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Spring Part II: Gate of Hope

June 03, 2020

This quarantine is only the first chapter of this collective journey. As we think about what preparations need to be made, we are amid the beginning of summer. In this last look at Spring, I think we should examine its signature emotion – anger. In my previous post, I described anger as a catalyst “stirring up the still and stagnant so change can occur.” The natural energy of anger and the wood element moves up and out. When you get angry, what is the first thing you notice in your body? Have you ever taken the time to step back and look at yourself in this emotion? In quarantine we have had ample time to examine ourselves. Anger can turn into hopelessness when we choose resignation to circumstances. Anger can also continuously spew out like a volcano in every encounter. Your body absorbs what you have not resolved, and it can evolve into conditions such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, and asthma to name a few. Your body chooses its methods of coping if you do not take effective action. The healing process is impeded. Does your body and mind just want to cope or are you hearing the call for doing more?  Coping is about survival. Anger is an alarm, a call to action. Effective action is living.

The Liver in Chinese medicine is considered the last meridian of the cycle and where anger can stem from. The end point’s name is translated as “Gate of Hope.” Located mid-torso, if we follow the path anger travels in your body, anger must pass through here to move on and come what we choose. At the end of Spring we are standing at this threshold of choice and this year’s Spring is more important than years past.  The stirring of anger within us and everywhere in the world is rising. At the gate is what we are searching for – hope.

Hope is inherently positive and feeds vision. As an acupuncturist, I use this point in treatments for this reason – it moves stagnant energy and inspires hope. The Liver meridian’s deep pathway connects with the eyes because you cannot decide without seeing possibilities and choices. On the other side of the gate is a new life which can look whatever you want it to be. I say anger is power to transform and inspire effective action. Effective action does not have to be grand to make great change. Sometimes effective action is letting go of any disappointment or fear and shifting your focus to what is more important. Listen to your anger, make your choice and live a new life for the better.

Kachina L. Smith, D.Ac., L.Ac.

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