Receive FREE Shipping when you spend over $75!

The Spirit and Energy of Liver Wood with Stephanie Nosco (EP#180)

In today's podcast episode, we journey into the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of Liver Wood season with Medical Qigong therapist, Yin Yoga teacher and psychotherapist Stephanie Nosco.

 

 

 

 

We're tuning in today with our Five Element seasonal episode with Medical Qigong therapist, Yin Yoga teacher and psychotherapist Stephanie Nosco. We had Stephanie on the podcast last year talking about the Wu Shen, also known as The Five Spirits- If you missed Stephanie's episode, The Wu Shen and Alchemy Vs Ascension (EP#123), you can have a listen to it here.

 

Today Stephanie expands this journey, taking us more specifically into the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the Liver Wood season- the visionary spirit of Hun and the onward and upward energy of the Liver Organ System and Wood Element. These seasonal podcasts are a beautiful way to connect with our internal landscape and observe nature and the energetics of each Element as we move through them.

Stephanie discusses the underlying theme of Liver Wood season being one of renewal and envisioning; An upward growth in the direction of our Tao and informed by the Spirit of Hun. Stephanie speaks to the importance of the dream world and allowing space for dreaming during this season, as it is the Hun soul that guides and communicates our dreaming into reality.

Stephanie provides medical Qigong practices for Liver stagnation and when the Wood Element is out of balance, as well as cleansing and purging practices that support our physical and energy bodies. 

 

"I find it hard to talk about the Hun- without also talking about this theme of hope and direction because the liver and the Wood Element are about movement. It's really about becoming. It's the shooting up from the soil. It's that sprout that is climb to the light and it's about really actualizing the Tao. And when I talk about Tao, I talk about the life purpose, which is why we are here on the planet. And the Hun is what informs that Tao, is what informs the movement. Because there can be movement without the intelligence or the direction of the Hun soul. So I think of the Hun soul as almost like the messenger of heaven that comes down to inform us where we're going, and it's the Wood that propels us into that movement".
- Stephanie Nosco

 

Stephanie and Mason discuss:

  • Pause practice.
  • Dreamwork.
  • Liver stagnation.
  • The Hun spirit.
  • Wood excess
  • Wood deficiency.
  • The Hun and dreaming.
  • Qigong practices for Spring.
  • The spirit of Hun and the Liver.
  • The emotion of aggression and the Liver.
  • Cleansing practises for Liver Wood season.
  • Healing sounds for purging the energy body.
  • How to support the Liver on a physical level.
  • Movement practices to shift Liver stagnation.
  • Spring is the season for planning and visioning.
  • Creating consistency in our movement practices.

 


Who is Stephanie Nosco?

Stephanie is a dedicated yoga teacher, meditation guide and Medical Qigong therapist based in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Her teaching style and philosophy has developed throughout years of exploring Buddhist and Taoist studies, as well as through using movement, breathe and meditation to manage her own mental, physical and spiritual health. Her most recent interests surround how spirituality, energetics and psychotherapy intersect and just completed her masters in Counselling Psychology. Her psychotherapy practices is informing deeper layers of learning about the human spirit, in how to better support people in their life and practice. With over a decade of experience leading yoga teacher trainings, silent retreats, workshops, and classes, Stephanie is most interested in bridging the gap between ancient teachings and modern life to help people reconnect to what is meaningful. Stephanie views Yin Yoga, Meditation, Qigong as methods to re-awaken what we already know. She founds her teachings on the principle that empowering this inner knowing is the true guide towards genuine healing, health and awakening. 

Resource guide

Guest:

Nosco Yoga

Stephanie's Instagram

Stephanie's Facebook

Yin Yoga Teacher Training 

Stephanie's YouTube channel

Mentioned in this episode: 

Shaking Qigong

Shaolin Qigong

Tendon changing classics Qigong

Standing Meditation guided by a Taoist master

Tonics for Spring Liver Wood:

MSM

Schisandra

I AM GAIA

BEAUTY BLEND

Deer Antler Velvet  

Relevant Podcasts:

The Wu Shen and Alchemy Vs Ascension with Stephanie Nosco (EP#123)

The Importance of Sleep For Healthy Hun and Qi with Jost Sauer (EP#102)

 

Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?

A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus we're on Spotify

 

Check Out The Transcript Here:

Mason:

Steph, welcome. Hello.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Hello. It's good to be here again.

 

Mason:

Yeah, it's great to have you here again. And as I just informed everyone, we've got a year ahead of us going through all of the systems and all of the beautiful spirits of the organs. I'm really, really excited, because I feel like I'm going to be learning a lot, and I know you are doing a lot of downloading at the moment on everything that you know. So yeah, thanks so much for coming on the journey.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Thank you. And it's really a special thing to, maybe the word meditate is the right word, but meditate or contemplate these themes as you move through seasons. I think that in modernity we lose touch with the natural world, and that not thinking that the seasons affect our internal landscape when, in my experience, they really do. So how special it is that we can have these conversations through the changing seasons through a full year.

 

Mason:

And appreciate the expertise it takes when you're in the opposite season. You're in late summer. Where would you officially class it at the moment, late summer for you?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, we're in late summer. So this is a time where we're moving from that expansiveness from wood into summer. So that's the upward movement. And so I'm at the point where now the seasons are dropping. So we're moving back down into the descent into fall and winter.

 

Mason:

I'm excited for you. I'm excited for us as well in the uprising. And just on the seasonality, it's as above, so below. Going through these themes and seasons, it's a beautiful map. I think I've talked a bit to everyone about this enough, that all these concepts and the animism we talk about, it's a map or a metaphor or a story. Maybe it's real in some dimension. Maybe it's just taking us to the point where we're able to actually access connection with reality, so that we can navigate the terrain towards our destiny or whatever.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I would even say, to add to that beauty of the map, I would even say it's a necessary map. I think it's a necessary map for this time in particular, for humanity on the planet to reconnect to the earth. It's just really necessary. And just so much disharmony that we're seeing collectively, sickness, illness, it's just, to me, the more I study it, the more I realise it's beautiful and it's also necessary.

 

Mason:

I love it. We'll jump straight in after this. I was talking to Tahnee last night, who loves your page as well, my wife.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Oh, thanks.

 

Mason:

And we were talking about how prevalent it is for people to constantly be looking back, back to to trauma, back to constant reassess, reassess and reassess, and just how nice it is to have a system and a map that works through seasonality, whether it's the year seasonality or going and touching different emotions, and going through different themes, and going through different practises, because naturally it gets you out of these. It's just such an empowering way of living that can be taken and embodied into the household, that helps you elevate out of little slumps and out of the repetition of constantly being in a trauma cycle, or constantly just stuck in your anger forever. And yeah, it's just such a beautiful... And I'm with you. It's just nothing stopping this wisdom coming out and recalibrating and harmonising right now. It's really in the convo.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, for sure. And I mean, we're moving through the seasons of the year, but I think it's important also to know, as we go through this year together, that there's certain times in our life, like certain seasons in our life, where we might be more connected to water. So certain points in our life where we are in a state of stillness or gestation. And then there's other seasons of our life where we're more in wood. We're more in that becoming season. And then there's certain seasons of our life where we are experiencing loss, which brings up that trauma. So knowing also that it doesn't always match. Sometimes it might be summertime and we might be in the state of grief or gestation, so they don't always match, but it's nice to journey through the year and to explore them with the seasons. But just knowing that there's also seasons of life that move and change.

 

Mason:

So good. I always think of Siddhartha when... I don't know if you've read it recently, but I always think about just the-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I love that book.

