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 Beyoncés 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!

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