Sunday, May 27, 2018

2018 Wood Element Playlist

Spring sprung late this year!  Just as we are getting used to sunny, clear skies... BAM!  Summer is knocking on the door.   But I've been living in the energy of Spring, the Wood Element, since early March. One thing I love about the Five Elements is that even though they come out of an ancient philosophy, they are still working forces in our lives.  Check out this list of songs that have something to teach us about the how the Wood Element shows up today.

Note:  Most of the songs on this list have explicit lyrics.   But now that I think about it, by the time folks get to cussin', usually the Wood Element is involved!   Enjoy!  (Listen to this Wood Element Playlist on Spotify- but not around the kids!)

All the Way Up Remix by Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Jay-Z, French Montana 
The energetic of the Wood Element is up...  all the way up!   The metaphor for the Wood Element is the sprout,  and the tremendous upward energy it takes to counter the force of gravity and burst through the soil.   The Wood Element inspires us to be at the top of our game, as we strive to self actualize and bring the best of ourselves into the world.  Entrepreneurship and artistic creativity also fall under the Wood Element's domain.  So.... how high is high enough?  When the Wood Element is healthy, we rise to the challenge of making sure our unique brilliance is respected. There's no limit to how high we can go!
Medicine Cabinet: Abundance flower essence is the remedy for when you're ready to open yourself up to the best your life has to offer as an innovator, visionary, entrepreneur, or creative.

Mad by Solange featuring Lil Wayne
Photo Credit: Parlour Magazine
Every Element has a core emotion associated with it, and the emotion governed by the Wood Element is anger.  What happens when the natural upward movement of the soul gets blocked?  What happens when we are denied the right to express ourselves and stand in our power?  Righteous indignation-AKA anger or even rage.  Though the emotion has a bad reputation, it's really the appropriate response to the violations of the self.  The trick is learning to respond- with consequences and boundaries.  When we learn to appropriately respond to our triggers, rather than merely exploding or imploding, anger can be a powerful catalyst for growth and change.
Medicine Cabinet:  Eloquence flower essence empowers us to speak our authentic truth and express ourselves, even- and especially- when it's uncomfortable.

Photo Credit.
I Don't F**K With You by Big Sean Featuring E-40
The Wood Element governs conflict and boundaries in relationships, and helps us maintain a healthy sense of self as we relate to others. This song so perfectly demonstrates what it feels like when the grief of the Metal Element and the anger of the Wood Element get jammed up and intertwined.  This is especially common when anger is easier to recognize and articulate than
rejection or vulnerability.  We can also see how anger can be the incentive to help up let go of what doesn't honor us, demonstrating the dynamic relationship between the Wood and Metal.
Medicine Cabinet:   Exhale flower essence, which helps us let's go of people, situations, habits  and anything else that stands in the way of our best life.  

Kilmonger- Original Score by Ludwig Goransson
To date I've seen Black Panther 4.5 times (and counting), the most I've ever seen any movie in a theatre.  The cinematic masterpiece is rich with powerful archetypes- including my main man Michael B. Jordan as Kilmonger. Kilmonger is a warrior that  represents the best and worst of the Wood Element.  In his heart of hearts, what he really wants is justice, at any cost.  His vision is to arm the oppressed with tools to revolt against their oppressors.  Can we really be mad about that?  The Wood Element governs social justice and equality- believing that everyone should have he right and resources to self-actualization.   His theme song makes the list because of its warlike, rising meledy that captures the essence of the rising energetic of Wood.

This is America by Childish Gambino
Speaking of war, Childish Gambino is stirring up controversy with his newly released video for This is America.  Whether we love it or hate it, I don't think we can deny Mr. Glover's unflinching gaze at American policy, channeling the Wood Element's ability to question, confront and transform. I'm  particularly struck by the church choir scene, which is a symbol for 
This is America Video Still
the continued struggle to make Black Lives Matter in a country where historically, they don't.  
Medicine Cabinet:  Get Up Stand Up helps us to restore our self-respect and dignity when we feel afraid, discouraged or oppressed.   And let's be real: this political climate is calling for us to ALL stand up.

The Choice is Yours by Black Sheep
The Gall Bladder Energy Channel
Can't make up your mind?  The Yang Wood (Gallbladder) meridian is known as the General- it makes decisive action and choices to move us on our de
stined path.  The meridian zig zags across the head and then  continues to sig zap down our body. When afflicted, we experience pains that alternate from one side to another, or come and go, as if our body can't make up its' mind!  In our lives, an afflicted Wood Element can manifest as indecision, paralyzing us as we juggle conflicting bits of information.    
Medicine Cabinet: Sacred Source flower essence takes us out of the mind and into the heart, supporting us as we learn to trust and follow the truth from within.