 

Mason:

And then you were saying the water stage, I'm like, yep. Gone and dominated the business and the import trade and then just go on and watching the water and being the ferryman. And I'm like, yeah. And I'm sorry everyone to be... We're going to get into the Hun, into the liver. But I was thinking about apprenticeship and no one's a better master and apprentice combination than ourselves. However, we've gone into such institutionalisation that the accountability of what's real for us has gone away a lot. And looking at that seasonality, I was thinking about how many people, I know we'll get into medicines later, but especially with the medicine part and people getting into medicines and wanting to walk that shamanic lineage, so on and so forth. Whether it's best or not for you, if you are actually an apprentice and you've got a real teacher that can see what's the best for your path and destiny, they might say, now you need to leave this village and go into the city for 10 years, and learn what the real world is like.

 

Mason:

Or whatever it is that someone who's like, without a doubt I can feel and see that you are moving into a different season. And I think that's the landscape or terrain, whether it's one of water, whether it's one of the general of the liver, or whatever it is, and give you that insight. And we can do it ourselves but then that takes change and transformation and transmutation and alchemy, and it's all scary and a rollercoaster, but that's what we're doing. So yeah, I'm frothing on this conversation.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That's great.

 

Mason:

So we've got a north star going through this series and we're exploring the organ systems and, of course, the elemental energy. So we'll be looking liver wood, but the north star for me, and I'd love to hear what you are really feeling, is for everyone to have the opportunity to gain a further relationship with that spirit or personality that we associate with the liver. Liver, the Hun is what we're going to be exploring. And so we're going to be looking at practises, emotional mapping and insights, or mapping loose term, the emotional journeys. So the terrain of that, so that, over our life, we can experience and integrate that expression for us, that Hun expression for us individually. That's my north star, how are you feeling?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, my north star, very similar. I think it's important to talk about, in some ways, that the energetics of wood is distinct from the Hun soul, and in some ways they're very connected and that they inform one another. So I find it hard to talk about the Hun without also talking about this theme of hope and direction, because the liver and the wood element is about movement. It's really about becoming. It's the shooting up from the soil. It's that sprout that is climbing to the light and it's about really actualizing the Tao. And when I talk about Tao, I talk about the life purpose, is why we are here on the planet. And the Hun is what informs that Tao, is what informs the movement. Because there can be movement without the intelligence or the direction of the Hun soul. So I think of the Hun soul as almost like the messenger of heaven that comes down to inform where we're going, and it's the wood that propels us into that movement.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So I would say that that would be my north star, is to explore this movement is like, what is this movement? Where does it come from? What is the intelligent force behind that? And how can we constantly check in with the Hun soul to know that we're stepping in the right direction? And then, with that, also the emotions that come when that movement is blocked, like anger. How does anger express? How can I manage anger? How can I deal with hopelessness? That's a huge theme also of the wood element, hopelessness, depression, despair. How can I shift that and use this map of the wood element to inform, I don't love the word healing, but to inform maybe a more holistic approach to life.

 

Mason:

Well, because we're writing an article about the two sides of tonic herbalism at the moment. And one being that is the convalescence or the healing, and also, within a practitioner kind of sense, or preparing for going through into a treatment or something like that. And then there's that, which is when you're in flow and you're just taking them in order to maintain your flow. So there's two. For everyone listening, I guess some people are going to be in a stage where they're really resonating with that healing term and other people have, whether it's through the Taoist terminology or not, have found, okay, yeah, I feel like I'm working with my anger or my emotions and I'm going into a further integration of the wood element of that and that terrain. So I just wanted to point that out and for everyone listening as well, we understand that everyone's at multiple different stages of this.

 

Mason:

And I guess, for me as well, I'm just really looking forward to learning more because I feel like I've got a lot to learn this year, and I've got a lot to learn about as, I guess it only starts once the healing starts. That's when the journey really begins, once that liver wood Qi is flowing as informed by the Hun, and we start to get a relationship with the Hun in a way that's esoteric, perhaps understanding the terminology that's coming from those shamanic roots of Taoism as well as the uber practical real life. You don't have to mention Hun, you don't have to mention organ spirits. You can have a relationship with yeah...

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That's right. And you can think of it like the overarching theme, I guess, of what we will be discussing is really growth. It's growing in the direction of the Tao. Growing in the direction of your Tao. It is about becoming. It is an upward movement. That's, Really, I feel like, the heart of the wood element. And then the Hun informs that.

 

Mason:

Okay, well, something I know everyone will get is our out there esoteric conversations, and they're going to be peppered in everywhere. And I know something that's going to happen here is we want to make sure we're mapping out the various practises and distinctions of how you approach a practise to ensure you've got the best opportunity for your Tao, your destiny, to be informed by one's Hun. So there's many different things we can talk about. So let's dive in and all the magic conversation will come around it, but well, for you, I don't know if you've got a flow of where you want to start or a practise that you immediately want to jump into, but I don't want to make it a list about practises. That's definitely not it. It's about people understanding the terrain that we're entering and gaining a relationship. So let's dance into this oscillating conversation now.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

What's funny is you say, I don't want to list, but I literally have a list here. And I do that simply because-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I do that simply because I'm like, oh, I'll forget something. And then I'll listen to this later and be like, ah, I forgot that.

 

Mason:

I didn't mean in the sense of not a list from you, I guess. I don't know why... If you look at two minute noodle Instagram influencers at the moment, that think what they do with that before integration is actually occurred, it's the easiest thing to get health or Taoist share porn, is to just get a list and be like, help is easy. And spring's easy, just do these things. And I know for me last year, I knew it all and that just wasn't the answer for me. The list was not the answer for me. I'll talk about it later. There was something so much more fundamental than that going on, but then the list also helped me because it helped me stay afloat and not regress. So didn't mean, yeah, I like that you've got a list.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And when I go through, the thing is with the list is that you go through the list and then we talk about stuff as things come up. There's always a why behind every single practise that I suggest to people, and then that why we can pepper in our knowledge on the Hun and the wood element. So maybe we could just do it that way.

 

Mason:

I love it. And I know everyone's probably just, shut up Mason and let Steph talk. But you bringing up that question, why. I've been doing this a lot. In our business we use wealth dynamics, which is based off I-Ching and five element theory. And so we look at different departments or stages of the business or departments, we call them organ systems. And even people's profiles are dominated within particular elements. It comes with a question. And so for the wood, it's all about what. For me, it's what, what, what, what, what. Someone water would be like, why are we doing this? And that ties into the regulating cycle of, well, how are we going to do this? So if you find yourself, someone who's a metal type right now, and you're like, how is this possible? Know that metal is going to chop wood, where if you can bring yourself to ask what. What it is that I want, just those what questions, it's really conducive to that sprouting wood energy.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Totally. And even the metal, the metal is also the minerals in the soil that helps the wood grow. And talking about these elements, none can exist without the other. And same with the Wu Xing, the five spirits, is that the Hun is connected to all of them, they're all Xing. And it's all just expressing. It's how spirit expresses through nature and they all are connected. So do you want me to just go through the list?

 

Mason:

Yeah.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay. So on my list, I wrote it down this morning and broke it down into physical, emotional, and spiritual. Because everything, like we talked about in the Wu Xing podcast I did last year, everything exists on these three dimensions, physical, emotional, spiritual. So when I'm working with spring energy, I always think, okay, well what does this physical body need? What does the physical Jing layer need and require in spring? And so the first thing I have down here is movement. So when the wood element is out of balance, what happens is stagnation. So remember that the liver is all about moving up, it wants to move. And so when it can't move, we get stagnant. And that creates just a lot of, well, I get migraines. I was talking to Mason yesterday about my experience last spring of having a lot of migraines. So, for me, movement is really important.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So not the best time to be still or to just sit or even yin yoga. I would say less of that. Start moving your body, do things like shaking qigong or the tendon changing classics of the qigong exercises, where you're almost contracting and releasing the muscle. So that's going to help with the health of the tendons. So that's pretty much the number one thing. Sometimes for me, when I feel like, oh, I really need to move this energy. I'll go for a run. Go for a run. Do something that's going to really move the qi. So that's the first thing that I have.

