January: Reflecting for Wisdom
By Vanessa Mahoney, LAc
2018 has arrived. Whether you survived or thrived in 2017, this is the perfect time to reflect on what lessons the year brought you. Winter – the season of the kidneys, urinary bladder, and water element – carries with it the virtue of wisdom. In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys empower the flow of life and water constitutes the depth of self. Taking time to mindfully reflect on our life each year helps us gain wisdom and flow through life with purpose.
January Wellness Tip: Create a space to reflect on 2017. Light a candle or burn incense, put on your favorite centering music, and journal about 2017’s lessons (this can be as simple as making a list). What do you want to let go of from 2017 to create space for 2018? What do you want to invite in or create for 2018? After reflecting, lay down to meditate and breathe. Take a few deep inhales and exhales to quiet the mind and center. Breathe in fully, filling your lungs, and exhale, visualizing your breath traveling down your legs and out of the bottoms of your feet. Inhale, visualizing your breath entering the bottom of your feet, traveling up your legs and body to fill your lungs again. Continue this breathing visualization, but add intention – breathing out the things you want to let go of and breathing in the things you want to bring into your life. When I practice this, it feels like a wave moving through my body – washing away what I want to let go of and carrying in what I am inviting into my life.
January Acupuncture Point: UB7 (Heavenly Connection) traditionally treats nasal congestion/discharge, nosebleeds, and nasal sores. It clears the head, including headaches on top of the head. Spiritually and psychologically, it empowers the resonance between the light of heaven and that of our mind. Located even with the inside of your eyebrows, measure a palm’s width plus a finger from your hairline to the top of your head. You may feel a slight divot on each side of your skull – this is UB7. Press gently to clear your nose, relieve a headache, or connect your mind and higher self.