still life

It has been a lovely weekend — sleeping in, Woofstock, hiking among the fall leaves, the dog park, running into some friends, an afternoon nap, cooking a pot of wild rice soup, and time to read and practice reiki. I feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

At the moment, I am reading a book on traditional Chinese medicine (Ancient Healing for Modern Women by Xiaolan Zhao – excellent, I highly recommend it). Chinese medicine has a definite focus on treating the whole person – physical, mental, and spiritual – so is really resonating with me. One point that struck me was their belief that while excessive sadness can negatively affect your health, so can excessive joy. As in all things, there should be balance. Isn’t that fascinating to consider?!

Another point that I really liked was how she distinguished healing from curing, which seems to align with what I am learning about reiki. She defines healing as “the process of becoming whole and finding meaning in our circumstances” and says, “When we understand what it is to heal, we know that a specific physical or physiological condition does not have to restrict the quality of our lives .. Even if curing is not possible, healing can still occur.” I need to remember this.


11 Responses to “still life”

  1. E- I understand the ying/yang theory, however, practically – how could being too full of joy be a detriment to your health? The only thing I can think of is crow’s feet…

  2. i think i’d like to actually experience excessive joy before i make a judgement!

  3. LOL ann

    well .. I’m still trying to understand the theory completely but I believe the idea is that if you experience one of the emotions excessively over a long period of time, it has the potential to disrupt the flow of energy and cause illness. In the case of joy, without the opposite emotions to balance it, it could put added stress on the heart. Truthfully, this is one that seems like it would be a rarity, because how many of us really experience only joy, or only sadness ..

    However, perhaps this is why I cry so easily at sad books and movies. Perhaps — because I am usually so happy, my body is finding ways to shed tears to balance it out. Now there’s a thought.

  4. Love the photo. Atlas looks like he is color coordinated to match the fall leaves. I can definitely understand that need for emotional balance, although I don’t think I’ve experienced too much joy. Yet. 🙂

  5. When we understand what it is to heal, we know that a specific physical or physiological condition does not have to restrict the quality of our lives .. Even if curing is not possible, healing can still occur.

    Those words ring so true with me………it’s nearly been two years since I had neck surgery, and I am still not fully recovered. I deal with it’s pain and discomfort on a daily basis, however, I realized early on that unless I wanted the quality of my life to diminish as well, that I needed to overcome and learn to live with the issues I have. Pain is very humbling, and sometimes it gets the best of me……although I do try very hard to not let this happen. But like in your book, it’s healthy to experience ups, as well as, the downs.

    Thank you for sharing this…..

  6. Love the photo and the contrasting colors of the leaves. Interesting stuff – Chinese medicine..and ayurveda. All of these alternative healing methods have a lot of merit.

  7. OK, I am still smiling from just that name: woofstock. How awesome!


  8. A truly wonderful photograph! I have often wondered about chinese medicine – I look forward to finding out what you though of the book.
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  9. toni: I tried 🙂

    ww: I’m glad it helped. I read your neck injury post, and I so wish that your pain was gone completely.

    marcie: they really do. I find them all very fascinating.

    j: I know! I loved it!

    graham: I loved it. I can’t wait to read more and start implementing some of the ideas. However, this particular book was very female-centric (hence the name, LOL)

  10. Hi Elizabeth, the colours in this are really nice. I just love Atlas too I alway just want to pat him when I see your photos.

    The Chinese medicine book sounds really interesting. I love their beliefs about healing. I don’t know if you can happiness in one’s life but defiantly too much sadness. I do believe how ever we need a balance of both to make us better people to understand and have empathy toward others and to grow and discover our true selves. With out sadness we can not understand happiness and with out happiness we can not understand sadness. Still a little more happiness in the world generally wouldn’t go astray.

  11. Your photos of Atlas are so striking He looks so elegant and remote almost like a fashion accessory in this photo. The leaf color on top of his gray back is like a beauty mark drawing attention to his smooth, unmarred coat.

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