The prevailing norm is to function in a state of “performance”, attaining a state of stasis to demonstrate resilience, to become esteemed members of society. In the “yang society” we live in, the valued part of human existence seems to be the “active part” that revolves around achievement, speed and success and if you do not meet up to this standard, this may evoke shame.
However, this approach runs counter to the natural order of things which is evident in the workings of celestial bodies, nature and people. The season of September, marks the onset of autumn, characterised by a “transition of energy” from yang (masculine) to yin (feminine). The natural world begins to descend into the darker days of winter.
Should we neglect to comply with the laws of nature, we may find ourselves in “conflict” with the inherent rhythm of existence, consequently causing turmoil to our state of being.
As we transition into the autumn yin energy, it matures and produces a plentiful harvest. This can be observed within ourselves, as everything comes to fruition and a sense of tranquillity ensues. Loose ends are tied up and there is a discernible reduction in activity. During this phase, there is no urge to expend a substantial amount of energy on projects.
“Healthy productivity” requires “flexibility”. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching emphasises the power of softness, using water as a metaphor; water is soft and flexible but also has the power to erode the hardest materials like rock and metal. To be like water, we must overcome hardness with flexibility. Adopting a soft approach can lead to long-term success and a peaceful state of mind. Softness is a strength, allowing us to adapt to different circumstances and avoid breaking under pressure.
Promoting a serene nervous system and a grounded presence is not synonymous with idleness and inefficiency. On the contrary, it fosters an environment that allows for opportunities to manifest. Have you ever noticed that when you relentlessly strive for something, it often eludes you? However, when you surrender and embrace the flow, things effortlessly fall into place and align with your life’s purpose. This phenomenon exemplifies the potency of feminine energy. Masculine and feminine energies are interconnected and should be harmoniously integrated to enhance one another’s strengths.
You may be thinking, “well Melissa, if you think that SAD is not just based upon the lack of Vitamin D but reflective of transitional energy shifts, surely, this happens the other way”. You are right, it does. “Yin patterns” of SAD: symptoms tend to lean towards depression, oversleeping, heaviness, overeating and weight gain. “Yang patterns” (spring/summer) of SAD: induce feelings of anxiety, lack of appetite, agitation, insomnia, irritability, anger and violent episodes.
“Ensure your Vitamin D levels are optimal”
Why is Vitamin D good?
Vitamin D is an exceptional mood stabiliser. It’s arguably the most crucial nutrient to maintain optimal levels of in the body all year round, in order to facilitate the production of effective hormones. It plays a pivotal role in the activation of DNA for protein synthesis, across all cell types. An NHS laboratory offers a “blood-spot test”, that can be obtained through the post to assess one’s vitamin D levels. It is important to note that the laboratory does not provide interpretation of the test results or recommend any subsequent actions and additional guidance would be necessary to respond appropriately to the findings. One of the most efficacious methods to enhance the circadian rhythm and promote restful sleep, is through 20 minutes of exposure to morning sunlight.
What sort of foods should we be eating to beat SAD and why/what do they do?
It is highly recommended to consume locally grown and seasonal foods, in order to provide the body with the necessary nutrition, for the specific time of year. It is imperative to select minimally processed and fresh foods to ensure that their vitamins and minerals remain intact. During the autumn season, it is advisable to increase the intake of Vitamin A, by selecting orange and yellow foods such as carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin. These will help to protect the nervous system, boost your immune system, help build strong bones and more… Don’t disrupt blood sugar regulation which can affect mood – opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, lentils and vegetables. Sprouted seeds are an excellent source of enzymes and easily digestible, providing exceptional protein and nutrition. Fermented foods are also highly recommended, as they aid in serotonin production in the gut which is essential for overall health. Medicinal mushrooms such as Coriolus and Lions Mane are known to support cognitive function, while Alpha Lipoic Acid is a natural mood enhancer.
What exactly does physical movement do to combat depression?
