Grief, Feng Shui and COVID-19

Classical Feng Shui takes a holistic view of our surrounding environment, both internal and external, as well as a persons’ mind and body. Feng Shui is a support system for our lives. When our lives have support through our environment and the elements within nature are in balance and harmony, life flourishes and abounds. When there is an imbalance, there is upheaval and disease. We cannot dissociate our life and health from what is happening around us. We are a component of a bigger picture.

Essentially everything is a part of the natural cycle of life. In Feng Shui, the Chinese Five Elements system (Wu Xing) designates five descriptions for the nature of energy. The Five Elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. These elements are believed to be the basic components of everything we experience in the Universe from colors, shapes, directions, numbers, emotions, organs, and the list goes on.

Using the Chinese calendar, we are now in the Year of the Yang Metal Rat which began in February of 2020. Yang Metal is the primary element affecting us all this year. In the Five Elements system, the lung and our skin are associated with the Metal element. In acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known that the lungs store the emotion of sadness/grief. Therefore these are the first organs to be impacted by any external conditions and, as a result, the lung is one of our most superficial organs.

The big elephant in the room is that we are going through a period of collective grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many emotions, not just grief, that have come to the surface in the past few months. Sometimes it feels like we are riding on a see-saw. We can have genuine emotional moments of joy, gratitude, creativity, and have really low points of rage, loss, sadness, betrayal, disbelief, confusion, and isolation. For many, it feels like teeter-tottering from one day to the next. For some, it is just about holding on from minute to minute.

Grief can be a painful process. Yet it is necessary. All of us have experienced grief, sadness, or loss at one time or another in our lives. These emotions don’t just happen with the loss of a loved one. According to Dr. Colgrove, Dr. Bloomfield and Mr. McWilliams, authors of How to Survive the Loss of a Love, they can happen with the loss of a job, a property, a move, a break-up or, for some, the hardships of daily life.

The way I see it, we are currently in a necessary, transitional period that one part of our life has forever changed and that things will not again, ever be the same. It is okay to grieve. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that everything around us is temporary and transient. Life, like nature and the energy within it, consists of birth, growth, transformation, decay, and death. It is all a part of the circle of life.

In our current culture, we have been taught to embrace ‘positive’ emotions such as joy and to ignore, stuff down, or eliminate any ‘bad’ emotions such as anger, sadness, grief, or depression. In my opinion, this can be harmful. Suppressing negative, heavy emotions over time can damage its corresponding organ system. The truth is that an imbalance of any or all of our emotions has the potential to negatively affect our health. Excessive grief is one of the most difficult emotions to process. If addressed in-good-time and properly transformed, it can be a very powerful lesson and journey in personal growth without adversely affecting our physical bodies. That takes a tremendous amount of courage.

I strongly recommend that we take the time to acknowledge and process everything during this challenging time. It will permit us to have a better understanding of ourselves. By understanding ourselves better, it helps us maintain and cultivate a healthier attachment with our emotions, our bodies, and our environment. You may find that it might even open the way for us to be our most authentic selves going forward. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

Here are some suggestions to help support your Lungs:
• Be courageous and acknowledge your feelings so that you can start healing.
• Let go of negative thoughts and repetitive messages so you can move on.
• Let go of unnecessary physical things in your life whether old books or clothes or unnecessary emotional things such as unfulfilling relationships.
• Spending time outdoors (going for walks or hikes) and inhaling clean, fresh air. That helps our bodies and minds to relax and rejuvenate. Keep in mind that the lung is the first organ to be affected by external conditions, so protect yourself accordingly and as is necessary.
• Strengthen the body by enjoying more warming and cooked foods. This is a good time to have your favorite, hearty comfort food. Soups and stews are easy on the digestive system.
• Accept that you may need professional support. See a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) for an acupuncture treatment and/or Chinese herbal medicine to help strengthen your lung energy and process your grief.

Just for a moment now, take a deep breath. A deep, belly breath. Release the breath. ~Ahhhhhhhhh~ (repeat as necessary).

Sometimes we can control outside influences, and sometimes we simply cannot. They just “happen”.

You have probably heard this before…It is up to us, to decide how we are going to handle these emotions. While that is true, you still have to go through the process. Grief cannot be successfully side-stepped: Are we going to use our emotions and our journey in a positive way to gain new wisdom and insights about ourselves? Or are we going to ignore them and run the risk of them causing chronic pain and suffering?

It is only when we allow grief to genuinely touch us and move us to our core that we allow healing to happen.

Wishing you peace and complete healing ~Jillian

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