 

Mason:

And I might tack onto the movement part of things because I'm really-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Please.

 

Mason:

I think for me, this year, my liver is flowing much more. I feel like I'm naturally there. I know last year, for me, it wasn't naturally there. I had to do what I could to, I know this is good for me to move at this time of year. But, for me, what was really coming about is when we look at the yin and yang and the liver, we look especially at an erectness and the ability to be supple. So that bamboo. So although I experience yin and yang in such the extreme, it's where yin and yang live was in the kidneys, the yin and yang expression of the liver is where you get to really play with it and find a harmony balance. I used the word balance now just because in homage to my dad, that's what he called it, the balance.

 

Mason:

And because, even if we look at the vessels, the Mai, one of the extraordinary Fu, you can look at the yang of the liver is what allows it to be erect. So the blood can flow smoothly and it's not all flabby and your top white bread, like the blood vessels. But then it could become too erect. And the yin of the liver is what brings the curvature. And if it's just all curvature, it's too floppy and doesn't actually spiral information with the universe or with the Tao. That perfect combination of as much yang and as much yin as you can have. So it was as much erectness and as much suppleness. So that's where I'd recommend. I mean, I love your practise. I just recommend everyone just jump onto Steph's Instagram and just save everything. Because the forms that you do are really, really amazing. And then, I don't know, have you gone and done the big... I can't remember what they're called, but have you gone created collections yet on your Instagram? So here's all the spring practises and the spring posts? I'll show it.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

No, I didn't even know you could do that. I have to.

 

Mason:

If you go to SuperFeast's Instagram, you'll see what... I think it's maybe the journals or something like that, but you'll see it there on the bottom thing where it's like, here's the feed, there's the reels, there's the videos. And then you go to the fourth one for us and it's all the journals and you'll see, there's three treasures...

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay. I'll have to do that. Because I actually recently posted, I think it was yesterday or something. It was a yin and qigong's very short sequence for liver qi stagnation. And this is also going to depend on constitution. So if you're a wood deficient kind of person and a wood deficient kind of person, you see a wood excess kind of person and they really shout. You can hear it in their voice. It's very shout. They're more aggressive. And I don't mean that in a bad way, but you can really feel the wood in them. Or even for me, I'm talking like that right now. I have a lot of wood in me, but a deficient wood person will talk like this. They'll almost like they can't even move at all forward. And so if you're more wood deficient, so then maybe doing something like a yin yoga practise, that's going to stimulate the inner thigh, which is where the liver channel runs.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And then the gallbladder channel, which is the outside of the leg. And then in that video, I also did ascending the yin, ascending the yang. So just moving the qi through the legs, the yin and yang channels through the legs. So it doesn't have to be long and it doesn't have to be complicated. Important thing is to do it often. I had a teacher once say once is never. You can't do something once. It doesn't work. So to pick something and just have some level of consistency with the movement. And just feeling it, am I more a deficient person? Am I more of an excess person? Do I need more movement or do I need more stillness in that? Exactly what you said, what is that balance between yin and yang? But the main thing is flow. If you're feeling stagnant, that's the worst. Liver doesn't like to be stagnant.

 

Mason:

No, that self-regulation piece. That's the apprenticeship. Everyone wants apprenticeship. You can do it with practise. And sometimes you need a little bit more and we'll put some links and we've always got resources. I find standing meditation at this time of year is probably my number one. All standing forms, but especially just standing for 10 minutes, 15 minutes. I cannot escape my imbalance and my self-regulation. And then layering onto that, series of shaolin stretching, which demands that you come back from your top range and you find that perfect harmony for you between strength and flexibility, especially within the joints and especially within the tendons. And you can feel that the impact on the ligaments. We'll put some links below all these resources, but that's where I find myself sitting at this time of year.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay, great. Okay then, so I'm just going to go on with the movement because this kind of ties into it. So when I'm practising qigong in spring, I'm going to focus on more exercises that work with purgation. So when we talk about purging, that's ridding ourselves of toxicity, any kind of stagnant qi. So using a breath that's more cleansing, meaning inhale through the nose and exhale. You'll see a lot in my videos, like the shaking qigong, shaking is a purgation exercise. It's letting go of what's no longer needed so that I can move forward. So if you think of a seed that's in the earth, when it sprouts, it doesn't take its shell with it. It leaves the shell. The shell is compost now. You got to let that shit go. You have to let that shit go in order to grow.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And so liver and the wood season, it's really important to do those more cleansing practises. So healing sounds. So sounds like even bija mantras, those kinds of things. The healing sound for the liver is guo. So I'll use a lot of guo sound or I think the Mantak Chia sound is a shuu sound. So the healing sounds are really great. Tapping and shaking, those are all ways that you can purge your energy body.

 

Mason:

Do you have any videos where you talk people through the healing sound?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I don't actually. So maybe that's next. Because there's actually a really great one where you do the liver self massage and have you ever done that, live self massage with the sound?

 

Mason:

Yeah, I don't know if Tahnee's... Tahnee's a Chi Ne Tsang practitioner, so she's big on... And studied with Mantak.

 

Stephanie Nosco: (23:00)

Oh nice.

 

Mason:

The healing sounds are big and every single event I do, I focus on people. Have you ever touched your liver? Because it's like, I've tried everything to heal my whatever, PCOS. Or I've tried everything and I'm like, have you touched your sexual organs? Have you touched your liver? And then I get everyone to get under that right rib. And it's amazing how many people are like, I've never touched my liver before.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Or some people don't even know where it is. Where is it? Under their ribcage on the right side. It's a big organ.

 

Mason:

Some people don't know their own [inaudible 00:23:38]. Some people don't know that actually their livers on the left.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That's crazy.

 

Mason:

That's crazy.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I'd be weirded out if mine was on the left and be like, I thought mine was on the right the whole time and I'm doing my healing sounds. Oh, that's funny.

 

Mason:

I think I might have just done a true liver healing sound for Instagram. I can't remember our last shoot day. So if we've done that, we'll put that, our one, in the show notes and I love your variation. I'd love to see your variation as well.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Sure. Yeah. The guo sound is the, it's what we use in the medical qigong clinics. If somebody comes in, we'll often do the guo sound with them. Another one, this is actually kind of a funny side note, but for the prescription, for people who have... Well, maybe I'll save that for a minute, because we're going to go into emotional. So that's more emotional. But anyway, I'll save that one. I'll go down the list. So when it comes to purgation and detoxification, you also, with spring, just being mindful of what you're eating. So choosing herbs that are going to help cleanse the body. So things like dandelion, milk thistle. This spring, I took a lot of milk thistle and being more of the deficient wood type, I also made sure that I was eating a lot of healthy foods that are going to nourish the blood. Because you have blood deficiency that can also influence the Hun soul and influence this feeling of hopelessness and depression.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So you think of hopelessness and depression and you think of, oh, that's an emotional mental issue. That person needs therapy. Yes, but it can also be a deficiency in what you're eating. So I take the fruit syrup like Floradix that really helps with the nourishment of my blood and then upward moving greens. So green vegetables that grow up. So anything that grows up, now is the time to eat those kinds of things. Yeah. I don't know if you have anything to add on that?

 

Mason:

I mean, I know some people like taking digestive enzymes and find it's something that's hard to keep, unless you've got no gallbladder. It's something hard to keep up and feel like, oh, where does this fit? I'm just doing it for the idea of how amazing digestive enzymes are. This is the time of year where I am attracted to see if this is when I can feel them having an impact. And I might just take them for a week as a little top up, or a kick down the line to help digest those fats. And as well, being a previous raw foodist, obviously I went too hard on all those upward directional greens, and then I've balanced out and been much more on a spleen, everything cooked and wintery kind of diet.

