A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared stuck.
The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he cut open the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man watched the butterfly expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.
The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realise that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight.
Like the sapling, which grows strong from being buffeted by the wind, in life we all need to struggle sometimes to make us strong.
The foundations of Shiatsu practice lies within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The 5 Elements describe a pattern underlying the movements of the universe which can be seen in a multitude of phenomena. They embody the energetic stages of yin (feminine, receptive, matter, dark) and yang (masculine, active, creative, light). This cycle offers a map which can be witnessed externally in the seasons of nature and within the body-mind systems, organs and psychological processes.
As we journey through the year in in an embodied way, we discover that nature is a profound teacher of how to live in balance and respect each phase of the growth cycle. For example, in the dark and dormant freeze of winter when the life force goes beneath the surface towards the roots, there is a call for introspection, silence, deepening our relationship to spirit (the inner light). In winter, with the attention focused inside, we can see the blueprint of our souls journey and be prepared to plant the seeds for the new growth which will come in the spring.