Medicine Wheel Learnings of the East ~ Spring Equinox ~ Balance
Medicine Wheel ~ East
~ Part 2 of 3 ~
Spring Equinox ~ Balance
Here we share some of our personal stories
from our own journey towards living more Balanced Lives.
A Sacred offering of our learnings with Love
by Vince and Rebecca
~ We publish this a Cycle After Spring Equinox as we have embraced the need for Balance, Rest, and Retreat shortly after our first Draft was written closer to the time of equinox. For us, this is a humble journey of documenting and sharing some of what we have come to understand about the Magic and Cycles of the Seasons, knowing that these will be there for all of us to expound upon and share our deepened life learning in future year cycles. We can also use the Medicine Wheel and Seasonal Cycles as a way to understand where we are at and what we need in the Medicine Wheel Cycles of our own Lives. ~
Medicine Wheel Direction of the East
Color ~ Yellow ~ The Element of the East is Air ~ Breath of Life ~ Rising Sun ~ New Beginnings ~ Spring ~ Birth ~ Dawn of Consciousness ~ Clarity of Mind ~ Illumination ~ The Golden Door ~ Planting Seeds ~ New Life ~ Awareness ~ Awakening ~ Eagle ~ Eagle Vision ~ Winds of Change ~ Winged Ones ~ Freedom ~ Balance
East is the direction of New Beginnings, the place of the Rising Sun, who brings a new day and, the time of Spring, which brings Balance to the Sleep Dream Cycle. (Painting below ~ Marleen Visser)
As Spring begins to sing a symphony of heavenly voices from our winged friends, and delicate new colors, illuminated by lush rains and growing light, I listen to the call of my heart to surrender my “to do’s” and pay attention to the incredible gifts unfolding around me…tiny hints of little red buds on trees, here in one moment and growing so fast that they are full blossoms by the time I look again. Each stage of every tree and plant is so precious and beautiful. I don’t want to miss anything. In a sense, I measure my “sanity” this way, my lived integrity to my Values ~ by how much I take in and notice deeply the Creation that surrounds me and sustains my life.
These days the passion to create in the many forms that I do can keep me activated in projects and challenged to let go and flow in receptivity. Yet, this deep receptivity is a place and space that I cherish so much and offers me the great well of inner resource that I draw upon to create. This state is deeply familiar to me. To open to the beauty of the Natural realm and, perceive its splendor fully is a large part of what makes me who I am, so I know that if I am missing it, something is out of Balance in my life.
(Painting right ~ Ritchie Sinclair)
Balance is an important quality of the Medicine Wheel teachings of the East because Spring Equinox is at the center of the Eastern Quadrant ~ When the Day’s Light and Night’s Darkness are equal.
I always appreciate the Equinoxes because they remind me of the need for Balance in my life and, to remain committed to it. We can make a strong prayer for this when the natural energies of the universe support that.
Balance sits in the east and this is an area that I need to pay close attention to. It is very easy for my mind to slip into obsessive manic type ways of being (doing) if I allow myself to get too excited about something, I can get tunnel vision. I’m blessed with this with sizzling focus yes, but those around me can suffer if I go out of Balance and lose my groundedness. I have a lot of people looking to me for help and guidance and obsessive mind states are only welcome for short bursts nowadays. One way I help myself to maintain Balance is by prioritizing. Calendar meetings are very helpful. One challenge, however, is that I fill my calendar up with to-dos far in advance, then when something really important comes in that week, I struggle with worry about letting people down because I have not allowed much flex room. Keeping my commitments is important to me and, often I will be so inspired with the new things that come in, that I try to do more than is humanly possible. One of my learnings, at this time in my life, is to request the flexibility I need from those in my life who love me, instead of overdoing it when I am called to add something new in during any given week or, even simply to take time out for myself a little bit more. So, I do my best to create flexibility or simply let things go.
In recovery we have HALT. Hungry Angry, Lonely Tired. It is a recipe for disaster to have more than 2 of those happening at once. I use this as a moniter for myself. It is often when I am under pressure from myself to please others that I find myself needing to HALT.
Today I am learning to honor my own needs as much as everyone else’s while continuing in the altruism that inspires my life.
Rebecca Shares ~
“…When you don’t punish or condmen yourself, when you relax more and appreciate your body and mind, you begin to contact the fundamental notion of basic goodness in yourself. So it is extremely important to be willing to open yourself to yourself. Developing tenderness towards yourself allows you to see both your problems and potentials accurately.” (Painting below ~ Susan Seddon Boulet)
Like my beloved Vince, I have a tendency to be drawn in to a certain kind of intense creative focus and, be driven by it, while other aspects of my life may be needing nurturance. When I was younger it was Spirituality and Art that had my attention the most and, I came to a point in my life where I had devoted so much of my life to spiritual and art practices that Creator told me, “It’s time for you to develop yourself on the physical plain and practical reality. Learning this Balance must become a strong expression of your spiritual devotion.”
So, it has. I have grown so much in my capacity to be present in my body and, to provide the structure for my gifts to become the abundance that supports my family.
