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Restoring Wood’s Grace 
During the Holiday Season
Part 3
Each of the Chinese five elements is a style of being in the world – an expression of experience and expression. Every person embodies each of the elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Yet, when action is demanded, it is our Wood element that kicks into gear. During the holiday season we are moving as fast as we can. When our usual style is challenged by the pressures of work, family, and the rush of the season, we can easily lose our balance as the extremes of Wood take over.
Usually motivated, resourceful, self-confident and optimistic, and capable of tremendous power, the tendency of Wood under pressure is to keep pushing forward – overdoing and over performing. Instead of backing off, we stay occupied with a vengeance. We may become impatient, hasty, and even reckless. Frustration is common. Tired, we become nervous, irritable, and even angry. At the other extreme, our love of getting things done turns into paralysis, and we may sink into a suffocating depression. Either way, our usual elegance is lost.
During this busy holiday season, we can create both inner and outer environments that encourage our Wood personality to stay balanced and flexible -to gracefully regulate unrelenting intensity, and to retreat when necessary.
Here is our third suggestion to help you re-establish Wood’s skillful, inventive, curious, and fearless grace.

If you become unsettled, unfocused, and out of sorts (even erratic):

            Prepare a warm bowl of soup and follow the instructions below:
–       Eat from your soup (or rice) bowl, and then rinse it a little bit.
–       Now, fill the bowl about 80 percent full of water.
–       Take the bowl, filled with water, outside under the open sky. There does not have to be sunlight. It can even be nighttime.
–       Return to the house carrying the bowl with the water. Set it down. The movement will have created ripples on the surface of the water.
–       Focus your eyes upon the ripples until the water becomes still. Your mind will become calm.
–       Now, repeat the procedure beginning by lightly rinsing the bowl once again. You do not need to eat again. Complete all the steps that come after.
–       Repeat for a total of 9 times. Even if you feel settled after one time, continue. Your newly discovered sense of calm may just stick around well into the new year.

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