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breathe

October Meditation Challenge

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October Meditation Challenge

I know what you're thinking - Meditation & Challenge are an unlikely duo. Isn't meditating all about peace, calm, stillness, & compassion? Well, yeah. Sometimes. But, it's also about learning HOW TO BE WITH WHAT IS, whether that means luxuriating in the juicy silence of those rare moments when we sink into nothingness, or hanging on for dear life as things seem to spin in all directions at once. Can we witness both extremes with a neutral, non-judgmental, undisturbed eye? Can we be THE ONE WHO SEES, the one who LISTENS, the one who LOVES IT ALL?

Can we appreciate that such a practice may feel challenging at times (or most of the time) & know that that's okay? In fact, it's A GIFT. There is FREEDOM & unencumbered CONTENTMENT in the abundance of infinite nothingness & complex simplicity that awaits our arrival WITHIN - should we be willing to accept the invitation & brave the journey.

There are often obstacles & apparent adversaries - potholes, quicksand, peaks & valleys, fires of the flesh, hurricanes of the mind - that aim to pull us back into the stories we've become accustomed to, that delight in watching up gasp for breath beneath the weight of old memories, toxic thoughts, addictions, worries, & ways of being we've carried so long our spines have curved & concretized in compensation. And so, meditation becomes an OPPORTUNITY. A chance to pause, put down the sack we carry, open it up, & peer inside. It is a practice of NOTICING, letting go, & letting be. 

So, perhaps you have decided to get curious - to REMEMBER what it is you are carrying around & how it informs the way you live. And maybe you discover that you've been hanging on to shit that you definitely don't need anymore, but it feels scary at first to leave it behind. DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH LETTING GO? Hey guess what, YOU'RE HUMAN!?! This is SO normal.

So, in the spirit of the FALL season (+ the recent Hunter’s Moon), & its corresponding element of METAL/Gold, the organ systems of the LUNG & LARGE INTESTINE/colon, & the emotions of GRIEF & sadness, we’ve designed a meditation practice to facilitate the SHEDDING of old habits, patterns, beliefs, accumulations, & suppressed emotions through MINDFULNESS & BREATHWORK. When we are able to let go of what no longer serves us (just as the colon eliminates what is unnecessary or toxic from our bodies), to find ways to honor what or who we have lost by loosening our grip, we can create spaciousness within, exhume our innate energy, & welcome in new life (just as the lungs enable us to inhale fresh air & receive the pure Qi of the heavens). Join us for our first ever Instagram challenge, & let our delightful community support you on the journey of letting go & discovering the golden glimmer of your intrinsic worthiness for love & abundance!

This challenge is designed for folks of all walks of life to participate in! If you feel called to RELEASE old programming, attachments, ailments, & emotions, to tap into your POWER, cultivate LOVE & WELLBEING, improve your ENERGY, learn how to BREATHE your way into a CALM centered state, & shift from negative self-talk into a RADIANT force of POSITIVITY & FREEDOM, this challenge is for YOU! 

This is a challenge, which means it's okay to have some fun (it's also totally okay to have moments of sadness, resistance, doubt, etc. etc). To the extent that we can, we are going to share our experiences with each other, because this challenge is meant to foster community while simultaneously developing an inner awareness. And of course, there's a PRIZE at the end (as if radiance, freedom, wellbeing, & greater self-awareness weren't enough?!)! Join us in meditation each day for the chance to WIN a FREE CUPPING or AURICULAR (ear) ACUPUNCTURE session at our beautiful Healing Arts Center in Los Angeles! If you can’t make it to LA (or Santa Barbara), we will gladly gift you a free herbal & nutritional consultation instead. 

One lucky WINNER will be randomly selected & announced on Instagram & in our next newsletter on October 20th.