 

Mason:

But this is the time of year to find whether you are intolerant of being able to take greens, I think. And then for me it's always, at that point, been like there's something psychological there or perhaps there's something within the, I'll keep it in the Western terms, within your gut, your gut micro population that maybe it's worth... Actually, oh, I've actually got it right here. My microbe sampling thingamajig from, I think, Microba. Maybe if you can't digest greens, perhaps it's your constitution, for sure. But perhaps it's...

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Definitely.

 

Mason:

That makes stories about it. It's really useful to be able to ingest those greens that are fresh and light and not cooked. So yeah, I'd recommend using this time to maybe have a little look if there's a strain that isn't present that you need to digest fibres. Rather than going vegetables and greens aren't good for the body, because that's a big thing at the moment with carnivores.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. And, again, it comes down to listening and constitution and seasonality and all of that jazz. But we really can't talk about the liver without talking about diet, as it's just so much part of it for the health of the liver. And then also substances are going to affect the liver, particularly alcohol and then cannabis as well will affect moreso the spirit side of the liver, which maybe we'll get into a little bit later. But, again, it's not total abstinence. Again, it's about listening and balance and finding what works for you.

 

Mason:

I guess depending on what stage of relationship you have with substance or alcohol, especially. And I know, for me, when I'm busy at the moment, these little social things pop up, it helps for me to have the first month from September one. It's just a month off everything and a month off... Well, not everything, but it's off alcohol, reducing fats, eating fresher. And I've got that in my calendar and I've got a friend I do it with, and we've got a Facebook group we have there going and it just helps me stay focused on it.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Because seasonally it's a good time to do it. If you're going to do a cleanse, spring is definitely a good time to do it.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I have a little fast and a good old liver gallbladder flush. I don't mind. One a year, that's a nice place to be.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah.

 

Mason:

Yeah. And yeah, little three day fast, five day fast. I'll see what's good. But yeah, I agree. It's such a beautiful time to do it.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay. So next thing I have on my list, which this is relatively new for me. My teacher and mentor Lorie Dechar works a lot with flower essences and essential oils for the emotional and the physical side of elements and working with energy. So for spring, she had us... This year I'm doing my mentorship with her. She had us use bergamot. So bergamot is a really great oil to help with qi stagnation. It helps to break up the qi and move the qi. So even having just a little drop of bergamot, it's not even an expensive oil at all, on ear shen men or liver 14, the gate of hope. I wrote a piece on that somewhere. And then liver three as well, which is that right in between the two, your toe bones, the big toe bone and the little toe bone. It's right in there.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So I will use bergamot. I have bergamot because I'm a wood type. I have bergamot on my desk. I don't have it right now because I've been working more with rose and coriander because of the season changes. But during spring it's bergamot. I'm bathing in bergamot. Not actually, but it's one of my plant allies that I like to use for the spring season. And then, so that's kind of a physical. That's what I do for the physical liver and to support on the physical level. And then for the emotional level...

 

Mason:

Do you mind if I just add a couple, just the physical, just a couple of other things that just popped up for me?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Please, please, please. Yeah.

 

Mason:

It might sound silly but whether it's a professional, your own one, a little mani-pedi seriously gets me in the liver zone.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That's amazing.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I've got and you probably can't see it. I've had my professional pedi. You can see I chose, unfortunately I went for the purple and didn't take the green opportunity for the liver but I learned. My dad was just always walking around with his file and his buffer and getting all the crud out from around the nails, nails being connected to the liver.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

The liver.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I've been thinking about the peripheral nervous system as well, peripheral nervous system being regulated by the liver. And that's for a forest bathing at this time, being something that's so relevant because-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yes.

 

Mason:

That's a part of the liver wood and whether it's tree qi and you're awakening your nervous systems, improving nervous system's capacity to feel the reality of the qi and have your senses be cleansed. That's just getting off tech for a little bit, getting in forest bathing for a little bit. My friend Jake Cassar goes walk about every now and then. And he's like, my eyes just come back alive and my hearing just comes back alive. And that's the liver that regulates that. And then if your senses are clear, then your senses don't become what the six thieves, that thieve your Jing and you're getting on within your destiny. So even you don't have time to do lots of that bathing, even if it's just you sit before you take your herbs, just sit there, taste, sit with a plant or sit with a herb and just feel it.

 

Mason:

And everyone's like, oh, what is this hippie shit? And it's like, no, this is hardcore, data-driven capacity to go and to use that electrical sensory system and feel what's going on. Those inputs go through the heart. But if you don't sit there and actually be present and engage your peripheral nervous system, allow it to be cleansed, you bypass the heart and you just go straight to the intellect. And then you don't get great, grounded insight. So whatever you do, just picking a plant, your aloe vera, and I've got aloe vera there. And I just sit there and I'll just feel that aloe vera for 30 seconds, touch it, just pay attention to it. Then release for a bit, let the information go to the heart, engage again. And then I'll release completely and see what my intellect says about it. And quite often it's amazing the words that pop out or the feelings that pop out, and how accurate it is in terms of its energetics or its purple applications and stuff like that. So that's the only other piece that probably really does-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Connecting with plants. It's so important. Even if you have house plants, like you were saying, just connecting to the spirit of plants. And there's a one practise that, and I have it in my Instagram, it's qigong with a tree. So it's called expanding and contracting rings, but it's this one where you communicate with a tree. You go up to a tree and you commune with it, which is also actually part of the spiritual side of the Hun soul, which is active imagination, is communing with these archetypes, with these intelligence of nature. So one of the practises is you go up to the tree and you ask, can I work with you? And you do this qigong practise where you're exchanging energy from the tree down through the roots, through you. And that's one that I do in spring a lot. And actually the video I have is beautiful because it's this tree that's bursting in blossoms in spring. It's so awesome. Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up.

 

Mason:

I'm really glad I did. Really, we're going to make sure we get that link as well. And that's something I think everyone probably has heard us talk about tree qi at this point. And I think, from what Steph has said, and everyone's like, oh yeah, just connecting with trees. It's like, no, some trees don't want to work with you.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

No they won't. And they'll tell you. You'll know. Yeah.

 

Mason:

Important to listen to that.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I love all my house plants. I name them all. I name my trees in the back. I think it's nice to create that relationship with the natural world and to see other than human beings as part of the family, of your relationships, creating and establishing those relationships.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I mean, Western civilization is so magic and that we all know what happens when it disconnects. And it's just, for us, that's staying tethered to earth rhythms and earth patterns and indigenous wisdoms, all these. It could be as simple as this. And you're a part of the organism. It's not you going, let's go and do some trendy thing called tree qi. No, there's an exchange of qi that occurs in that, which you are symbiotically taking that qi, giving that qi. And then you're a part of the organism and it's beautiful. Good. Glad we went there.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, me too. Me too. Okay. So I think that's all I have for, oh yeah. So this one leads into the next. Sleep is really important and sleep, in particular, as we move into this more spiritual, emotional practises, to spend time dreaming. Really giving yourself to linger, especially in the early hours of the morning, or just let yourself linger in that dream space, that dreamy space. And starting introduce dream work is a really great, more spiritual and emotional practise that you can start to do. And I know Mason, you've been doing a little bit of dream work as well. Yeah.

 

Mason:

I think this is where jungian and Taoist dream work crosses over. But I've been doing it with my Jungian therapist, but more and more desiring to get that out of the practitioner office and into the home. And I was actually going to, I just went looking last night and I was thinking about bringing someone on soon, who's a Taoist dream practitioner. So maybe we can go into it there, but I wouldn't mind just hearing you talk a little bit more about what that dream space, what you mean by staying in that dream space. Because it's something I, even though I'm a wood type, I sometimes devalue it or don't feel like it's efficient enough or I don't know. Because it's so practical. Like the general of the army dreaming up within, after taking stock of what we've got. But there is artistry and there is creativity there. So yeah, I'd love just to flesh out that world a little bit more.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay, sure. I feel like we're skipping over emotional and psychological. We're going right to spiritual, but we can always bounce back.