Time 4 Sum Aksion by Redman 
Let's get ready to ruuummmmble! 
The Wood Element is about taking concrete action in the world- NOW.  When the Wood element is blocked, we feel stuck in procrastination or an endless cycle of ideas that never manifest.  But when the Wood Element is thriving, we experience an eruption of clear intention along the energy and motivation to make it happen.  As Amelia Earhart is known for saying, "The most effective way to do it, is to do it."
Medicine Cabinet: Aligned Intentions  flower essence helps us get clear and get busy when we're stuck, procrastinating, lethargic- or just plain talking the talk more than we're actually walking the walk.

So, if you haven't had a chance to watch BeyoncĂ©s killer performance at Coachella, please dedicate two hours of your life to this incredible homage to Black music.   Beychella makes the Wood Element list not only because Bey is is truly at the top of her game, but because she uses her art to stand unapologetically in her self-definition.   Her rendition of Lift Every Voice following Formation made me so proud, and I loved her cheeky side eye at Coachella for being the first Black woman to headline.  Looking at her catalog, we can truly get a sense of Bey's evolution over time, which is what the Wood Element is all about.   
Photo Credit:
Medicine Cabinet: Queendom flower essence helps us stand unapologetically in our authentic Feminine power.
If you love Bey like I do, check out additional flower essences for Lemonade!

Sorry not Sorry by Demi Lavato 
Inspired by the Queen Bey, Demi's first single from her Tell Me You Love Me album  is oh sooooooo Wood Element.  The Wood Element is about self- validation, and being unapologetic as we go after what we deserve.   Remember, a plant doesn't ask for its share of the sun, it just grows instinctively toward the light.  As Demi so eloquently states in Wood Element fashion:  "Payback is a bad b*tch, and baby I'm the baddest".  Yuuuuuuuuuppppp!
Medicine Cabinet:  Worthy flower essence helps us know our inherent value, and get rid of paralyzingly shame.  

Sky Walker by Miguel & Travis Scott
One of  the most popular herbs in Chinese Medicine for treating the Wood Element is translated as 'free and easy wonderer'.  When our path and vision is clear, life feels effortless and free!  This song from Miguel's War & Leisure (ahem: both are signature of the Wood Element) evokes that sense of ease and contentment.  
Medicine Cabinet:  Present Presence flower essence is recommended when anxiety and worry- the war in our minds- keep us from experiencing the beauty of our lives.  

Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy (yup, the whole album) 
The Wood Element is represented by the sprout, and as the debut album, Invasion of Privacy is just the beginning. There are just so many signatures of the Wood Element, including its release in the heart of the Spring!  There's anger- just think how much you gotta be in your feelings to hang up on someone's mama and cut the tongues out all those sneakers.  When the Wood Element doesn't have the chance to demand the respect it deserves, it turns into resentment (on repeat).    Classically, the Wood voice is considered shouting, which relates more to its quality- pointed and direct- than to its actual volume.   Cardi has a voice that even the ancients would classify as Wood Element.  Then there's the  #BossBitch moves Cardi's making; its the Wood Element that affords us the freedom to say "I do whatava I like'.   And at the end of the day, the Wood Element  inspires us us to live our Best Life, to fulfill our dreams, live on purpose, and to turn all our L's into lessons.   
"I'm like gold, I'm #lifegoals, man, I'm chosen, I'm floatin', ayyyy!"
Well played, Cardi!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Soooo.... What IS Community Acupuncture?

I am so excited that community acupuncture is BAAACCCCKKK at Sacred!   I've been so immersed in acupuncture-world that it always surprises me when people hit me with, "Community acupuncture... What's THAT?" with a horrified look.  It's as if the nightmare they envision involves stripping in front of a bunch of people, sharing all the secrets of their health history in a room full of strangers, and then being a attacked by a crazy lady with needles.   

Needless to say, nothing could be further from the truth!  But I thought I'd take a minute to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about community acupuncture- and acupuncture in general- that I've heard over the last few weeks.

Myth # 1: Acupuncture is only for pain
This is a biggie that I hear all of the time, followed by the question, "If nothing hurts,  why would I
need acupuncture?" It's a valid question. Let me start by saying that yes, acupuncture is AMAZING
Acupuncture is not only for pain!
for pain- and it has a great rep for being super effective treating acute or chronic back pain, neck pain, menstrual pain, injuries, headaches, and so on. So yes, if you have pain anywhere on or in your body, make your appointment as soon as you can!

