Spring Break For The Liver

Updated: Mar 20

Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda. Sebastian Pole

It was my first big presentation in my new role as the Marketing Manager for Calculus, Post-Calculus and Statistics. I wanted to take on the upper level math booklist because it helped me to shift the narrative for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant employees. After 18 months of market research, focus groups and strategy sessions, I was ready for my part of the presentation of our teams' upper-level math list to our three national and two international cohorts during our National Sales Meeting. Our team went through a rigorous series of rehearsals and I felt prepared, but in the back of my mind was the lingering concern about ... let's just call him Mr. P. He was the "big cheese" of the organization and had a reputation for heckling presenters by publicly humiliating them during their sessions. I was a new manager and had heard that Mr. P had an illness, so I believed I would be safe. He probably didn't even know who I was.

As over 200 colleagues poured into my first session, I scanned the room. No sign of Mr. P. As I mentioned in my Cross-Cultural Healing Haven blog, I include people of all nationalities in my PowerPoint slides. I wondered if I had gone too far in my new role because I had also produced a promotional video that included a hip-hop song to celebrate the reboot/new edition of our Calculus textbook. I knew that my presentation might surprise my white colleagues, but I believed strongly that they needed the exposure as much as my Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant colleagues needed the representation. Even if I had gone "too far," I couldn't imagine a white colleague coming up to me and saying, "great session, but could you just put White people in your slides next time?" It was showtime, so I pushed play on the video. My colleagues seemed to enjoy it, but during the last minute of the video the back door opened and in walked Mr. P. I assured myself that he would behave because of his illness.

I enthusiastically began my presentation and jumped into the new features of our calculus book. About seven minutes into my presentation, Mr. P stands up and yells from the back of the room, "You better know what the hell you're talking about ..." I didn't hear the rest of what he said because I could feel two sensations going on within me at the same time. The first sensation was ominous - a combination of a pure "oh no you didn't just yell at a sistah!" righteous indignation, anger and that moment that occurs just before the neck jerking and finger snapping sassiness.

The second sensation was curious and gave me pause. It was a still quiet voice inside me that said "listen; pay attention to what he is saying."

My body whisperer took over, and I felt my feet sink into the ground, I pulled my shoulders up, back and down and started taking slow deep breaths while pushing through my annoyance to listen to this rude, arrogant, insensitive bully of a man. As I began to listen, I realized that the content of my presentation would respond to and crush every objection that he raised. All I had to do was stay calm and resist being baited into the knee-jerk reaction. It would have been impossible for me to maintain my composure without deep breathing exercises. So, I stood still while he yelled and listened intently. When he finished, I enthusiastically said "Thank you Mr. P for sharing your concerns. Well, everyone, Mr. P wants proof so let's get to the proof."

What followed was pure alchemy. I sailed through my presentation with confidence, making sure to place special emphasis on all areas of proof that was questioned. When I finished my presentation, I was completely stunned as the entire room stood up and gave me a standing ovation. My colleagues' applause was more of a nonverbal objection to Mr. P's behavior. During this meeting, I was overwhelmed with sales reps and even executives of all nationalities who said "OMG, talk about grace under pressure/OMG, I can't believe you shut Mr. P down/OMG, I can't believe you put Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People ☥ hip-hop music into your presentation/ Wow!" The Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant sales reps made a special effort to thank me in private. They didn't feel safe thanking me in front of their peers which speaks to the social toxins (Ginwright/Cammarota, p.85) that existed within our company culture.

I'm in awe of the fact that, at the time, I had heard of but never practiced Qigong. I begin my standing Qigong lessons by instructing participants to "root," which means to allow our feet to sink into the ground, pull our shoulders up, back and down and tuck our tailbone under. How did I know to do that under duress?

Understand yourself based on the wisdom you have inside and not the programming you have received … When you were born, you knew everything there is to know about everything there is to know ... rediscover your Godself and the unlimited powers that flow from the depths of your being ... ☥ Dr. Paul Goss ☥ Naturopathic Doctor

Somehow, I managed to transcend my emotions, excel in the midst of a hostile environment and position myself as a person whose voice will not be suppressed within that organization. Though anger and frustration were arising in me, they did not control my actions. I believe that Auset ☥ Goddess of Alchemy was demonstrating right action for me to follow. I share this story as we approach the Spring Equinox because our liver is deeply affected by anger and frustration, two emotions that can sabotage our personal and professional efforts.

The Spring Equinox usually occurs on March 20th, 21st or sometimes the 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere and September 20th, 21st or 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. When the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the Spring Equinox, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing the Fall Equinox and vice versa. Springtime is when we notice the weather shifting from cold and dry to warmer and wet. The word "Equinox" comes from aequus, the Latin word for "equal," and nox, the Latin word for "night". It is the time of the year when we experience nearly equal periods of day and night.

It is the optimal time of year to gently cleanse our liver and to make sure old habits that no longer serve us are not brought into the new season. If we imagine our lives to be like a garden, now is the time to pull weeds that may have surfaced and nurture the new growth that is occurring. If we do not take the time to rejuvenate our liver and reduce inflammation from winter, allergies will rise up and make our lives miserable.

Our liver is the CEO of our body, with over 600 functions (that we know of). Our liver “reacts to the intense anguish, cyclic rage, strong fears and unbearable difficulties” (Barral Institute). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, continually waking up between 1am and 3am is an indication that the liver or gallbladder is out of balance. From a broader perspective, our liver rules our ability to plan our lives. Our liver is our largest internal organ. During the Spring Equinox, I offer love and gratitude to my liver by giving it a spring break. During the traditional spring break, we might leave our place of school or work and go to the beach, relax, party and have fun. The equivalent of those behaviors for our liver would be to cultivate harmony and balance through physical mental emotional spiritual self-care. Let's explore a few ways to bring emotional harmony and balance to our internal CEO:

☥ Take some time to reflect on the past three months. What accomplishments can we celebrate? Are there any unresolved issues? Challenges that need a fresh perspective? Self-

care commitments that have been put on the back burner?

☥ Forgive ourselves. All forgiveness is self-forgiveness. The past is dead. The future is unknown.

The actions we take today to make things right is what truly matters. Unforgiveness attaches

us to the person or situation like a puppet on a string and places us inside the “analysis

paralysis” prison. Forgiveness sets us free so that we can heal and move forward. Forgive and

follow through with integrity and action.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ☥ Marianne Williamson ☥