 

Mason:

Yeah. Cool. All right. Cool. Yeah.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I mean, they're connected, but that's okay. We'll go into this because this really relates to the Hun soul. So the Hun soul, like I said, with the liver it's all about movement. Am I moving in the direction of my Tao, my purpose? And when we sleep, the Hun, it's an ethereal soul. So just like the Po, the Po comes and goes when we die. It comes into the body when we're alive and, when we die, it goes back to the earth. The Hun follows the Shen, so that's our consciousness or our mind. And it leaves the body when we sleep to collect information. So it goes and it collects this information and it brings it back to us through our dreams. Now what I think is there's a benefit in even just having a dream, even if you don't remember the dream. It's like some level of your consciousness is getting some information to take with you into your daily life, whether or not you're conscious of it or not.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So that's the first step of just giving yourself enough sleep to actually dream. So setting your alarm. Sometimes what I'll do is I'll set my alarm and then I'll turn it off. And then I'll just let myself linger in that space where I'm almost awake, but I'm still kind of in REM sleep. And I find that in that early hours of the morning is when I can remember the dream, which is the second step, having the dream, benefit. Remembering the dream is another benefit. And this is one of the things I've been working with. John, my partner, and I will do dream work. And he is like, I didn't remember it, but I'm like, even if it's one thing. Oh, I dreamt I was filling up my Dixie cup at the office. That one symbol is enough. Or I dreamt of an elk.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I would say that's a big symbol. But if you can just remember one symbol, you can get a lot out of just working with that one thing. So I find that that's less overwhelming than trying to remember a narrative, a full front to back narrative of a dream. You don't need that. It's just these pieces. They're like little bits of gold. Yeah. So that would be the second stage of dream work is remembering the dream. And then the third stage of dream work would be to tell somebody, because it's bringing what's unseen and hidden into the seen dimension. So telling someone. And that has benefit because, like you said, oh, I don't have enough time for dreaming or it seems not practical, but to actually honour the message of the dream also has its own benefit. And then can I keep going with the steps or is this too much?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Okay. So then the next step after you tell, or you write down, is connecting. So then you want to make connections between, okay. So what does the Dixie cup, I don't know why I'm using this Dixie cup at work thing. I dreamed of an elk recently. I'll use this symbol. So I dreamed, the symbol that I had was an elk with its back sliced open and it was hollowed out from the back. It was like a canoe, but there was blood everywhere. And there was blood literally leaking out everywhere through water. So I had this very powerful image. So now I'm going to start making connections. What does an elk, what associations do I have with the elk? Not necessarily like, oh, I'm going to go on the dream dictionary and be like, elk means this. What does it mean to me? What does this slice from the back and that blood flowing out mean to me? Now, knowing that I have blood deficiency, that could be also indicative of something physical, which it was.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And then also, for me in that time, there was a lot of people taking my energy, from clients to... Because I'm also a psychotherapist. So it's from clients to family members and I felt drained. So then making that connection, there's going to be the next stage, which is the insight. But something as big as an elk with its back hollowed out, with the blood flowing, that's a dream that's going to stay with me probably for my whole life. And one of the things that my teacher Lorie said with dream work is it's not like we don't want to place meaning on a dream. This is what it means. It's more like how can the dream live through me as an open question, rather than trying to pull an answer from it? That's really important, but we can use things like our imagination to even have a dialogue with the dream.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So we'll do things like, okay, I'm going to go into a space of meditation and actually dialogue with this elk. What would that elk tell me? So there's different exercises that you can do to really dive into the dream. And then the last stage, which is the most important one, is the action. So what are you going to do about the dream? You've made these associations and you've had these insights. So now what are you going to do? So, for me, with the elk bleeding from the back, I recognised that I needed help. I needed help in my business. I needed to set boundaries with clients. I needed to pull back a little bit on my load and I needed to remember to take my Floradix and eat regularly and make sure that I'm sleeping. So those are little actionable steps.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

It could even be something like a ritual. If it's a really big dream, maybe doing a ritual to just anchor the unseen in the seen dimension. And that's really what the Hun is all about. The Hun wants to come down. It wants to come down and be expressed through the material world. And that's where we see the Hun so imbalanced, is when people just have all of these ideas and spirituality can be something that's so ethereal. But the Hun wants to come down and be in the seen world. So that's been my practise lately with the dreaming, and it's been pretty incredible and opened up a lot of things for me in a very profitable way.

 

Mason:

I think what you just said there, especially for someone... Hook's my favourite movie. It shows just the level of depth of how much you need to go in and live and get lost on adventures, and then find your way back and go and then remember, and then integrate. That's the whole Siddhartha, going and working in the importing exporting business, getting lost. And that's like Peter Pan growing up and getting lost as an acquisitions banker and then going, okay. And then hopefully taking stock and coming back to the dream, learning how I've got the skills now that are so practical and how to manifest in this world. And I feel like that's what it's been like for me with SuperFeast. I wanted to run away constantly back to Neverland. And I'll share about a little bit later when we get to the spiritual and emotional perhaps of this, what my remedy was for getting back into that flow.

 

Mason:

But what you just said then on wanting to bring it down into reality. And it's so nice. And, for me, so easy just to stay within the dreaming and stay within the visioning, and then make an identity out of that. And maybe even nearly going and making a career about that, and just sharing that, and it's attractive and it's charismatic, but at some point, really it's not your destiny. So then that's just where I think losing yourself and how to gain those skills, whether it's business or whatever, doesn't have to be business. But that's a very practical thing that gives you practical skills in the real world. And then all of a sudden that integration occurs between dreaming and practical skills and-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Very practical changes in your life. Wow. I feel like I'm deficient and that there's energy leaking out of my back. Okay. What am I going to do about that?

 

Mason:

Yeah. What a dream.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

It was a great dream. And also to read, I also made the association with, in Chinese medicine, the elk is the divine masculine. It is the masculine. My acupuncturist told me that they use elk horns for any kind of masculine issues like erectile dysfunction. They'll use bits of elk horn for stimulating that. So I was like, oh, there's something about this masculine energy that's being pulled and drained. But I made that association because I speak the Chinese medicine language, but it's only me who can interpret the dream because, if someone else dreamed of an elk, that association wouldn't have resonance and so your soul won't choose that image. It won't choose it.

 

Mason:

Have you taken elk antler or deer antler?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I haven't.

 

Mason:

I'll send you some deer antler.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Have you?

 

Mason:

Yeah, we've got deer.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Oh, cool.

 

Mason:

We've got farms up in the north of China. I'll send you a video of us at the deer farm.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Oh, that's amazing. That would be great.

 

Mason:

Because that's exactly. That's the backbone is it's all deer antler.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, cool.

 

Mason:

Beautiful. Thanks. I don't need to go too much into this. I can type here what I see here and the general of the army is quite often what I think about. One side of the coin mirrored by the artist, the dreaming artist. When I think of the skills, it's one thing to be a dreamy artist that just travels around busking and just sharing poetry. That's a great skill and it's good to not lose that, I find, is what I'm getting for myself here. But the general has got such practical skills at taking stock of how much food have we got? How much essence have we got? How much Jing have we got? Have we actually got the skills to go about this campaign? Is there any adversaries out there? If I just try and tear away, the risk is too grand.

 

Mason:

So if I try and go and buy this property or whatever it is, am I being realistic here in terms of, do I have the skills? Do I have the finances? All those kinds of things. That's the beautiful part of the liver. And, for me, it's been the hardest to integrate with that practicality. But when those merge it's magic.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And I would even make a distinction because the liver really... So let's go into more psychological, emotional. So when we think about the liver, so the liver, like you said, relates to the eyes and it relates to vision. So it's like the liver says, okay, I'm moving somewhere. Where am I going? Can I see that? Can I see that as a possibility? The gallbladder is what says, okay, so then the liver has this vision. It's like the blueprint, like the architect, but then it's the gallbladder that's going to say, okay, so now what kind of materials do we need? Who do we need to hire to build the building? When are we going to do it? And I didn't learn that until not so long ago, that there is a distinction between that liver energy of seeing and broad picture, and then the gallbladder energy of, okay, so here's the details. This is what we're going to do to bring that into fruition or to start the movement. So I just thought that was kind of a...

