We are in the final few months of the Chinese Horoscope’s Metal Tiger year. As an acupuncturist in Mill Valley, the flow of energy and Qi is a pivotal focus in my life both personally and professionally. This year of the Metal Tiger held the portent of upheaval and of grand scale, sometimes-painful change. However within that forecast of some chaos, the big cat’s term held the seed of passage, which healed and expanded heretofore unresolved issues. Such instances reflect the discerning logic of the Element of Metal within the athletic boundings of the Tiger.
The image of the Tiger is the slinky, sexy, powerful creature with the innate ability to scatter herds on the plains, but also lovingly nurse and protect chubby cubs. Did you have some Tigger-the-Tiger energy bouncing around your life these last 10 months? I sure did. This past year for me ushered in some heightened dysfunctional behavior from a family member. Granted, the behavior has forever been there. It’s not new and has always been noted by my family. Yet this past year it reached new heights of denial, lack of self-awareness, plain old whacky, and distracting.
It’s the person who genuinely has a loving heart, who can be funny and is generous or brilliant. Truly: you do love them and recognize their many redeeming qualities and your life would not be right without them. All of this is held within a historical timeline of some varying length and you have no ill will toward them. It’s also the person you secretly wish would contract long term laryngitis or could have a special straight jacket and detainment applied by the bad behavior police when they act out. This is the person who does that thing which is a hundred times worse than nails on a chalkboard or attending to toenail hygiene in public.
After considerable aggravation on my part, which I own has having been a choice I made to be annoyed, I came to this fabulous, oddly simple realization: Don’t look at it. Yes, the verbal blather continues, the drama-rama, the mole hills being made into mountains -- the behavior remains. I just don’t look at it. Perhaps it is my perception following my renewed approach or perhaps there was change for that loved one too, in that the behavior has reduced in frequency and intensity.
At some point I experienced a shift in which I placed my focus on the bazillion things in my life which bring me joy. It’s so much more fun than feeling annoyed. Bazillion really is an accurate word. I started doing a mini gratitude review in my mind each morning before opening my eyes and before popping my feet out of bed. There was no predetermined topic or theme for the review. For what am I grateful? What makes me smile? What makes me happy? What makes me inspired to move forward on a project? To my surprise each morning when my focus was turned upon acknowledging this list of joy, positives, and happiness, the bullet points on that list came flooding onto my mind’s page more quickly than the celestial typewriter could take note.
Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger is fun loving, romping, hopelessly optimistic and he sure can get on your nerves with the constancy of his activity. Yet this is Tigger’s way of being in the world. So we can scream: “Decaf, dude!” at the top of our lungs at the Metal Tiger. We can feel grumpy about his hyperactive, atypical approach to life. We might even fantasize buying him cement shoes to ground his frenzied scene. Or we can consciously choose to look elsewhere, allow him to bounce about while we chill in another room, focus on what brings us joy while allowing Tigger to be Tigger.
Who is your Tigger? How do you make room for this person in your life? How do you "take shelter"? More importantly, how do you shift focus and what brings you joy?
Karen Reynolds is an RN, Acupuncturist and co-owner of Balance Restored Center for Integrative Medicine in Mill Valley, CA. She specializes in women’s health, fertility and care of chronic pain. Please feel free to contact her at: email@example.com.
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