Engaging in physical activity triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain which are known to enhance one’s mood. As we transition into autumn, the yin season, practicing Yin Yoga can be particularly beneficial for individuals, experiencing SAD. Yin Yoga is the feminine moon-side of yoga. It encourages a calm nervous system, being grounded and simply “being”. During the yin season, it is important to cultivate patience and connect with our intuitive selves, following what nature is reflecting back to us. Yin Yoga is an introspective, quiet, contemplative and reflective practice that can help alleviate depression, by promoting the flow of stagnant energy through mindful gentle stretching. People that suffer with depression are tightly coiled and therefore stagnant in energy and Yin Yoga promotes the flow of energy once again. It is a practice that fosters alertness without inducing lethargy.
How can acupuncture help SAD?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives disease as an imbalance between Yin and Yang. Acupuncture therapy aims to restore equilibrium and enhance the body’s natural healing abilities. TCM offers a comprehensive approach to treating depression by identifying root causes and addressing energetic imbalances. Acupuncture has demonstrated effective in treating pain, hormonal, immunological, neurological disorders and depression by harmonising energy and strengthening organ systems. In TCM, the Kidney system is nourished by the sun. Our Yin seasonal cycles lack sunlight, leading to Kidney stagnation, dampness, coldness and depression. Stagnant Liver Qi can result in frustration and depression.
Melissa Day, Cosmetic Acupuncturist at Niroshini 360
Melissa Day is a seasoned Integrative & Preventative Medicine Practitioner professional, specialising in microsystems acupuncture, based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine. With 17 years of experience in the Health, Wellness and Mental Health Industry, her purpose is to empower others, to understand their own journey of self-discovery, bridging the gap between their psychological and spiritual growth, to obtain optimum health and well-being.
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In “The Joyous Body”, written by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, nature teaches us how to become nourished through our wounds, if we allow. On unforgiving mountains, in the barren starkness, beyond the upper limit, where trees were said to not grow, is where Clarissa formed her deep bond with the bristlecone pines. She shared her love – they shared unlimited wisdom in abundance.
The trees past the timberline, were not immediately visible, as they hunkered down, kissing the granite rock; to the unknowing eye, they could be mistaken for bushes. These trees, older than Christ, survived brutal cyclical elements. Then there were the trees, holding onto the furthest rocks, jetting out over canyons.
The trees, seemingly bushes, on the most unrelenting side of the mountain, stretch across the rock, instead of the sky, in order to grow. Clarissa mused on how many of us, have been bedridden, emotionally, physically, through life’s challenges and yet, we still grow. The trees balancing on jetting rocks, on the less windy side of the mountain, are again, where people say they can’t exist. The fact is, they have found a way to thrive, in the most remarkable of circumstances. Clarissa notes that what she witnessed in them, is the spirit in the psyche, even past 2,000 years. It’s that life force, streaming, unbounded, cursing through the soul of the tree.
What Clarissa learnt from these wise, magnificent teachers, was that they had adapted in body, to withstand all that came their way. As people, if only we “allowed” this “listening” between the self and body to occur – Clarissa describes the body as “our beautiful companion and consort” – we’d expand deeply in knowledge and wisdom too.
We have the same access to energy for vibrant health, as the trees do, however, if we do not bring light to our wounds and allow for the healing of our samskaras, then this shakti or life force is blocked. In Indian philosophy samskaras are “psychological imprints”, “mental impressions” or “recollections”, engraved on our energetic body. Michael J Singer talks in his book, “The Untethered Soul”, about old TVs, that had a couple of channels and if you switched one programme over, you could still see the last image, seeping through on the screen. That is what an energetic imprint is, something that has occurred in the past but still has left an impression upon us. We have vortexes of energy throughout our entire system, hundreds of them. However, most are familiar with the main seven vortexes, chakras, from the crown of our head, to the base of our spine. These energy wheels, get blocked, when we don’t let go and heal past traumas and disturbances.
In life or through doing inner work, the same trigger may occur, even when you thought it had been healed. For example, a trigger could be abandonment. This does not mean, that you’ve gone back to step one, in your healing. Consciousness is ever expanding, ever growing; it cannot go backwards. You are consciousness so you too, are not going backwards. All this simply means, is that you have expanded so much to the degree, that you have developed to the stage, of having a greater understanding of the samskara, in order to fully bring it into full awareness, to finally release it.
Like attracts like so if you have not healed a wound, then your emotional body will be crying out, for you to heal it and that is why vibrationally, there is a point of attraction within you, that in fact is seeking this discomfort to occur, in order for you to fully integrate it, through mental alchemy (from a negative to a positive) to become whole.
