Silent, but significant, a key element of your being is getting missed: it's time to Care for the Po
You know that feeling when you are awake and "ok" but you can't seem to get clear on what's next - like am I having breakfast now, or is it time to shower? where did I put that thing I just had and why am I like this today when most days I can stay on top of things?
Or do you have times when grief has your choking on life and holding you back from feeling anything at all, so much so that you feel numb and blank but somehow you are still "functional"? These states of being may be connected to your Spirits and when it comes to clarity, grief and keeping things organized, your Po is a resource for you.
The Po (Spirit of the Lungs) is one of the Five Shen or Spirits in Chinese Medicine. Breath work, certain foods, and personal work - like boundary setting (and maintaining) - all support and nourish the Po and this month's Portal offers you tips and opportunities to connect with Self through practice, food and presence.
The Po gives the body capacity for movement, is closely linked to the physical body and is something akin to our autonomic nervous system keeping us going without us knowing!
With us until our last breath, the Po is our Corporeal soul animating Self and life's potential.
From conception until your bones decay or burn the Po works to maintain the organization of your body, spirits and soul.
Also known as the unconscious mind and core Self, your Po displays harmony and disharmony in a number of ways.
To attend and be with the Po one must let go of knowing and practice being.
The Po runs on automatic, all the time. To attune to such subtle movements quiet, presence and practice is required.
The Po's work is to take in, use what is essential and then let go of ideals and experiences that longer serve. The Lungs, Large Intestine and Po are all working together to take in and let go, take in and let go, breath after breath, experience after experience, take in, let go, take in, let go, ... you get the picture.
When the Po is in disharmony one may have a hard time with boundaries, either too rigid or too loose. Cultivating awareness of Po can result in greater awareness of our reactions and defence mechanisms, so that we can make a different decision if and when we want to. Tuning into subtle energies expands awareness on multiple levels.
The Po is likened to the autonomic nervous system which is the part of the nervous system that controls "automatic" functions, we don't have to think about making our heart beat, it just does because the autonomic nervous system keeps it running.
Similar to the ANS the Po is supporting us all the time whether we are conscious of it or not. The Po serves our ability to stay connected to the present moment, associated with fairness the Po invigorates boundaries and our assertion of Self. Similar to how humans exert control over the breath to intentionally calm down, we can influence the Spirit of the Lungs by breathing in ways that connect with the Po, and improve the inner alchemy of breath, boundary and vitality.
By raising awareness of these ethereal aspects of Qi at the level of sensation, you become more aware of what is happening in your Self when in reaction or relation to others or when reacting or relating from self to self. It is helpful for relating to have internal awareness of Po.
Breath and intention create a matrix to connect with the unconscious mind. Learning to receive what the Po has for you is a practice of being Very Alive.
This months invitation is to a practice of you, me, the breath and the "ssss" sound...
Breath, sound and innocence
A practice for being with the Po
You have a Po and you have just sent it some Qi
What resonates for you in this practice?
Application of Theory: Check out this practice with regularity and frequency this month and see were you are at regarding boundaries and clear communication to self and other when December rolls around.
Food for the Po is food that nourishes the Lungs & Large Intestine
Eating more of these foods will support your Lung Qi and the work of the Po
Radishes (red, black, daikon), rice, mustard greens, oats, fresh ginger*, horseradish, seaweeds, the entire onion family (garlic*, scallions, etc.), cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, rapini etc.), apples, all mushrooms, watercress, pear/apple, rice, sweet/potato/yam, herring
*if you have signs of heat (sweating, feeling hot, dryness) avoid these foods
Lightly steamed food (yes even that daikon radish) hydrates the body and therefore the Lungs, thus supporting the thin and mighty tissues of the Lungs themselves.
Cruciferous vegetables help to clear out the Large Intestine very well, thus freeing the flow of Qi. Of course, avoid these if you do not need any support in this way!
Who is this useful for?
Can you think of someone who might be stuck with grief?
Or a person who is continually undecided about what their next step is?
Maybe you know someone who is rigid and irritable?
or someone who is floppy with their boundaries and miserably overworked?
Or do you want a tool to gain clarity for your own discernment?
There are connections to the Po in these struggles, and the next step is for you to check it out for yourself.
Chinese Medicine theory is here, and the practice is yours to decide what to do with.
Taking time to be with your Po, is powerful work, unfolding over time and in that time a vast landscape of inner awareness awaits for your consciousness to arrive.
Spirit practices are for our Soul, Mind and Body, all connected in networks of Qi.
This November, check it out for yourself, what happens when you care for the Po?
Please share this... and spread the health!
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Lamia Gibson, R. Ac, is an Acupuncturist, Shiatsu Therapist and TCM food nerd. I work with pregnant humans, human humans and grieving humans to relieve suffering. If you want to book with me, start here lamiagibson.ca