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Doing Nothing

Through the personal practice and study of Chinese medicine at this time of year (December) I often see the water element ie kidney and bladder meridians coming up as being deficient and on the odd occasion excess. As the year comes to an end and our days and nights get filled with social engagements, alcohol, to do lists and we lack sleep. All these factors place stress on the water element and in turn upset the delicate balance of the 5 elements.

The kidneys and bladder meridians relate to the water element. When these meridians are out of balance there are a few things that we might want to look at.

Emotional component – Fear is the emotion associated with these meridians. Too much or too little damages the chi flow. It is good to express fear when it is appropriate and not to when it is inappropriate. However if the element is weak it can manifest in an inappropriate fear instinct.

Physical component – Our knees relate to the water element and so does the entire back body. This element propels us forward, helps us decide what we want to do with our life and covers the entire back of the body. If your kidneys feel sore or you are experiencing a general stiffness in the back of the body or the knees, the water meridian is possibly out of balance.

The pixie dust for nurturing and balancing the water element is stillness. I challenge you to stop, be still, don’t read or watch a movie. Do nothing!

See how long you last before the urge to check your phone overcomes you. Or your mind starts to drive you crazy. Notice with compassion and awareness what you are thinking. Your to do list. How long before you feel inadequate, uncomfortable, restless and bored? My husband says only boring people get bored. He might not bend on the mat but he is all yogi when it comes to the art of doing nothing. Not being lazy and doing nothing but the skill in being able to sit, be present and content with the moment. I envy him with his binos looking at birds, or enjoying the cat on his lap without feeling frustrated that he is not online, consumed by social media. I am actually surprised he even has a facebook account.


When did being constantly busy become the normal? Why is it hard to turn off the devices and socialise with our loved ones? Why is every action we take leading towards a goal or facebook post.

As I write this post I try to think back to the last time I did nothing. I can do it on a beach, sit and gaze at the horizon, I don’t need a book, I just need the sound of the ocean and the sun on my skin. Perhaps that’s why I have always found peace and felt my best when I am besides the sea.

During this busy time of year reflect on when was the last time that you did nothing and see if you can recreate it. I am not on the beach but I can take myself to the edge of the river and feel the sun on my skin and look out onto a big horizon.

Set an intention to be offline, unplugged and do absolutely nothing even for a small amount of time. Set a gentle alarm to go off 15 minutes after you begin so you don’t need to worry about how long you have been sat there.

It is easy to be busy! I challenge you to get comfy doing NOTHING! It is ok to be bored, be still, be in awe of a spider spinning a web without feeling the need to share the experience with a friend online or in person. Nourish your adrenals, support your water element, assist your body as it goes about its daily tasks that go unnoticed. Sprinkle glitter on yourself not just your decorations this year.

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