Chinese yin yang and the five elements started out as a clock, lunar calendar and solar calendar with the first evidence found on animal bones from around 2600bc. The five elements were used to describe the influences of the day, moon and seasons on our lives. By observing nature we can witness the changes that occur with each cycle and notice the similarities between each cycle.
WATER Night, new moon, winter
TREE Morning, rising moon, spring
FIRE Midday, full moon, summer
EARTH Afternoon, descending moon, late summer
METAL Evening, descending moon, autumn
In five element thinking not only is nature changing but we are changing too. So as we transition from winter to spring, our bodies experience similar changes as we see in nature. Out energy starts to rise, we have a growth of ideas, our horizons expand and we feel more adventurous. After the long winter, we naturally seek to not only spring clean our homes but also ourselves. We might lose weight, engage in fasts, eat less fats, enjoy more green vegetables and exercise more.
To aid this process of using the natural springtime energy to refresh ourselves we could try to include more of the following:
- Hot lemon water.
- Green vegetables.
- Tree fruits and nuts.
- Green, mint, nettle, verbena or similar teas.
Ideally, the cooking methods would include steaming and in general shorter cooking times. If you like eating wild foods, this is an excellent time to look for fresh nettles to make a green vegetable soup.
In terms of fasting, in this context it can be any form of eating that focusses on whole, natural foods straight from the farms. For example a 3 day fast could include miso soups, whole grain porridges with tree fruits and nuts along with lots of different vegetable dishes. Generally, a fast works well if it is slightly more simple than our normal eating and a short duration.
In addition to foods spring would be a great time to exercise more, write out action plans, get up earlier in the morning, spring clean our home, bring more plants into our home and take on new adventures.
Enjoy the feelings of spring from within!