 

Mason:

Yeah. As the gallbladder distributing the qi smoothly, taking everything.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Exactly. Yeah. And so with emotions, if we don't have that, then we don't have the long term, where am I going vision, and then the ability to plan and execute our vision. Then we get stagnant. We get stagnant in our life. So we think about physically qi stagnation causing a whole bunch of problems, which I won't name right now, because that would be a whole other talk. But emotionally, when we're stagnant, we feel rudderless or we're just kind of wandering around with no direction and we're not becoming. We're not really enacting our soul's purpose. And so I guess a practise or a tool would be to, again, leave time to not only vision and map out where you're going, the big picture, but also giving yourself time to plan out the details.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So planning and visioning, that's something that will be really helpful to do in spring. And spring is also this time of renewal. It's like, okay, this is the beginning. And it's hard at the beginning. If you think of a little sprout, it's so little and it's vulnerable. And so to really have a good plan so that you can execute and to start those new projects and new plans, new directions.

 

Mason:

That's probably a good point, just I'll try and be really succinct and quick because I know I resonate so much with having a plan and I like planning. And sometimes what I've found the last couple of years is I've found it, the planning process, really frustrating because I can't ground it. And I can go and I can share all the other symptoms. It's not been hard in terms of, I've had times in my life where things are happening, which are really, really stressful. But in terms of the intensity and bottle-necking at the gallbladder, more or less, so many things are coming through that need to pass through. As well as a spleen that's not able to actually digest everything that's happened to me the last decade or so. It's left me being quite ungrounded in my visioning and just very, very quickly keeping it in, I guess, in the cycle of [inaudible 00:51:14] with hero's journey, is exactly what the cycle of these seasons and elements are.

 

Mason:

For me, it was really looking at what mothers the liver, and what's going to give it that grounded essence, which is the kidney water. And, for me, if you imagine Luke Skywalker when he is with Yoda, he has to go into the cave and face his darkest fear about what he's going to become, or realising that maybe he will become Darth Vader or maybe he will lose his way. And I've had to do that. And because I've been so busy in so many new things going on, I ensured that I had someone to talk to who was a professional about that. But nothing was ever going to take away the fact that I needed to sit down. It was just a classic sitting in my shit, but I needed to face my fears and all that in which is I needed to let go of the rock walls and actually float in the water of...

 

Mason:

I thought at this stage I wouldn't have to be running a company. I thought I'd be here. I thought I'd be this kind of personality. I thought I wouldn't have all these responsibilities. I thought this. All of those things, I face it all. And because I went through the season of winter, I've got such a nourishment and an ease to the wood element this season for me, because maybe did I do it perfectly? No. Is there a perfect? No. Do I have more to do?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Do we ever do it perfect?

 

Mason:

Yeah. So it's not like, ah, things going to be amazing for Mason forever now. But it's like, my gosh, the flow and that visioning. I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm comfortable. When I think of the planning, I don't need to have everything done yesterday, or I'm not scared to commit to a plan, or I'm not scared to commit to another year doing this hard gritty work, or a lifetime of doing little tinkerings around the house. I'm not trying to escape anymore. And for maybe some people that resonates when you're a liver type or go maybe more... I don't want to label it.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, it could be all these ideas plan after plan, but there's no roots. Again, that's the thing you remember about a tree, is you got a root somewhere to really grow to the potential, otherwise it's a little sprout here, a little sprout there, and it can feel like a little bit, like you were saying, ungrounded. But it's the roots that reach to the water and draw that nourishment up in order to grow. And then, on the other side of that, some people have, for me, I'm similar to you. I have lots and lots of ideas and there often is no rootedness or movement. And then I have a hard time. Wood element people tend to have a hard time making those decisions, making the decisions and executing. And then there's the opposite person who feels totally hopeless. I don't have any idea whatsoever.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And that's where the Hun is so great because the Hun offers us that imagination, the imagination to see possibility even when circumstances seem quite dire. It's like, oh, and then the Hun comes in. It's like, oh, but you could go this way. Yes, you might have come up against this obstacle, but what about going this way? And that's where the Hun comes in, it's that imagination. I can see what's possible. And if I can see what's possible, then that's going to get you out of that space of depression or hopelessness, which can also happen with the wood element.

 

Mason:

Well, let's stay in this emotional wonderland, this is great.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Sure. Yeah. That's great. So, with emotion, two things that I wanted to say. The one thing is that the emotion that will be associated with the season of spring is anger. Anger can express outwardly. So that's physical violence, being passive aggressive. So when I say that, you know who you are. It's being passive to evoke anger in others, which is an interesting one. And then anger can also be inflicted in. So the emotion of shame as well, self-denigration and the inner critic.

 

Mason:

Before we go there, because that's such an important piece what you said, but I just want to go back to the being passive and invoking anger. So avoiding anger in others or avoiding conflict, is that what you mean there?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Or even just not texting back, those kind of things. Doing things that are more passive-

 

Mason:

Get out of my head, Steph. Oh no, I've been seen, called out.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So it can be subtle forms, even gossiping. Just subtle forms of aggression can be expressed outward. And then also in. And then what I've noticed in myself is that that aggression can actually block creativity. So lately I've been working on this writing project and I'll be writing away and then the judgement or the inner critic will come say, oh, that's stupid. No, you can't say that. Or who are you to be writing a book or whatever. And that is a big depression. It prevents the movement of the creativity out, which ends up making me even more irritable and the anger almost multiplying. So I've noticed that in myself,

 

Mason:

I'd really love to talk to it, because I think you've got a lot of insight there and this is taking the map from being the map and then landing in the terrain. There's a difference between, don't be angry at yourself, or looking at the poster of TZM and liver is anger and don't self-deprecate. Instead, be like, yes, you can do it and be creative. I think when you get on the terrain, when you get in actually on the ground, it's a lot deeper than that because I can see what is prevalent is people giving advice based on the map and going, don't listen to that inner critic. Just go out and do you. And then, for me, that ungrounds me if I ever listen to that advice, because I'm not following the thread of that self-deprecation and allowing it to alchemize into the creativity, I'm bypassing feeling [inaudible 00:57:16].

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I was just going to say, it's bypassing.

 

Mason:

Yeah. Why am I self-deprecating?

 

Stephanie Nosco: (57:20)

Yeah. Just saying, oh, not. So then it's like fighting fire with fire, right? If you're like, but I'm so angry at that inner critic. I'm just going to have aversion to that inner critic. Go away. I can do it. That's not at all what we want. What we want is to actually bring the Hun, so I'm coming back to spirit, but we want to bring awareness. The Hun, which we can also think is those frontal parts of our brain, the benevolence. And this is another thing that the Hun relates to, is benevolence and kindness. You're going to bring that awareness down into the root of that inner critic, whether that's rooted in childhood trauma, whether that's rooted in a belief system that is maybe transgenerational or whatever, you're taking that light and you're shining it down. And what that's doing is it's marrying the Hun and the Po, which maybe we'll talk even more about when we get into the fall. But it's really important to bring in that spirit of compassion to the critic, which seems kind of counterintuitive.

 

Mason

Well, yeah, look, I might just be putting my own process on here, but it's what we're here for, to learn. From when I have experience, what we're talking about Hun here and going, coming down and looking at, say, an emotion that is, for me, I mean, my reaction is when I do something maybe not as prevalent now, but is like, ah, you're a piece of shit, to myself. I know exactly what you're... Trying to avoid it and overcome it is something I've probably done.