Life is always going to be about healing; that’s our duty, in the expansion of consciousness as a whole. There is no end point to healing. Simply new lessons to be learnt and experience to be shared. You can never sever your connection to source, as you are an extension of source itself. It is through connection to the world around us and people, that we learn. Life is our guru.
It is through this adaptation, to the surrounding elements, that the bristlecone pines were “tested” and subsequently, listened in order to thrive in their surroundings. Clarissa says “We live there in both those ways with the body, out there taking risks, hanging on, growing, developing nonetheless and also lying close to the ground if need be and growing nonetheless anyway”.
Clarissa marvelled about the fact that, the bristlecone pines, were written upon. Through deep inspection, L’s and T’s, R’s and A’s were engraved into their skin, by the wind that scarred them. The dust would settle into the marks, like beautiful, inky black tattoos. An untamed, magnificent beauty, etched by Gaia.
Clarissa then thought why, in our society, is being unmarked, a sign of beauty? The bristlecone pines were breath-taking in their beauty. Are we supposed to not have a history reflective of our survival stories. Clarissa said, “All I know, is that every creature that lives on the face of this earth, if they have dared to live, they are scarred, they are written upon in some way”.
The continuous, unabated ruthlessness of the environment, cause the trees, to anchor down, deep into mother earth, far enough so they are firmly held in her grasp. However, due to being on mountainous terrain, with rocky granite bedding, when it rains, the droplets are driven off the surface.
Amazingly however, there are insects that burrow deeply into the earth and feed off the tree root systems, making little bites across the entire root line. The beauty of this, is that the insects are in fact removing the hardened skin of the roots, allowing for when the quenching water does get past the granite fort, to nourish right to the wound of the root. This symbiotic relationship, that open up their “venous system” as Clarissa describes, allows the bristlecone pines, to receive the nutrition they require.
It is only through this allowance, of a relationship to form, can we understand the meaning behind our samskaras and bring our consciousness into a state of awareness. It is this relational development with our environment and people, that we need to let in, to shine a light on our deepest wounds. We can only expand in consciousness, through connection.
Let’s acknowledge our wounds, nourish them with the light of awareness. Be proud of the lessons, release the samskaras and wear our physical scars with pride.
If you require support on your healing journey, Melissa can faciliate this, via her Zoom Talking Therapy.
I am worthy…
I am enough…
Are any of these phrases hard for you to feel or say… do you have a receiver block?
If someone compliments you or gives you a gift, offers to help you, shows you affection and care – these are forms of love. It’s really helpful to understand how an individual or certain cultures translate their “language of love”, for example, some cultures may associate giving food as a symbol of love.
If someone gives us something, it does not mean we can receive it. Therefore, if we have the inability to receive, this in fact shows us that we cannot receive love. We may really want love, however, it’s really common to really desire something, yet block it at the same time because there’s that little voice inside that believes we don’t deserve love.
Our receiving blocks are usually formed in childhood. This may have been because love that was given to us was only shown based on conditions, such as having to achieve or earn something in order to be loved. This early learning, shaped our understanding that love and receiving are negative. This interpretation, then influences our belief system – we have to earn something in order to deserve something – so therefore, if someone tries to “give”, this makes us distrust the motive behind it. If love is given in order to have something in return, this is not love.
In our early years, if we have experienced trauma, pain or anything uncomfortable in our environment, something called “armouring” is developed. Armouring is in essence a shutting down of our energy system in order to shield and defend us from people and the world around us – so we are not open or receptive to others. It can play a role in helping a child use what mechanisms they can to protect themselves emotionally however, as they transition into adulthood, this armouring, can play havoc with relationships with others and the universe as a whole. We start to carry around the belief that people and the universe are not safe.
When a child armours, this is directed through their first chakra known as the root chakra which represents safety, stability and survival. Therefore, when a child does not feel safe, the first chakra activates, creating a defence strategy, hardening it like a shield as a protective mechanism. Therefore, each time this “unsafe” feeling is triggered, this shielding or barrier gets harder and harder. This aspect of our inner protector is initiated by our masculine energy, our yang; on guard, ready to protect, always anticipating danger. This barrier is a block between you and the universe so there is no natural rhythm of energy between you and everything else which is painful as it’s not natural, it’s in fact impossible for us to detach from the universe as it fundamentally is what our existence is based upon. To try to separate ourselves, impacts our ability to manifest, as our external world is a reflection of our inner world. As within so without.
