The element of water is the most mysterious of all the elements. In the season of winter, when the time of night far exceeds the time of day, when all our energies are at their lowest ebb, life-giving water is replenishing the earth. Water gives all life the ability to endure. The element of water also gives our plans and dreams the power to endure.
When our water element is healthy, our mind has fluidity. We have an abundance of energy and resources to complete all our plans and dreams. Thoughts and ideas flow effortlessly. It is easy to think things through. The element of water within our consciousness gives us the power to endure anything that happens to us. The act of feeling our feelings dissolves all our fears and anxieties into nothingness.
The ancient Chinese called the brain "the sea of marrow," and included it as part of the kidney system. Bones are like our spiritual antenna, their marrow part of the kidney system. Weak bones, poor healing of fractures and many hereditary growth and developmental problems are related to water imbalances. Most low back pain originates in the kidneys. Kidney issues also cause knee pain, teeth problems, hearing loss and excessive fear and insecurity.
The normal feelings of the kidneys are fear. Feeling and responding to them guides us around the minefields of life. Unfelt fears create a water imbalance that shows up as a bluish-black hue and puffiness around the eyes. Puffiness around your eyes is a sure sign you are letting feelings build up to toxic levels. Ears are the end organs of the water element (just as eyes are the end organs of the element of wood). Kidney stress can sometimes feel like you have water in your ears.
Our brain was never intended to be in charge of our consciousness. It’s a great servant, but a terrible master. But when fears come up and we don’t actually stop to feel them, our unruly brain instantly takes over, weaving endless stories about why we have those feelings.
Unfelt feelings build up pressure and intensity in our bodymind. Emotional pressure amplifies all our pain. Physical pain, by itself, rarely exceeds a four on a one-to-ten pain scale. When pain builds to a seven or eight, it’s a sure bet that seventy to eighty percent of the pain was amplified by the build-up of emotional pressure from unfelt feelings.
When we have been in this kind of emotional pressure and can see no let up, no way out of it, it can seem like we are in a drought or a flood.
Experiencing a Drought
We can start feeling like our life is in a drought when all our thoughts and feelings get fixated on what we don’t have, how what little we do have is slipping away from us, that our access to money, resources or love has dried up. Feeling this way for a prolonged period of time dries out our hope and possibilities.
As these unfelt fears continue to build, our brain increasingly generates bleak stories about whether or not we can survive, feeling more and more hopeless. Our brain can spin endless stories about how hard life is, not having enough, that the resources we have are slipping away.
Other people in similar situations may have a totally different perspective, and not experience a drought at all. The pain and suffering we experience comes from letting our brain put negative spins on situations. Our brain can create stories that are quite morbid.
Overpowering Feelings Feel like Being in a Flood
Flood is when we let unfelt fears—which we deemed too painful or toxic to feel—build up to such a great level that it consumes our thoughts. The buildup of feelings can become like a flood, swamping us, inundating us with fears, anxieties and other difficult feelings until there is no safe place. In this state, self-preservation dominates our mind.
The sound of dysfunction in the water element is moaning or groaning, often unconscious. A person who moans or groans, even though their life may not be worse than anyone else’s, indicates that they are either drowning in unfelt feelings, or that the drought they feel is so severe that they can see no future for themselves.
The Solution: Feel Rather than Think Your Feelings
Unfelt feelings function like grappling hooks, binding you to unhealthy relationships, memories, situations and toxic people. Feeling those negative feelings dissolves them, releasing the grappling hooks. Then your spirit is free to focus on the beauty that is all around you.
Feelings are like water. They are hundreds of times more powerful than thoughts. Water has great power. It has no boundaries of its own. Yet it is an inexorable force that cannot be stopped. It will always find a path through anything in its way. It never gives up. It can bring down mountains.
Feelings can move mountains to achieve what you desire. But unfelt negative feelings have the power to push your desires ever further away from you. Faith and trust can move mountains, but your doubts create the mountains that block your way.
Once you actually feel the negative feelings they are gone and you are free of their oppression. Then your heart naturally generates the positive feelings that draw your desires to you. When you sustain positive feelings about your plans and dreams, your determination gives your plans and dreams flexibility and endurance (qualities of your kidney system). You never give up. You can move mountains.
The Season of Winter
Winter is the time when we reflect on the profound values of our life. This is when we ask ourselves the deeper questions of life, like: Who am I? What did I incarnate into this life to do or be? Am I doing what I really want to do in this lifetime? What are my deep, abiding values? What principles and values do I hold dear? Am I living a life that is aligned with them? Would my eight-year-old self be proud of who I am today?
When you ask these profound questions, your own spirit answers. In this mysterious time, you find yourself reflecting on the directions available to you. New avenues open to you where none would have existed had you not asked. Your questions access profound information about the pathways and destiny of your life.
Winter is the time for going inside and curling up by the fire with a good book, to ponder the direction of your life, what you have accomplished, where you are heading. Winter is the time when you carefully select the seeds you will plant in the coming spring.
If the world were a perfect place, which seeds would you want to grow, blossom and bear fruit? The true magic of life is: This beautiful blue-green paradise world was created so all beings can evolve and achieve their most profound desires. When you follow your heart, you discover that the world is indeed a perfect place.