I just planned my first big trip in a few years- the process was fun, daunting, worrisome and exciting.  And it’s pretty obvious that I do really need a trip away from work, because I’ve been thinking a lot about the differing vacation needs of the 5 Phases and even where the concept of a “vacation” fits into 5 Phase theory.

What do you look for in a vacation?  I love hiking, mountains, sightseeing, museums- anything active, but especially getting to take a look around a new place and getting to know new people.  I have friends, however, who really just want to sit on a beach, or relax in a small town bed-and-breakfast.  Heck, I even know people who just want to stay home, putter around the house and spend time with friends and family during their vacation.

Vacations provide some much-needed balance and how you best attain that balance says a lot about your Phase.  Paying attention to the underlying needs that cause you to choose certain styles of vacations can help you make changes to your everyday life that make the time between vacations more enjoyable.

Take, for instance, my friend who most enjoys sitting on the beach with family for a week, just eating, relaxing and reading.  For other breaks, she enjoys staying home, catching up on her own projects and life.

She’s a Wood phase person.  Her work requires her to be at her peak constantly, which taxes her very Wood nature.  So when she’s on vacation she needs to recharge: Water phase activities to feed her Wood nature (Water feeds Wood), Wood phase activities to express her Wood nature, and Fire phase activities as an outlet for her Wood nature (Wood feeds Fire).

Let’s break this down: sitting on the beach in a familiar place, plenty of time to let the mind wander, read books and relax, facing the vast expanse of the ocean.  You see where this is going- these are the Water phase activities.

Her Wood phase expression is freed both when she uses her reading time on vacation to learn about new things or develop a new skill and when she stays home, practicing her hobbies (growth of potential = Wood phase) and picking up new ones.

Fire is an important part of this equation too, though, and while a quiet, contemplative getaway might not seem like a very Fiery vacation, this particular setup actually contains quite a bit of Fire.  Fire includes silliness, fun, just having a good time.  When this Wood friend of mine tells me about her vacations, her favorite stories are about the general goofiness of the gathering- a very Fiery thing to value.

So what do you value and enjoy most about stepping away from your everyday life?  How do your favorite activities on vacation feed your Phase?  And most importantly, how can you use your understanding of your vacation needs to infuse each day with that fuel?

Posted in Chinese Medicine, Elements Acupuncture News, Five Phase Theory.