Receiving blocks are usually associated with the heart, for example, when it comes to relationships. Although this is true as we get older as the more we shield and harden, this protective strategy then takes over our entire energy system which includes the heart chakra – the receiver block in fact starts in our first chakra, not the heart chakra. Each chakra is slightly differently approached when is comes to addressing armouring so it’s helpful to know that the first chakra, is where we initially need to focus our healing.
If we have a difficulty in receiving love, this usually indicates a disbelief and mistrust towards a person’s motives. Our armouring that we’ve created stops us from being able to receive. If our experience of love in our early years was not given unconditionally, then we can grow up, not recognising actual love when it’s staring us in the face; we don’t see it and we can’t feel it. The mere thought of being offered something makes one feel vulnerable and for example, can trigger a feeling of us giving our power away to someone, resulting in a sense of alarm and fearfulness. Giving our power away, could be associated with love being given to us where we then were in a position of feeling indebted to that person, through guilt or duty so it felt like entrapment. In this respect, love is given as a form of leverage and what the “receiver” may try to do in return is reciprocate, only to avoid being trapped so that the giver doesn’t have the upper hand. If we were made to feel as if something was wrong with us by our parents or caregivers by being mistreated or having love based on conditions as a child, our ingrained belief is that we can’t be loveable, just as we are because on some level, we feel flawed because why would we have been treated in that way in the first place if we weren’t.
In childhood, when the armouring starts and the child begins to form a separation with themselves and the universe, it’s very painful to experience and upon this disassociation with the universe, a child starts to form a story about this and how they feel and this is when energetic imprints and beliefs are formed. The story could be something along the lines of “I’m a bad person, I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy, I can never be abundant, something is wrong with me, I don’t deserve, I feel guilty and shame – which can lead to self hatred and different forms of self abuse, such as forming an addiction or self harm. This energy is feminine in nature, yin. When this negative self talk begins, beliefs start to take shape and energetic imprints form and go into all the chakras, the first chakra initially. These energy imprints influence how your personality, ego and beliefs form as you grow older. This stored energetic information is what we build our personality upon.
People who can’t receive, block any notion of help. They refuse to ask for it and they don’t receive much help, as they are distrusting of the universe and everyone around them so feel that it’s “them against the world” and that in order to do or have something, they have to do it alone. They don’t often see help when it’s being offered but if they do, they will usually instantly seek holes in it, to try to reveal that the intention behind it, is not pure. They feel unworthy of help and in a sense see it as a negative – a way to illustrate that they are not capable of doing it alone.
If we have experienced love and lost it, whether that be through a breakup or a death of a loved one, in order to not experience this pain of loss and to go through the grieving process, some feel it’s more practical to push any form of love away because “love hurts” or “love is not safe” so they protect themselves from potentially feeling that same pain again. If we experience multiple breakups, it may seem that the love was never real and therefore we dismiss the idea of love existing but it did during that period, it wasn’t fake. Essentially, even if on some level we want love, if we feel undeserving of love, we’ll be blocking it at the same time.
At Niroshini, we have various approaches to helping you:
1) Inner child therapy. Going into your past, may seem daunting but you’d be surprised at how simple and fast the techniques are to help support you. This will allow you to visit situations that made you feel unsafe and vulnerable and change them – change their energetic frequency from a negative to a positive. This will teach you mental alchemy and the more you do it, the easier it will become. This process enables you to reparent yourself which is one of the most powerful healing tools you can have.
2) Emotional Freedom Technique. Again this is a fast and easy way for you to learn to alter your thought patterns and empower you to live in a healthy way with yourself, others and the universe. We can address beliefs and imprints through this technique. As talked about, our personality and ego are formed based upon the information ingrained initially in our first chakra and this is exactly where we focus the healing to start with. Unless we address the energy imprints in the chakras, the mindset does not shift, as this is the foundation of where our personality and ego evolve. Neural pathways of the brain are rewired as a result of this therapy.
The universe does love you, creator, god, source loves you.
For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org