 

Mason:

And then when I sit in it and I sit with a bird's eye view of Hun, I go, well, maybe that's just a poor quality statement. What's a more refined way that, especially when uniting with the earthly aspect Po, and I go, what am I actually saying? It's like, maybe you're just striving a little bit too hard, or you're not staying within the purview of what you are interested in. You're trying to be an expert when you're not an expert, you're just you and you're sharing your experience. And the quality increases and that's when the alchemy can happen. I don't know if that fits in the world of your understanding of it?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, totally. And I would even add to that. I would say that that part of you that says that you're a piece of shit is actually trying to protect you and has been an aspect of protection. And where anger comes in is anger protects. Anger protects because it wants to grow. What element wants to grow to what it needs? And so if you didn't get your needs met in the past, we have these parts of ourselves that are protecting. So to bring that spirit of compassion and be like, oh, I can really see that this part of me that's self-critical, this construct of myself, was created so that I could survive middle school or I could survive my extra critical father who I could never be good enough. And so that's that compassion piece. And I work with clients a lot with this work, internal family systems therapy, parts work, whatever you want to call it, and bringing that spirit of compassion to the different aspects of ourself. And when we can do that, we also can have that compassion outwards.

 

Mason:

I mean, talking about the emotions with you here, it's a huge topic. And I think trauma is a massive topic, blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff. But, as you said, an essential map.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

It is. And I do want to say one more thing about compassion because I could talk a lot about compassion, but I actually wrote this quote down and I know it's kind of like, hopefully it's not too disjointed if I read it, but it's by Hojo San. And he says, this is linking imagination with compassion because the Hun is imagination. And so I think it's really impossible to be truly kind and compassion if you don't have imagination. So he says this, "The kind heart is imagination. The kind heart is imagination. Feeling for another requires imagination. Imagination expands the heart." So it's that old cheesy saying of walking in another's shoes, whether it be the anger that we feel towards someone else or the anger that we feel towards those parts of ourselves, it requires a little bit of imagination. It's like, oh yeah. Can I transport myself back to when I was 12 and I had that thing happen to me or whatever? Or can I transport myself into that person's shoes that I'm just furious about? So it really requires this imaginative capacity and that is all liver. That is liver.

 

Mason:

Oh, there's so much there. I was just thinking about Hook. At the end they're like, just one happy thought. Just imagine. When they've served the food and he is like, there's no food here, Gandhi ate more than this. And they're like, you're doing it. And then he imagines and he starts playing.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, I remember that part. Yeah. He can fly. Yeah.

 

Mason:

Yeah. Well that leads to-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

We have underdeveloped imaginations. We need to work on it.

 

Mason:

You bring up the traumas and remembering what happens as a child, and that they live in harmony when that imagining and that playfulness and that imagining comes up and it's the same in Hook. Sorry to bring it back and everything. At some point he starts playing and engaging and then, I remember my mother. And he remembers when he felt abandoned by his mother and he got the capacity to return there. And it's like, ah, okay. I thought I would remember it and then my playfulness and imagination would come back. But in fact it was my imagination and playfulness that allowed me to access.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yes, exactly. It's the Hun holding the Po, and it's this relationship. So I love that.

 

Mason:

I think we went there that you mentioned shame and I think it's an important part of this. Does this tie off the back of what we're just talking about here in this emotional map?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

So shame happens. Brene Brown says, "The difference between shame and guilt is guilt is, I did something bad, and shame is, I am bad." And so basically shame happens with that anger turning in towards the self. And it's also that really, I think, forgetting who we are. It's that ultimate forgetting. Forgetting that we are part of everything else. And I think, for me, I've had a long journey with shame. I think the other day you were talking about the shades of shame. I think shame can show up in so many different ways. And so, I mean, the compassion piece, I think, is a good way to make yourself dig yourself out of that shame spiral. But then also sometimes I need to go for a run. So you can use the other spiritual and the physical to work with the emotional. You can use the other tools from your tool belt to work with things like a shame spiral.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I think you're right. It's an important piece there. We don't always have to go into our own psycho-analysis here and sometimes-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

No, and sometimes it's not helpful. Go for a run, shift the space, shift the energy, start again, move the qi and don't lose hope. That's the number one thing is don't lose hope. And the wood element is all about determination. So it's like, okay. Shit. I was caught in a shame spiral. Okay. Well, guess what, tomorrow I'm going to get up and I'm going to go again. So I'm going to start again.

 

Mason:

The emotional piece. This is where some of the tonics come in and we have little... I'll be very brief. I've talked about it before, but in that tonic herbal piece, if that emotional processing and qi and molecular buildup is too much and the liver is taking on too much and can't process it, that concept of the bupleurum formulas, which is its own major family of formulas and ones that are able to dredge the liver. From a practitioner perspective, if you're in that space or you can go and have... They are tonic herbs, but good to work with a practitioner. Something like Free and Easy Wanderer is one of the most common formulas that it's been prescribed at the moment, because it's tonic in the sense that it doesn't actually tone the treasures. It just works completely on that distribution of qi through the gallbladder and dredging that gallbladder so it can be distributed.

 

Mason:

And when there is a smooth flow of qi, then the treasures lead to it. So it's an accompanying tonic herb. Maybe you don't do that. Maybe it is the herbs you've talked about, the liver herbs. That's why 100 Days of Schizandra is a tonic herbal initiation, because the liver gallbladder is so toned in that process that you have greater ability to not get pent up and have so much qi coming through the liver that your gall bladder can't handle, then, the smooth distribution and processing. Or run. It's just moving your qi. That's why...

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Again, it's movement. Yes. If there's stagnation, there's going to be anger. That's what it is. If you think about energetically, it's like gas in a bottle or baking soda and vinegar in a bottle, and it just starts to build up pressure. So there's no movement. Oh yeah. I forgot to say the prescription exercise in medical qigong, for somebody who hasn't expressed their anger, because that can lead to depression. If we don't express it, if the energy has nowhere to move, and if it's just turned in on itself, it can lead to many things, especially stagnation and even cancers. So what we do is we do the beating the bag. So we get a bag of rice and we give somebody a dowel and they go and they go ha, ha, ha, and hit this bag as hard as they possibly can. And I actually beat the bag often.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I have a dowel and I have my bag of rice. And then after you beat the bag and you're yelling the ha sound, then you do the guo sound, and you do the self massage. And that's the prescription. We give her liver qi stagnation and that needing to express emotions that haven't been expressed. Because some of us have been repressing our anger forever because anger isn't a nice emotion. It's not a virtuous emotion. It's one that, especially for women, we're not supposed to feel or express. On the other hand, the energy of anger can be really helpful in case of injustices and standing up for what you believe in. Because we don't want to, that's the part of becoming, is we're here to do something and sometimes we do want to rock the boat. And so that energy isn't a bad thing. We want to let it move, but am I moving in a way that's skillful and also using the light of the Hun's benevolence?

 

Mason:

That's huge. And that takes contemplation, a lot of condemnation, especially when there is so much energy of how much is wrong and how much social justice there is.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Totally. And, again, there's no right. It's maybe just treading and making mistakes and...

 

Mason:

Well, this is where the Tao, what's our north star of our destiny or our Tao, and going through the cycle and feel like, are you living in that anger consistently? Okay. Then that's perhaps you're just complaining about it and you're not actually moving towards a resolution. It's not, in terms of-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

It's not going anywhere.

 

Mason:

...Not going anywhere.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I'm angry, I'm angry. I'm constantly angry or I'm constantly depressed. Both are expressions of an imbalanced wood.