HOW TO PLAY:

  1. Follow @elementalfamily & @friespirit on Instagram
  2. Tag 3 friends in the comments of today's post who might benefit from participating! Expand your community of support & invite your friends to join you in the challenge! The more the merrier!
  3. Screenshot today's post & share it on your Instagram page or in your story with the hashtag #meditationchallenge & tag @elementalfamily & @friespirit to let your community know what’s up! Sharing is caring
  4. Most importantly, MEDITATE & BREATHE! From Saturday 10/7 through Friday 10/13 (that’s 1 week total), commit to meditating for at least 5 minutes each day. Any time of day will do. We suggest using this month’s Elemental Family meditation, available for free on Soundcloud & linked in our newsletter, as your guide, especially if you are new to meditation &/or you wish to focus on letting go. Other great sources of guided meditations are the apps Insight Timer, Headspace, & Calm.
  5. Throughout the challenge, we will post a daily inspiration & loving reminder to meditate on Instagram. Check in as often as is sensible for you, & let us know you are participating by liking posts, & commenting on what you are letting go of &/or inviting in. When we show up honestly & vulnerably, we allow others to better support us! 
  6. Even more bonus points for posting your own photos to show us how the challenge looks for you or reposting our images to your feed &/or Instagram story with the hashtag & tags listed in #3.
  7. Relax. Stay Curious. Be Intentional - spend a moment each day exploring what you might need to let go of & what you would like to cultivate more of. Write it down. Enjoy the process. Be present to what is. Smile, cry, be still, dance, go inward, journal, connect with others, know what this moment requires. Inhale the good shit, Exhale the bullshit. 

Keep checking in to our Instagram page for challenge details, inspiration, motivation, & tips throughout the next 7 days! 

Will you join us?!

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Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

In Chinese medicine the element of Wood & the organs of the Liver & Gallbladder are associated with Springtime. Just like the trees & plant-life around us, spring is a time for us to reach upward & outward while trusting the depth & resiliency of our roots, & allowing the season's familiar winds to showcase the beauty of our flexibility rather than meeting them with rigidity & fear.

In early spring, as the trees come out of the dormancy of winter & fill with the sap of life, the color green highlights the landscape, & new life begins to blossom forth. Like the trees, we feel our potential rising up within, yet we may often feel pent up for we do not yet know how it will manifest later in the season. It is normal for us to feel mixed feelings of joy, excitement, anger, irritability, & impatience, as the Liver which is "the General" in charge of free flow (of blood, qi, emotions, etc) throughout the body-mind-spirit, can easily become constrained in response to the innumerable stressors of modern living.

So, be kind to your Liver & the Wood within you by:

  • Moving your body daily (walk, hike, stretch/yoga, qi gong)
  • Creating space (declutter, clean out your closet/pantry/car/mind/body)
  • Eating slowly & healthfully (light, fresh whole foods from the earth, especially sprouts! I'm obsessed with sunflower & broccoli sprouts at the moment)
  • Trying something new - be playful
  • Drinking plenty of filtered water with fresh lemon juice
  • Setting goals - especially with the promise of summer - the dynamic, active, transformative season of Fire ahead
  • Meditating, breathing mindfully &/or journaling to cultivate calm presence & self awareness
  • Oh, and of course, come see your trusty acupuncturists at Elemental Family for some gentle, nurturing, smile-inducing, liver-friendly treatment! Among other things, Springtime means that seasonal allergies and hayfever are OUT of control right now for oh so many folks! The good news is: you don't have to suffer anymore! Acupuncture, cupping, Chinese herbs, and more, can have a significant impact on relieving your allergy symptoms and addressing the root cause. Check out what one delighted patient had to say about it:
A nagging sinus issue led me to Hannah at Elemental Family. I’d never tried acupuncture or cupping but had heard of others’ success with it. After three visits to the sanctuary that is the Elemental Family practice, I was feeling infinitely better. The kindness, patience and care I received was as healing as the Chinese herb tinctures. I cannot say enough about how wonderful they are.
— Trish C.

#spring #forth #wood #element #reach #trust #blossom #manifest #soothe #liver #stretch #breathe #allergy #relief #elementalfamily #chinesemedicine #psychotherapy #wellness #acupuncture #chineseherbs #cupping #moxa #guasha #happy