(Painting below ~ Rebecca Ruth Goutal)
Now, in my life, I have developed more capacity for the Balance of Spiritual and Physical / Practical and Creative yet, I can still sometimes find myself driven by my passion for my projects and in the “Zone”, where I put off the other aspects of my life that support my health. Sometimes I stumble along keeping a thread of these healthy practices just to keep me going… yet not necessarily thriving. (Can any one out there relate to this? I’ve met quite a few who do) …There have been times when I have had to “hit the Wall” or “burn out”…
…just to realize that I need the Balance of nurturing myself ~ nurturing all of the different aspects of who I am and what brings me joy and peace… to be healthy, thriving, and fullfilled. That’s why I love Equinoxes! They call me to pause and recommit to the Balance of Service and self Care …to Balance all of the important aspects of my life that keep me happy and healthy, like:
Time with myself in Nature and walking, Prayer and meditaion time, (which for me, includes singing and dancing), Family time ~ time with my children, intimate connection time with my beloved, time with friends, and extended family time, caring for my home time, Creative Arts time, In Service to others time, Free Flow time, “Down Time,” Rest, Sleep, and Healthy Food…Massages ~ Self Care. For me, these days, Balance usually is calling me to self care.
Here’s a personal story returning to Balance:
About one moon cycle before Spring Equinox, I was working so hard to finish a project near and dear to my heart by a certain deadline, while doing a lot of service work for others, that I had gone out of balance for a few weeks …just keeping all of the other nurturing realities in my life alive by a thread…(save a couple of the most important). In this weakened state, life handed me a few unexpected challenges all at once and I ended up getting super ill for a week and had to cancel all my commitments. I was sick with the Flu, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.
(Painting below ~ Susan Seddon Boulet)
So, after struggling through my sense of frustration and self judgement for reaching a point I believed I could have avoided, I was reminded to let go of the judgement and acknowledge that it is the gentleness of my spirit that I need to be nurtured by. From this place I was able to find the inspiration and connection to myself to access my inner wisdom of self care. Then, I was able to take this experience as a welcome reminder that sacrificing self care for getting things done isn’t worth it. Work and Self Care need to Balance one another.
So, I returned to my usual commitment to reflective time in Nature, prayers songs, ecstatic dance, long walks, and time out with friends and family. The health, vitality, and sense of connection in my life returned so quickly, as soon I was able to let go of judging myself and compassion have for myself and allow my own needs to be in the mix.
As Equinox was approaching (with my birthday as inspiration), Vince and I had planned a Nature intimacy retreat for ourselves and, it came along just as I was beginning to feel the flow and rewards of Balancing my inspired work with self care.
(Painting above ~ Josephine Wall)
Yet, after so much time in the city our hearts were longing for full forest immersion. The truth is, as city dwellers, our beings are constantly in need of re-balancing through deep connectedness with our Earth Mother in her Sacred realms.
We were blessed with three days retreat and on the second day, I found myself out of the present moment, lamenting that we had to leave so soon. I knew I was depriving myself of the joy of just being in the with the glorious forest around me but, it was so challenging to let go of my passion for living immersed in Nature (and staying there!)…so I surrendered…allowed the feelings to flow…and in honoring them, it helped them to pass…
…It was such a relief to finally fully sink in to presence with the forest, mossy ledges, rocky shores, and ocean as we walked and meandered for a whole day then came back to camp at dusk and built a sacred fire. The day of sacred communion with the land fueled our spirits and we finally fully surrendered in passionate heartfelt prayer songs with the fire. We soared in the spirit realms together in so much deep gratitude and appreciation for our beloved family members, the spirits of the land, the ocean, the trees, all the animals…all our relations. Our prayer of gratitude and communion with the heart of our Creator, Earth Mother, and one another was what our spirits had been thirsting for…a place and space to enter the timelessness and be renewed with Eagle’s View and Great Spirit’s holy Breath of Life energizing our beings.
(Painting above Mark Anthony Jacobson)
Now that we are a couple of months past Spring Equinox, we are so grateful to be experiencing the natural call of sunlight, warmth, and blossoms! This definitely helps call us out to nurture ourselves, sing praises for the beauty of Creation, breath the fresh spring air, and receive the gifts of our Earth Mother, knowing that as we receive and appreciate these gifts we are filled with energy and inspiration to give. May we all feel the Truth that we are worthy of Love and open with Gratitude to the gifts that are continuously being offered to us by our Earth Mother!
(Painting above ~ Betty Albert)
There is so much more we feel inspired to share with you about Balance because, it has been a challenge and fascination for both of us for many years…topics like: Balance in our human Relationships, Balance with our relatives from the animal and plant kingdom, Balance between inner and outer realities, and other polarities like action and stillness (rest reflection receptivity). We will save this for Autumn Equinox!
As we continue forward in the cycle of seasons on the medicine wheel we will share 1 more piece with Learnings from the Medicine Wheel Direction of East and then move on to the South, where we are currently in our seasonal journey around the Medicine Wheel of Life!
Rebecca and Vince
Co-Founders of Lovemedicine