Why Old People are Grouchy
Energy becomes negative when it is not flowing. Lack of movement leads to stuck energy, which leads to negative emotions. Negative emotions lead to lack of movement and it begins again. Stuck energy in the heart leads to cruelty, hatred, and impatience. Stuck energy in the liver leads to anger and frustration. When the spleen energy stagnates, we begin to worry. The same is true with fear in the kidneys and depression in the lungs.
Practicing positive emotions and expressing them in our lives helps energy to move. It is said that love is verb; and I guess the same could be said about kindness, trust, confidence, and stillness. (Is stillness really a verb? The doing of non-doing? Perhaps we must make ourselves be still?) Anyway, it’s not true that all old people are grouchy, as the title suggests. Perhaps a better title is that stagnant people become immersed in their negative emotions. Whether old or young, when we don’t have movement, we don’t have life. The water of the lymphatic system becomes stagnant like water in a shallow ditch.
The good news is that people who practice movement stay young. Practicing positive virtues multiplies positive virtues. Taoists have a range over exercises for moving the energy of the body. I like to think of Taoist practices in terms of the evolution of life. A baby begins by laying on its back, like strengthening the spine and psoas muscle in Taoist yoga. Next, the baby starts to sit up and smile, like the Taoist meditation of the inner smile. Eventually, the baby stands and finds its balance, like Iron Shirt Chi Kung. Finally, the baby can walk, like the practice of Tai Chi.