In our life we go through many turning points. Some, like puberty or menopause, are ruled by internal changes in our bodies. Others are based on events in our life like marriage, starting a new school or moving to a new house.
I am going through such a transition right now as we moved from Amsterdam, NL to Seattle, US. It was time for me to say good bye to 13 years in Amsterdam, a city that feels like home.
At the time of the event we are often so busy with planning, executing and getting every done that we hardly can take the time to proper say good bye and say welcome to the future.
The hardest part of this passage came for me after we arrived in the US. After a brief honeymoon period, I feel into a deep crisis realising what I miss and have given up.
And I actually feel ill. I haven't been that ill in years. I was spending days sleeping all day long. And in that exhaustion I found my saviour. I did not have energy anymore to complain, to grief, to fight my new situation. I only had energy to accept. Accept my new life and realise that no-one had forced me into this. I had decided consciously for this change as my curiosity was bigger than my worries.
What helped me greatly was to realise that this situation would only be temporarely.
I would be able again to cycle everywhere, to enjoy my own house, to be close to my friends, and to have a professional life. And in the meanwhile i could be miserable or i could try to see the opportunities in my new life.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy it is the metal element, from the Wu Xing cycle, that allows us to let go of the past. When i felt the lowest during my illness, I realised I desperately need to do something for my metal element to help me transition into my new life. Luckily, it is also autumn, the time when the metal element is most active, and anyway we should be doing something for this element in this time of the year.
What have I done and what can you do when you transition into a new phase in life?
When i didn't have the energy to fight my new life anymore, I accepted. And in acceptance I found peace.
The best you can do for your metal element is to breath deeply. So when you pack moving boxes, select a wedding dress, or wonder how to calm your newborn - focus on your breathing and inhale deeply and exhale slowly. You can count while in-and exhaling, that helps to focus on the breathing. Keep breathing through everything that life throws at you.
3. Exercises for the metal element
This is a good video with an exercise for the metal element that helps with the process of letting go.
4. Acupressure on Large Intestine 1
Stimulating this point will keep you in the present moment. Physically, you will get more room to breath. Emotionally, you will be able to let go of your thoughts and grief. You can stay easier in the present moment which will help you to transition.
You can ideally stimulate this point during meditation as a mudra.
Lilian Kluivers, from Do-In Academy, has written a more in-depth acupressure manual for this point here (text in Dutch).
Instruction for mudra: Place the tip of your thumb on the radial side on your index finger (next to the nail) and keep the other 3 fingers together stretched.
Point Location: On the corner of the nail on the radial side of the index finger.
Change is never easy.
Keep breathing and support your metal element to let go.