BUT....  Acupuncture is not just for pain! It is a comprehensive, whole body medicine that can treat mind, body and spirit. It can address reproductive health, digestive complaints, fatigue, auto-immune conditions, anxiety, stress, depression, and so much more.  (Click here to see a list of a bizillion conditions that the World Health Org agrees that acupuncture can effectively treat).  

And for the more esoteric crew, I also practice a form of acupuncture that draws on its shamanic lineage, and aims to support spiritual growth and personal evolution. So acupuncture can treat pain, but also much, much more.

Myth #2- Everyone will know my 'bidness!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Water Element Seasonal Playlist

One of the reasons music is such a powerful force in our lives is that it moves us on the Etheric Plane of  our subtle body.  The Etheric Plane is like a field of electromagnetic Qi, a sheath of  energy surrounding our physical body.   Even though its invisible, many of have experienced the Etheric Plane- its what gets activated when we "feel" someone staring at us.  Or... when we feel upcoming weather changes in our bodies (i.e. my knee hurts when its about to rain).  We also move our Etheric Body when we put on our power playlist to hype us up before an important meeting or presentation, or put on sad music to make ourselves cry.

The point is:  music is energy, music is vibration, and we can use it to move our Qi! 

Each of the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine are also vibration.  Element corresponds to a season, a phase of life, colors, emotions, parts of the body, and more- reminding us that we are an extension of nature.  The Elements bring to life a fundamental alchemical truth:  As above, so below; As within, so without; As the Universe, so the soul…   

In Classical Five Element Acupuncture, the sound of Water will cause a person’s voice to exhibit a groaning quality.  An example of this groan when your first words in the morning are “that was a good sleep”, before fully waking up.   The sound of Water has a characteristic sinking quality, either in its low tones or in a voice that falls and sinks at the ends of sentences.  Musically, we can evoke the feeling of Water with songs that carry the vibration of sinking to the depths, slow rhythms that evoke stillness or trance, and notes that accumulate in the lower register.   

All of the songs on this year’s Water Element playlist reflect the low, sinking quality of water as it surrenders to the force of gravity.  These Water songs evoke the stillness, introspective, and mysterious quality of water and Winter.   Check out these songs whose lyrics can also teach us something about this season of the Water Element: 

Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
You gotta listen in the silent way
Listen in the silent way

I love this jazzy hip hoppera, and use it in almost all of my yoga playlists!  The Water Element governs our sense of hearing and listening.  Try this: close your eyes and see if you can identity the quietest sound in the room.  Listen underneath the most obvious sounds (here in NYC, there are plenty!) and tune in.  Notice how that attentiveness brings you fully present to the here and now?  That’s the gift of Water:  a stillness and presence that allows us to transmute fear into cautious awareness of our environment.  Indeed, this season invites us to listen in the silent way.

My Friend the Moon  by Fertile Ground
I am not alone... 
At night I see a light like my own
And it is not all blues...  there is peace in Heaven's Womb
So please don't be confused about my friend... my friend the moon

The Water Element is associated with the moon and her intuitive, reflective power.  The water element brings us deep within ourselves, where we can access our intuition.  The moon is also associated with our lunar state of consciousness and our ability to receive messages from our dreams.  Sacred Source flower essence includes the flower essences of Mugwort, Deerbrush, and Cerato to help us listen more closely to the messages from within.  

Carry away my dead leaves
Let me baptize my soul with the help of your waters
Sink my pains and complains
Let the river take them, river drown them

From baptism to libation, Water is used across religions as a conduit between worlds. Water draws us in to our depths.   The energetic direction of water is downward, as water always seeks the deepest level.  Imagine if you were to knock over a glass of water.  The water would first roll off the table and onto the floor. If there is a hole in the floor, the water will seep into the hole and keep falling, down… down… down- just like the cadence of this praise song.  Soothing, healing, yielding, cleansing, the Water Element is the master shapeshifter in our lives.  

I'm weary of the ways of the world
Be weary of the ways of the world

Oh Solange!  You nailed it with this song.  With all the political happenings and the whirlwind of 2017 (or 2018, or 2019, or 2020, or... forever),  many of us are feeling that weariness!  If we follow nature, Winter is a time to retreat from the ways of the world and replenish our inner reserves. If you're feeling burned out,  less inclined to go out and party, or unmotivated to take on  new projects, the Water Element is having her way with you.  Try the  Oasis flower essence recipe to rejuvenate and replenish, so that when it’s time to act, you have the resources in your body to back up the intentions in your mind.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mercury Schmercury...

