. Rising early allows me to start my day with intention and get in all the little things that make me a better, calmer, happier person. The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is set up my mat and after drinking some lemon water with chia seeds to get my liver moving and give a little flush to my intestines and kidneys, I do 20-30 mins of movement. I usually go with what I feel at the moment whether it is Yoga with Adrienne, some self lead or youtube inspired qi gong or some serious movement with The Class or Betty Rocker. This gets my qi and blood moving and brings my awareness into my body and clears my mind.

    Next I Clear

    No matter what movement I do I love to finish it off with shaking. Shaking helps to release pent up energy, loosen and lubricate the joints, relax the muscles and just feels awesome. I begin by bouncing on my heels and letting my bones rattle and vibrate from my feet up to the top of my head, then I bring my arms and head into the mix, shaking them as gently or vigorously as I need, then I lift each leg and shake it out. Lastly I jump around letting my whole body loose with deep exhales, howls and groans. There really is nothing like shaking to activate, stir and release. (Check out my video on more ways to clear your energy.)

    Then I Center

    After Shaking it is time to center, centering helps me to bring my energy into myself and set my mind to neutral in service to my heart. The third eye located in the middle of your head where your pineal gland is located is also known as the Seat of the Soul. It is a place where we can place our consciousness to witness and direct our lives. You can simply put your awareness on this spot and look out from this place. I like to visualize a room where I am seated on a cushion with candles and incense burning and a small looking pool in front of me. From this centered place I can go about my day and observe my thoughts and reactions more clearly. (For more ways to center check out my video)

    After I Ground and Connect

    Once I am centered I like to ground my energy down into the earth, this gives me stability and a sense of connection and wellbeing that my animal body loves. I bring my attention down to the base of my spine and visualize a root growing down into the center of Mother Earth where it divides growing out into the four directions to anchor me fully. From here I take some deep breaths feeling that connection and the calm, supportive energies of the earth wash over my body while I send my gratitude to the earth from her love. When I feel complete with Mother earth I draw that energy up through my body to the top of my head where a great trunk grows up into the heavens and branches sprout in each of the four directions and I begin to breath and connect with Father Sky, the sun, moon, stars, planets and spirit. I draw down the energy of spirit and the light of these celestial beings to fill my body. Also sending thanks to them all for what they give me. (For a full guided meditation on this and connecting to the Father Sky, sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page)

    Finally I Protect

    After grounding and connecting I bring my attention to my Dan tian (energy center in my abdomen) and visualize an electric blue octahedron ( two four sided pyramids with their bases together) around my body and energy field. The tips of the pyramids are above and below me and the four points are located in front, behind, and to the left and right of my body. It is electric blue as this is the colour of truth like Archangel Michael’s sword. I then invite in and thank my guides and instruct them to keep away all low vibrational, fear based, negative energies that are not in my highest good. I also place this octahedron around my home, car, bike and clinic.

    These five steps that I do first thing in the morning help set me up for a good day ahead and only take a few mins. Throughout the day if I’m starting to feel agitated or heavy or in a situation that feels tense I will shake off what doesn’t serve me or send the energy down into mother earth to be composted and then quickly visualize my octahedron and I’m good to go again.

    I hope you take the time to give these a try and keep your energy clean and clear. Living on purpose with intention and taking responsibility for our energies is once of the greatest things we can do. Please let me know what you think of these exercises and pass this on to anyone you know who might be served by it.

    Blessings

    Marika

    Are you ready to give birth?

    Receive your free guide to preparing for a powerful and healthy birth as well as my monthly tips, tricks and inspiration on Birth, Chinese Medicine and Shamanism.

    Pregnancy

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Pin It on Pinterest