Monday, May 14, 2018

weekly theme :: Chinese Element FIRE - JOY AND SORROW

Fire. Joy and Sorrow

Author: Sifu Matthew Carver

This week we explore the Chinese element: FIRE. 

We do this through examing Joy & Sorrow.
These two feelings seem to lie on either end of the emotional spectrum. They go by other names: Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder, or the downplayed colloquialism, Ups and Downs.

Medical Code

We all have joyous days and sorrowful days but if we oscillate between joy and sorrow too quickly and too often, it is often considered an issue. An issue that has a special name and medical code. An issue to be considered. But how?

Joy is easy to experience. 

So is the mania for the most part. Busy, busy, busy is almost a badge of honor in this culture. To not be busy would imply laziness or disinterest. Ask someone how they are doing today and you will more often than not hear the breathless reply, "busy!" Which is either a polite way to say that chit-chatting with me is a waste of your time or you want me to know you are an ambitious, go-getter. Either way, I think I'll pass. High time we embraced depression and sadness, and those languid, lovely summer afternoons with nuttin' ta do.

Default Response.

I often think, "How would Lao Tzu respond to the question,, "How are you today"? Likely by pointing to the spot in the sky where the moon will soon be. Or perhaps he would give a ubiquitous "Oh fair to middlin'!". He most certainly would not say "busy busy busy." Alas, we digress and wander off the path.

Sorrow spaws Joy. 

Folks generally have no issue with manically joyous behaviors and feelings. It is the polar opposite that troubles them. However, is anything truly gained or discovered when we are happy? To be honest, depression and sorrow have taught me more about myself, compassion, and the suffering of others far more than joy has revealed. Being present at the moment with joy is as easy as falling off a log. Takes no effort at all. But sadness? Yikes, that is brutal. Being sad immediately makes one think "I need to stop being sad!". Alas, rejecting the present moment, with all its clues and cries, is unwise.

The math is simple. 

High highs = low lows. Higher highs = lower lows. At some point, you have to ask yourself, "Do I want to ride the carousel or the roller coaster?".

This week we will delve into our passions and depressions. The heat of joy and the cold chill of depression. We will practice being present and engaged with both. Feeling intense emotions is not a sickness or mental disorder. It is the human condition.
Avoiding our intense emotions or worse, editing them, IS a mental disorder.

Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired by Clinical and Holistic Therapies such as; Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group, EMDR and Movie with Meaning therapies.
126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(800) 759-1930

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