Calm joy: balancing our inner fire with our inner water
Calm joy is a feeling of well-being, where our inner fire of joy and inspiration is nurtured and balanced by our inner water of stillness and wisdom. This article provides information about the elements of fire and water from a Chinese medical point of view and a few examples of practical steps that can be taken to balance these elements within our self. Being aware of how these elements are present in our daily life can help us to experience calm joy, balancing the activity of manifestation in our life (fire) with nurturing our inner stillness (water).
Fire, corresponding to the Heart and the time of summer, brings joy and inspiration in our lives. The Heart is where we connect with our self, other people and our surroundings. The element of fire is also related to our purpose in life, our Path with Heart. The rhythm of fire is quick and fast, like a hummingbird. Water, corresponding to the Kidneys and the time of winter, brings calmness, silence, like a deep lake at night, an inner wisdom. The rhythm of water is slow, like a whale. The element of water is where our deepest intentions are formed, like seeds. It is the seeds that we plant in the winter that come to fruition and manifestation in the summer.
In Chinese medicine, the Kidneys and the Heart form the core axis of our body, where the Kidneys contain the blueprint of our lives, our potential, and the Heart is where we bring that potential into manifestation in our lives. Calm joy is experienced when the Heart and Kidneys work together, are communicating with each other. The Kidneys are the foundation, providing stillness and thereby anchoring and balancing the Heart. The Heart provides warmth and movement to the Kidneys and brings inspiration in our lives.
On a physical level it can be compared to our DNA that contains our potential and that is expressed into the full manifestation of our proteins, the active molecules that make all the biological processes in our body possible. In return, the proteins help the DNA to unfold and express itself. So the DNA and proteins are continuously communicating with each other.
Without judgment, we can identify when our fire and water are out of balance and lacking communication with each other. This can for example happen when there is relatively more fire than water and fire is not being balanced by water, or it can happen when there is relatively less fire.
In the first situation, when fire is not being balanced by water, it can create the feeling of ‘over-joy’, being frantic and restless. Everything is fun and exciting, however lacking the feeling of calmness, meaning and direction. It can bring sleeplessness, feeling of being ‘on’ all the time and having difficulties to unwind, sit still, calm down. In this situation we can practice inner silence to bring stillness into, and thereby stabilizing, our inner fire of joy and inspiration.
In the second situation, when there is relatively less fire, there can be lack of inspiration, missing the feeling of purpose and the connection with other people. It may also be difficult to bring intentions into manifestation. In this situation we can see what brings joy and inspiration to our lives, connect with the people around us, bring warmth and movement into our lives, and actively engage in bringing our intentions into manifestation.
Below follow a few practical steps as an example of balancing the active and manifesting part in our life with nurturing our inner stillness. You can choose one or a few steps and see what works for you in your life right now and modify these steps accordingly. Practical steps for example could be:
– You can take 5 minutes after each meal to just sit and do nothing. This can help to build up your inner stillness. In a more general way, you can take each day moments in your day that you don’t do anything (not even meditating), doing nothing, just Being.
– Throughout the day you can become aware of calm joy. You can write those moments down to become more specific and see what helps you to bring calm joy in your daily life.
– When you are working on a project and you are in the fast mode and hasty while you feel your project needs more time to ripen and fully come to fruition, you can slow down by taking the perspective of the element of water, how will this project contribute to my life in the next couple of months, years, or even decades. On the other hand, if you feel like you are procrastinating with a project, you can take the perspective of the element of fire, shift your perception to the present moment, actively engage with it and see what you can do right now to bring your project into manifestation.
– When stressed or nervous, you can bring your attention to your Kidneys. One way to bring attention to your Kidneys is by putting the back of your hands on your Kidneys. Any physical soft pressure on your Kidneys can help to calm down.
– You can take a walk and be around water, for example a lake, or a nice stream. This can also help to calm the mind.
This article was written by Andries Geert Heidema. If you have any questions, please let me know.