 

Mason:

And anything like that in a living organism doesn't thrive. So I know that's a hard thing for everyone to hear. And it's a hard thing for me to hear when I've been there. And it's like, sometimes you look down the barrel. I know you're feeling it and I know it's very real, but you have a responsibility. You're a human unit. You're a beautiful human. You have a responsibility to resolve this at any cost and keep on moving towards your destiny.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

And trusting. Also trusting in your creativity to find solutions to your way around it. There's always going to be a solution. You just have to wait for it and listen for it, and you'll find your way through. You'll let that energy move. And it's like that little piece of grass that bumps up against the cement of the sidewalk. It finds its way. It kind of finds its way. But I experience this liver energy a lot when I'm driving, like with road rage. It's like, ah, I have to be somewhere. And then you get that red light or it's coming up against those blocks. We all know that feeling of banging our head against the wall almost, but just stopping and maybe taking an alternate route. That's what the Hun soul guides us towards.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I mean, it's pure leadership qualities. The diversity of the Hun soul is exactly what we describe leadership qualities to be.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Leadership. Yes.

 

Mason:

Oh my gosh. I'm so inspired. I feel really well. I'm feeling all the feels.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I feel inspired too, especially talking about the wood and the Hun. It's one of my favourite spirits and, being more wood constitution, it's such a nice place to start.

 

Mason:

It is. Within the business and within myself, within Taoism is moving towards destiny. But it's like the cultivation or the expression of the shining of one's Shen. It's such a purpose and intention for us to be elders that are rad. And that we're able to manoeuvre our emotions and be that vortex of energy that people come towards, in order to increase that emotional intelligence of our race. And so talking about it, especially for me, you were talking about sprouting. It's something I projected onto two minute noodle shamans and health influencers, but it's because I've come. It's my susceptibility. It's the only reason I talk about it so much and why I talk about it in my standup comedy. It's why I rip into it so much because it's my thing that can derail me. And probably did derail me the most is getting so addicted and that energy of what happens at the sprouting stage.

 

Mason:

And then, within the community, you're like, oh my gosh, I've really made it. I've sprouted and that's when stage persona comes about with people like, oh my gosh, you're amazing. I can't believe you just did that. And you're like, okay. So based on my stage persona or the accolades I'm getting from here or there, this is really good. And then it goes, okay, cool. Now take root. And now get down and dirty, don't keep on going to... Because everyone goes, okay, cool. Now that's all the big bang of sprouting is done. All right. It's not so interesting anymore. It's not so cathartic anymore. And then the real slow methodical work of a true leader begins. And it's so difficult.

 

Mason:

And, for me, I've always resonated with the Peter Pan syndrome and going, okay, cool. Let's just run away again and go somewhere else. When there's more low hanging fruit, for lack of a better word, that is going to cheer about my sprouting again. And slowly but surely it gets less and less dopamine inducing. You go to a new environment, start [inaudible 01:12:31] you again. And you're like, huh, this doesn't actually have that much substance. And it's like, no, it doesn't. You haven't stopped and taken root and gone down that truth. That true-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Absolutely.

 

Mason:

Yeah. So I'm feeling-

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. And one more thing I want to say as far as, because we've been talking a lot about practises, but one thing I didn't mention is just something really simple that my teacher, Lorie, calls the pause practise. Or I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Tara Brock. She calls it rain, but it's basically just pausing. And it doesn't have to be a 30 minute sit, but it's pausing. And especially in those moments where you feel like, oh, I'm Peter Panning again, or I'm reactive again. Or when you feel like your wood is out of balance or I'm depressed again, is to stop and turn the awareness, the Hun awareness, down into the body. Okay, what's happening for me? In Tara Brock's rain, you recognise what's happening. You allow what's happening. You investigate it as a sensation in the body and then you nurture it. To me, that step. So nurture means, okay, what do I need now? What's the next step? And to just take that pause so that the movement of your life becomes consciously guided rather than reactive.

 

Mason:

And then the study of yin yang comes back in. That pause in one is like, all right, am I being too assertive and erect? And some yin of curvature comes in to cool the approach. And it's just that these... It's so good. This is so good. Can you believe we get to talk about this and share this?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

I know. It's amazing. Yeah, it's really awesome. And it's nice to be able to talk with somebody who also has the language so that we can explore these themes at a deeper... Take a deeper dive.

 

Mason:

Yeah. I really appreciate you taking the time. Because, for me, in terms of being a practitioner around this... But for me, I just like being a fan and I like being in the messy decentralisation and seeing how it fits into in the Western world and into a lifestyle. And so your willingness to come in and have these open conversations is really amazing. And I know, for our community, it's the same appreciation. And I'm sure they're echoing me and I'm really excited about this year ahead. I feel like something's really landing in SuperFeast's educational offerings through this process as well, rather than being everywhere. This is so central to the success of our intentions here and the herbs. And so just really, really excited about that.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That's my pleasure. Yeah. Thank you for having me again. And I'm excited for summer, for the fire element.

 

Mason:

I'm excited for autumn as well already. And I've been feeling you going into it is giving me butterflies, because I think I've only just started to really, really appreciate just how savagely impactful it is on everything that I hold dear to my heart, in terms of the way that I show up in the world. So I'm excited for you guys going in there.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm definitely resonate the least with the metal element. And so it's definitely my area of growth, growing edge. So yeah, I'll definitely let you know how my season goes, my fall season.

 

Mason:

Well, yeah, I think we'll hopefully hear about it and look, I think there's many, for everyone listening, Steph's Instagram, amazing. Have you got a newsletter or anything? I actually didn't check whether [inaudible 01:16:28].

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah, I have a newsletter and I also have a Mighty Networks learning community and it's totally free to join. And then I also post my upcoming courses on that platform. So yeah, free to join my Mighty. I have some free content on there and then my Instagram and then my newsletter, my website and all that jazz. Just my name, Stephanie Nosco. Although I will say I have imposters. I have imposters now on Instagram that are impersonating me and asking people for readings. So just be careful. It's just my name. Just Stephanie Nosco.

 

Mason:

We've got those as well. It shows you've made it.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah.

 

Mason:

I think the thing about it, it's nice, Stephanie, you're so consistent. And so there. So, for everyone here, it's nice to know. It's what SuperFeast endeavours to do is walk with you on your tonic herbal journey and always be here. And you can go away for a year and come back and know that the message is going to be consistent. And it's the same I really like about your messaging, Steph. You're landing it. Which, for many people, you might know exactly what we're talking about in terms of educators, I think, especially when we get to this age. It's a beautiful thing to watch that landing occur and such. It is a metal thing, having precision about the way that we're executing a sort of thing of beauty. So yeah, I think everyone will really appreciate. Just stay tuned into Steph's content. We've got a year together. Maybe we'll get some lives going on as we go along and get little updates of your seasons over there for our Northern hemisphere crew and for our SuperFeast team that works up there in the Northern hemisphere.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

That'd be great.

 

Mason:

Yeah, on prosper. Is there anything...

 

Stephanie Nosco:

You're onward and upward.

 

Mason:

Onward and upward.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

You're onward and upward and I'm on onward and downward right now.

 

Mason:

That's true. Nothing specific at the moment that you want people to go and check out? Just generally follow you, newsletter, and that platform?

 

Stephanie Nosco:

Yeah. Follow my newsletter. I'm running a yin and five spirits training and I'm really excited about it because we're doing a descent. So we start in the fall at the end of October, and then we go through the five months of winter and then we come out on spring equinox. Which would be opposite for you guys. But I do have two Australians taking it. It is almost full. I'm not sure it might be full by the time this airs, but any case, I run that every year. So just check out my website.

 

Mason:

Beautiful. Thank you and we'll see you in summer.

 

Stephanie Nosco:

See you in summer.

Back to All

Next

The Two Sides of Tonic Herbalism: The Herbs To Build or Replenish

Think about your balance between YinYang being one very long song and dance that lasts your whole life. In this article, we consider the nature of the flux between YinYang and how a consistent tonic herbal practice is the ultimate...

Read more
The Two Sides of Tonic Herbalism: The Herbs To Build or Replenish