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Restoring Wood’s Grace 
During the Holiday Season
Part 4
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 fourth set of suggestions to help you re-establish Wood’s skillful, inventive, curious, and fearless grace.

If your tendency is to withdraw under pressure, and you find yourself hiding under the covers unable to cope:

Peel an orange. The essence of orange is a powerful force to change your mood.
Raid your closet to find something Kelly green, apple green, or reddish purple. You will lift your spirits even if you wear it back to bed.
Clean up any disarray at the front door and you will organize your thinking making it easier to take at least one important step forward. It will also encourage friends to magically appear, bringing friendship and laughter. While they are with you, ask them to help you do the following:
Place 9 small potted plants into the bedroom (or any room where you spend a lot of time). You are adding vitality and the impetus to move forward. If this is the one thing you do today, tomorrow will be brighter.

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