Body Wisdom Wednesday

For this “Body Wisdom Wednesday,” I bring you an excerpt from my book (in-progress) called Body Cards: Insight from the Body, Wisdom for the Soul.

Kidneys: priority

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Location: These kidney bean-shaped organs are located near the upper lumbar region of the spine.
Function: To filter blood and to direct urine to the ureters, which then transfers it to the bladder.  The kidneys control the amount of water in the body and the production of red blood cells.
Unique Fact: Each kidney is slightly smaller than a fist. Most humans can live with just one kidney.
Associated Chakra: Sacral (2nd Chakra)

encaustic by Courtney Putnam

The kidneys have a very important job in your body, for they help filter wastes. These two fist-sized organs know what to keep in the body and what to dispose of.  Now, the question is, do you?  Imagine these organs as two little boxing gloves, ready to fight.  What is worth fighting for?  Do you ever find yourself duking it out on a daily basis with little annoyances that aren’t very important?  When we find ourselves angry, stressed, or upset throughout the day in response to relatively small matters, we end up taxing our body-mind system.  It’s like giving the kidneys too many toxins to filter; when they are overworked, they don’t function optimally.  And neither do we.

The Kidney Card signals a time for creating priorities and determining what is most important to fight for you in your life. Just as the kidneys filter blood, it may be important for you to filter out the daily annoyances and irritations you experience. When we can let go of our attachment to small stresses, we build up a reserve to deal with the big stresses when they arrive.  And why not spend your energy on what is truly important and worthy of your attention and your fighting spirit?  What is deserving of your attention right now?  A particular cause?  Your health?  Your relationships?  The Kidney Card asks you to filter out the stress of a driver who cut you off, a broken dish, or an awkward moment. Let these worries move out of your system and instead focus on the “big stuff,” on something you believe in.


Try This:

Breath: When you find yourself irritated over the small stresses of life, take a moment to center yourself through breath.  Breathe into your throat, breathe into your chest, breathe into your belly, and finally breathe into your hips and legs.  Breathing not only quiets the mind and eases symptoms of anxiety and stress, but it re-focuses you.  It allows you to enter into your body and become clear about what it is that you truly need right now.

Aromatherapy: Grapefruit essential oil has a soothing, uplifting smell and it may be helpful when we feel mental exhaustion, stress, and frustration.  Grapefruit oil helps with creating clarity, balance, and positive thoughts.  Keep a bottle in your car to sniff when stuck in traffic or use 5-6 drops in your bath for a full-body experience.

Mind Map: Create a mind map of important issues in your life.  Start by drawing a circle in the center of a piece of paper and write an issue you’d like to explore.  Then, draw lines out from the circle and create more circles with related ideas and words, until you’ve created a dynamic web of issues that are important to you.

About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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