Grow Your Writing with the Wood Energy of Spring

by Ambre Leffler
published in Writing

Spring is the season of growth, of buds turning into leaves, of new plants emerging from the frozen ground. The same is true of creativity, according to the Five Element Theory of Chinese Traditional Medicine.

After quiet reflection during the water energy of winter, spring is the time to transform the ideas that were nourished in the water element of winter into the wood element of spring. It is the season to expand on the vision you experienced during the slow pace of winter.

I enjoyed sitting quietly during the winter months. There were moments when gazing into the fire or reading a book while everyone was rushing to start on goals for the new year felt counterproductive. I had to trust in water’s superpower of creative flow. But that time of listening instead of doing helped me see clearly what I want to accomplish with my writing in the right season.

Water energy feeds wood. With the transition from winter to spring, my vision is solid and I am ready now to take action. With this clear view, I am not distracted by the next shiny object. My energy is humming and ready to fuel my next writing project.

This is the time to take the seed of your ideas and let it grow into a tree.

The element of spring is wood. Wood is the power of thinking, plans, and growth. The professions of writers and poets are aligned with wood energy. Spring is the season for writers to grow personally and professionally. In this season, we have a clear mind and sharp focus.

The energy system of spring is the nervous system. Like wood, the nervous system grows endlessly. This growth is similar to the process of mastering a skill. It is said in Tai Chi that there is no perfection because the process is endless, much like writing a book. But be mindful to take breaks. The nervous system doesn’t like repetitive and constant activity. The Pomodoro technique of 5-minute breaks every 25 minutes can help break up long sessions of writing.

When working to the point of fatigue on a project, it is important to rest not by lying down and doing nothing but instead by moving your energy to a different type of creativity. When you abruptly stop work, your mind will continue to think about the project. With the creative fuel supply cut off, your mind will not be able to generate new ideas. Keep your brain engaged with things like listening to music, knitting, or playing a game.

Take care of your nervous system and eyes in the spring season.

Spring is the season associated with wood energy. It is also the season of allergies. Tired eyes, sinus pressure, and jangled nerves can all make it difficult to focus on writing. Imbalances in wood energy during the spring season also affect the eyes and nervous system. This is an important time of year to be kind to your eyes. Adjusting lighting settings, taking breaks to look away from the computer, and sending energy back to your eyes all helps.

Here is a quick way to nourish your eyes. Rub the palms of your hands briskly together until they warm up. Face your palms about an inch in front of your eyes. Close your eyes and let the heat energy from your hands radiate to your eyes, softening them. When you feel rested, open your eyes.

To calm the nervous system, try tapping. Lightly tap with the fingertips of your right hand from the top of your left wrist up to your shoulder and back down. Repeat with the fingertips of your left hand on the right side. Tapping is also helpful in opening up sinuses. Tap lightly on the top of your head, across your forehead, along the bridge of your nose, and across your upper jaw. Use tapping anywhere you feel tension.

My favorite technique for getting tension out of the top of my head is called Tigers in the Forest. I use this at night before going to sleep. The ten tigers are your fingers and the forest is your hair. Face your palms toward you and make claws with both hands. Place your fingers on your crown and with light pressure run them through your hair from your forehead, across the top of your head, and down the back of your head. When you get to the spot where your head meets your neck, separate your hands and lightly rub your hands on either side of your neck back around to the front toward your chin. Repeat as often as needed.

When your wood energy is healthy and balanced, you will have a clear mind and powerful focus in the spring season. Let your creativity grow unhindered, like a majestic oak tree.

Ambre Dawn Leffler is a Tai Chi instructor, gardener, and weather geek who writes about vegetables, seasons, communing with nature, and the interconnections of mind/body. She loves trees and cherishes time in their presence. Learn more about her tree time, garden residents, and wellness practices at her website and seasonal inspiration from her newsletter Sky Earth Water. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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