Disembarking from the airplane upon our arrival in Athens, we felt a deep craving to take off our shoes and let our puffy, swollen feet hit the earth. After flying for over 13 hours and running around several airports, our bodies felt as if they had been through a time warp… deeply dehydrated, exhausted and experiencing a sensation of floating a few feet above the ground. Our senses were numb, our minds foggy and our energy scattered…
Out of Balance…
In Chinese medicine, astrology and various Vedic traditions, the general philosophy is to support the natural flux of the body as it ebbs and flows towards hoemeostasis. This can be accomplished using the qualities of fire, air, earth and water, because these four elements have attributes that can characterize our personal natures.
Air – Movement, Change, Communication, Ideas, Dispersion, Objectiveness, Expansion
Earth – Stability, Consistency, Rigidity, Practicality, Persistence, Caution
Water – Conformity, Personal, Sensitivity, Emotion, Nurturing, Depth
Fire – Heat, Assertion, Confrontation, Motivation, Speed, Strength, Boldness, Leadership
Surely, during and after our 13 hour flight, we were intoxicated with an over-abundance of the qualities of air. The imbalance was clear and we deeply craved stable ground to walk on and a consistent REM sleep cycle.
In Athens we determinedly planned our mission to overcome jetlag as quickly and smoothly as possible. Digging into our own tool boxes and relying on our mutual advice, we decided to keep moving rather than give in to the lethargy. We soldiered on for over an hour, connecting to the cobblestoned sidewalks and then treated ourselves to a nourishing meal. Our evening culminated with calming meditation, the goal being an uninterrupted eight hour sleep.
Pleasantly surprised, we awoke eight hours later quite refreshed. We continued to settle in by removing our shoes and climbing up the Acropolis to the Parthenon. Our bare feet trod the cool, smooth, marble steps of this cornerstone of civilization. Following in the footsteps of the ancients before us was an authentic and spiritual welcome into the old city. As we pressed firmly into all four corners of our feet, spreading our metatarsals with deliberate awareness to prevent us from falling, our fog began to lift. Gravity assisted the weight of our bodies and downward push into our legs and feet. The earth element began to balance our over-abundance of air… The antiquity of the Acropolis combined with the simple proprioception of the various temperate surfaces created the support we needed to move us closer to homeostasis.
After just one day in Athens, we are now nestled into the beautiful island of Kefalonia where we are able to easily embrace the quality of water by floating in the salty, warm, serene sea.