Mercury schmercury.

Last week I tallied up the hours...  3 hours on the phone with Apple Care, 2 failed attempts to get an appointment at the Genius Bar after schlepping all the way to the city, and an actual six hours at the Genius Bar when they finally could get me in.  Yes, six whole hours at a tech support table, unable to leave, as they tried to recover over 250 GB of pictures and data from my crashing computer.

Sounds like Mercury Retrograde right??

So there I was in the Apple store. I spent the first hour (or 2.. or 3) harassing the tech guy, praying silently, feeling guilty about the event I was missing,  and trying (unsuccessfully) not to lose it. 

 But then, something shifted.   I caught up on some phone calls I'd been wanting to make.  I finished up the budget for a proposal I kept putting on the backburner.  And then... I picked up my journal and started writing.  I recapped the crazy turmoil of emotions I'd been experiencing over the last few months, I recalled all of the the blessings and gratitudes, and I remembered how to daydream.  It was the first time I'd given myself permission to turn off my "to-do" and reflect.  

Which reminds me of the pure essence of Mercury Retrograde.  As Caroline Casey eloquently states:

 "Retrograde planets recommend any activity that begins with the prefix re: reflect, research, renovate, repair, rewrite, reconnect, rejoice, remedy, rehearse--  re-anything.... the only reason people say "uh-oh' when a planet is in retrograde is that we live in a culture that overvalues forward push and undervalues inner dream.  We experience frustrations when we willfully push ahead and resist the cosmic directive to reflect".

Amen sister.

Mercury goes in retrograde 3 times a year for 3 weeks at a pop.  Then there's the shadow of mercury retrograde on either end of the retrograde which can last a few weeks.  The way I calculate it, there's always SOMETHING in retrograde.  

Instead of freaking out about Mercury Retrograde, let's honor its invitation to SLOW DOWN, to reflect, redo, and renew.  Let's reread an email before we send it, think twice before we speak,  and double-check our directions before traveling. Most importantly, let's listen to those inner hunches that hint that things might not go exactly as planned. And re-evaluate that plan accordingly.

If turning off your rational, logical mind for the next three weeks feels a bit impossible, then reach for the Sacred Source flower essence recipe.   Sacred Source helps us tune in to intuition, listen to our dreams, and re-flect, re-organize, re-envision new possibilities for our lives.

Add the Magic is Medicine Flower Essence Journal, to help you track the subtle, yet profound changes you'll experience over the course of a full cycle of flower essence use.   Complete with reflection prompts inspired by Water, Wood, Earth, Metal, and Fire, Magic is Medicine reminds us of the magic that surrounds us and the power we have to transform our lives.

As we move towards the Solstice and the season of the Water Element, we can begin to trust the knowing that comes from within, and the magic that is everywhere.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Calling all women...


There's only three spaces left in the 2017-18 Kamaria Circle...  Is one of those seats yours?  Here's three easy ways to tell:

#1:  You're ready for your next level 
Life is pretty good, but it's time for an upgrade.  Maybe you want to get your financial or relationship house in order.   Maybe you need to step your parenting game up.  Or maybe that promotion or career change is calling you louder and louder.  We'll support you every step of the way until your vision becomes your reality.
#2  The world is waiting for your gift
With all of the madness going on in the world, more than ever, we need women of purpose and substance to stand fully in their power.  You are a women of influence- your mental, spiritual, and emotional wholeness matters.  Your life matters.  And what you plan to birth into the world through the Kamaria Circle will not only impact you, but also your family, community, or even the world.   Let us be the midwives for your vision.
#3  You believe in magic
Not rabbit-out-of-the-hat magic, but the real magic that happens when your intentions, desires and actions all line up.  In the Kamaria Circle, we work with the subtle body, chakras, astrology and the elements to activate that 90% of our brain that we don't use every day.  We'll learn practical tools and how to work the magic that is our birthright.   So if you believe in magic, you'll be in good company!
In this 6-month course, you will learn concrete tools to awaken your creative genius, manifest your intentions, tap into your inner resources, and actualize your purpose. You'll learn how to understand the subtle messages of your body and dreams,  align yourself with abundance,  and lead from the Sacred Feminine. You'll gain deeper self-awareness as you work with flower essences and learn practical tools to upgrade your life. 

We are a community of women who support one another as we live on purpose and stand in power.  We are committed to making ripples in the current world tide.