The ancient Chinese invoked organ spirits to keep themselves well balanced and ready for all that life has to offer.
In our busy fast-paced world, with so many demands on your mental and physical resources, these spirits are there for you. They will help you deal with difficult emotions, reduce stress and provide a deep sense of internal well-being and calm.
It isn’t important whether these spirits actually exist. After all, they are spirits and as such are aspects of you that you can call on for assistance anytime.
Calling on the right spirit, by focusing attention on it, can make difficult times easier.
The Spleen Spirit: Balancing Worry and Trust.
Do you have a busy week ahead?
I have news for you, you really don’t. Because unless you are a good fortune teller you don’t have a clue what is ahead. You may win an instant trip to the Bahamas and find yourself basking on the beach. You may get hit by a mood and crawl under the bed for a whole week.
Anticipating your week is a form of time abuse. It doesn’t help you face the week, it just has you ignore this moment.
Let’s leave anticipation to the worriers. And let’s get on with now.
But if you are a worrier, then do a little something odd: Focus your attention below your ribs on the left side of your torso. There you will find your spleen.
In Chinese medicine the spleen spirit balances worry with trust. It does so with the color yellow. The animal assigned to this job, not surprisingly, is the monkey. Not surprising because it is the monkey in you that would give you a hard time about next week when it isn’t even next week yet.
Focus your attention on your spleen, put your hand there too if you want, and ponder balancing worry and trust. Mix those two together and you are likely to experience a wave of presence.
The Kidney Spirit: Balancing Fear and Wisdom.
You know better, but you watch that scary movie anyway.
Or you think that perhaps your lover will leave you all alone, or you remember the time you lay in your room in the dark, a small helpless child. Whether you find yourself hanging on a real or imagined cliff, poised for a fall into fear: it is time to call on your kidney spirit.
Like a superhero your kidney spirit is ready, willing and able to protect you in times of fear.
Each spirit has an animal, a color, and a sound unique to it. In the case of the kidney spirit the animal is the bear, the color is deep dark blue and the sound is a loud “chooooooooo,” or just growling like a bear.
The kidney spirit balances fear and wisdom.
To invoke the kidney spirit you can focus your attention on both sides of your lower back. You can rub your kidneys vigorously with your hands too. Or you can make the kidney sound repeatedly. Imagine wisdom mixing with fear, at first taking the edge off and then balancing your fear.
Your kidney’s are the key to your life force, which makes the kidney spirit vital. Include your adrenals, which sit on top of your kidneys in your focus of attention for added renewal.
Continual exposure to fear stresses you out. Calling upon the kidney spirit replenishes you and your overworked kidneys.
Bask in the shower with hot water cascading on your kidneys, or stand with you back to the sun letting the solar energy warm “the kids.” Keep your kidney’s warm, especially in the fall or when you are facing the unknown.
Fear is a difficult emotion, it is undefined and just plain scary, which makes it really important that you take care of your kidney spirit. The above exercises will help, as will drinking plenty of water and, oddly, rubbing your ears, as they are the entry way for kidney energy.
The Liver Spirit: Balancing Anger and Kindness.
You didn’t get that big promotion, or your iPhone dropped an important call or locked up. Whether it is a small disappointment or a crushing defeat the liver spirit comes to the rescue.
Too much anger leads to more anger, and often to blowing up and causing endless problems. Instead of blowing your anger out, focus your attention in. Put your hand at the rib line on the right side of your torso. That is where that huge organ, the liver, and the liver spirit reside.
Focus attention there, imagining the color green. The animal of the liver spirit is the deer. And the sound associated with it is a quick exhale. The same sound that deer make in the woods when they are alarmed. As you focus your attention you may picture a deer hopping gracefully away from whatever situation seems to be bothering you.
Chronic anger requires a consistent focus inward, since blowing anger out leads to momentary relief and more anger. While it may seem that something outside of you is the cause of your anger, it isn’t. It is a liver imbalance calling for kindness.
The Heart Spirit: Balancing Impatience and Unconditional Love.
You have to wait for customer service, a table at your favorite restaurant or a package from Amazon. And while you are waiting you are likely to become impatient. This is when your heart spirit steps in to save the day.
Imagine while you are waiting for the traffic to clear, or your ship to come in, you can feel unconditional love warmly flowing through you. What a wonderment that would be. And it is the fire of the heart spirit that offers just that. Imagine sitting by a camp fire as a young child, nowhere to be, you are captivated, loving each peaceful moment. That is what life is like with a balanced heart spirit.
The animal associated with the heart spirit is the crane, and the color is red. Place both of your hands on your heart and feel into the spirit there. Then, since the heart is a place of instability, brush your hands downward toward your belly. Doing so will settle you, relieve impatience and ground you.
You can also mix the fire from the heart spirit with the water from the kidney spirit. Doing so will balance your yang and yin, offering a sense of powerful well-being. These two ancient spirits play together offering you a fuller, more balanced life.
The sound for the heart spirit is “haaaaaaaaa,” with an exhale, melting your impatience into unconditional love.
The Lung Spirit: Balancing Sadness and Integrity.
Heartbreak and loss are an inevitable part of life. And your lung spirit is there to assist you when sadness rises. With the assistance of the lung spirit you can feel into sadness, mixing it with integrity and balancing your experience of even the most traumatic event.
When you find yourself sad focus your attention on your lungs.
Notice your breathing. The animal for the lung spirit is the tiger. The color is white, and the element is metal. The sound associated with this spirit is a loud hiss, like a tiger makes.
Sadness blends perfectly with integrity in the presence of the lung spirit. Integrity is the perfection of things just the way they are. While sadness is a particular flavor of resisting what is. When integrity and sadness blend there is still loss, but it is bearable loss. Loss you can learn from and embrace.
Spirits are your allies.
You take these spirits with you everywhere you go, because they are aspects of you. They can assist you in difficult times, and keep you in balance. They offer internal remedies for difficult emotional life situations. Offer them a little attention and you will be surprised how quickly you return to a state of calm and balance.
Just knowing that your helpful spirits are there for you means that you are never alone, you can party with them anytime you want.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Images: Flickr/Motoki Plasticboystudios