Season of Irritation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Judith Poole   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 11:29

Season of Irritation

It would really be nice if everybody understood the nature of the seasons according to five element theory. Alternatively, it would help if they were just a bit savvy about the intrinsic nature of changing zodiac signs. For at this time of year, early spring, people are most likely to feel, irritated, annoyed, or frustrated. It’s the nature of wood element energy, which awakens at this time of year and follows a rapid upward-rising vector. This understanding, along with techniques for transforming those discomforting states of mind, can disarm the tendency to project one’s discontent on the world at large, or take to the road in a rude maniac fury.

Awareness of an internal crescendo of annoyance with others these last few weeks put this on the front burner. Then yesterday I was privy to a message sent to all group exercise instructors at the fitness center where I teach t’ai chi. Apparently club members have filed complaint forms in great volumes in recent days, complaining about substitute yoga teachers, and not being told who is covering. The burden falls on the group exercise manager to respond to each of these complaints.

As I read her memo it struck me as unlikely that there was a sudden degradation in the level of substitute teaching. Rather, it’s far more likely that the transition as we shift from winter into spring, has given rise to a volatile energy of irritation, annoyance, and frustration, which is being directed at any and everything that is out of one’s control, not as one desires, and/or fails to meet ones’ expectations. At other times of year, people are more likely to be a little more tolerant, able to be flexible in order to get along, to feel no need to make a fuss. But not so as when we move into spring.

Astrologers will recognize characteristics of Aries energy, an impatience, a desire for action NOW. Familiarity with the philosophy of the Five Elements or the astrological lens helps bring a useful perspective to this tendency toward impatient irritability that surfaces as the sap rises. Armed with the awareness that such a tendency is common at this time of year, one could see it as evidence of our connection with the deep forces of nature that move within and around us. That awareness is the first step in transforming rather than acting on those feelings.

Shifting the irritation, frustration, impatience and anger is a form on internal alchemy. Doing so diminishes outward reactivity. The natural result is a diminished need to project that energy outward, disarming the blame game. By first noticing, and then considering how to deal with their internal environment, people can begin to change the world and their experience of it!

The group exercise manager even mentioned that she found yoga students were complaining about everything even though yoga is supposed to make one less stressed. Maybe “doing” yoga is the problem, if it is done as an activity rather than a practice in awareness. Without understanding that seasonal change contributes significantly to stress levels, which are already high for most people, we do tend to lash out at each other. The ancients’ observed that various emotional states tend to be paired with the seasons. Rather than repressing these emotions, they understood the energetic basis of these pairings, and developed the means to transform them. While it may seem much easier to just dump those emotions on whoever is “in charge”, in turns out that everyone benefits by transforming that energy rather than burdened physiological functioning by holding on to them, or escalating the negative energy in the environment by broadcasting that emotional energy, which it turns out is even more contagious than the most virulent virus and bacteria.

Information about the emotions associated by the Taoists with each organ and the sounds that transform them (as taught by Mantak Chia) is included in both The Be In Better Balance Book, and More Than Meets the Eye: Energy (available from the store at


Transforming emotions rather than reacting from their energy requires awareness first. The second step is to connect with the emotional energy within the body. Just bringing full mindful attention to a feeling allows it to dissipate. The emotion is a messenger. Once its message is delivered, that energy just wants to be free. It doesn’t need to be expressed or suppressed if it can be transformed. In the Sedona Method, the process is facilitated by asking oneself three questions. “Could I let that go?” Answer: YES! “Would I let that go?” Answer: YES! “When would I let that go?” Answer: NOW! After a time it becomes unnecessary to ask those questions. If one pauses to connect to the energy of the felt emotion, that alone will allow the energy which has been trapped in the body, to release.


The process itself is really quite simple. Yet it requires us to make a decision to change from habitual reactivity. That intent, to delay action in order to shift from reactivity to a new level of awareness, requires establishing a new habit. It is my wish that the habit become a universal one. My experience, when I’m able to slow down enough in my own life to engage with my emotions at this level is that this becomes the source of magic happening.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 11:31
Other articles I've written PDF Print E-mail
Written by Judith Poole   
Saturday, 05 December 2009 16:48

Check out other articles I've written at There you will also find a wealth of information including graphic illustrations of acupuncture meridians.

Follow this link to my articles:


Asking the Right Questions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Judith Poole   
Saturday, 05 December 2009 16:33

When we feel out of sorts, we habitually tend to ask ourselves how come. We wonder what is wrong, how it happened, whether we are reacting to something someone else said or did. In short, we try to figure it out.

Experience points to the need to change the nature of the questions we habitually ask ourselves. Instead of asking what is wrong when we notice an unaccounted for symptom or state of mind we can begin to cultivate the habit of asking what we can do in the moment in order to feel better. This adage   applies as well to interpersonal situations. We can shift our focus. The question to ask is how to address the givin situation in order to improve it.

It turns out that, even when the answer to such a question is unknown, the body/mind or the subconscious mind, whatever we agree to name that aspect of the self, will follow the implied directive and go out to seek the desired solution. When the question is "Why am I feeling this way?", that same aspect of the self stays focused on the problem, rather than on potential solutions.

The trouble with a question that leads to analysis of the problem rather than a focus on possible solutions is that even when the question is answered, it will not necessarily improve the state one is in. If pain and discomfort led to the question, pain and discomfort will be present when the question is answered. If.however, one asks what would relieve the discomfort most effectively and efficiently, the body/mind will not only suggest something that will bring relief, it will also surface whatever insights prove most useful.

It takes practice to cultivate this habit, because everything up to now has pointed us in the direction of diagnosing the problem - either formally or informally. Therefore, I invite you to experiment with this shift in the nature of the question. See what you discover. I hope you'll share the results. Send me an e-mail and let me know what your investigation turns up!

What Health Care Reform?
Friday, 24 July 2009 14:22

I'm worried that any bill that Congress is likely to consider regarding so-called health care reform will fall too far of the mark. Yet by passing something less than adequate now it becomes unlikely that real change will be enacted any time soon. It also seems unlikely to me that the changes being contemplated will do anything much to alleviate the current problem.

We've gotten far off track, and I'm not sure quite how this happened. I do know that before the early 20th century there were many more options available, and medical care was not linked to insurance companies or profit-making. Somewhere in the early 1900's medical doctors banded together to form the American Medical Association. This organization's goals were apparently more focused on squelching perceived competition from other healing modalities than they were on addressing public health issues.

Now powerful people on committees considering health care reform legislation have extensive ties to both the insurance and the pharmaceutical industries. Neither of these sectors has much interest in a healthy, empowered population. Everyone is concerned about cost containment and rightly so. But unless there are major changes in perspectives about health and well-being, efforts to control costs will more likely focus on rationing care than on teaching well-being skills to the public.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2009 15:37
A great source of used books E-mail
I just learned about a great web source for used books. is run by volunteers. Purchases help support local subscribing libraries. It costs libraries and the public nothing to join . Seems like a great place to begin searching for a desired volume.
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