Autumn is the season of letting go. Following the growing season of summer and the harvest of late summer, the energy starts to pull back and move inward. This time of year the leaves start to change color as they prepare to die and fall to provide nourishment to the earth. The trees let go of their leaves each in their own way and own time.
As part of nature, we too need to let go. Letting go is part of the life cycle and is necessary. We need to continue to make room for fresh inspiration and new life. If we hold on and get stuck physically, mentally or spiritually, our health and well-being may be compromised.
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of the Metal Element and grief is the emotion. In nature, the tree must drop its leaves and let go of what is not needed. By drawing its energy inward, the tree is able to rest and gain strength in the winter so it can start the growing cycle again in the spring. As it relates to human emotion, grief helps cleanse us and is appropriate. However, when the energy of Metal is blocked or imbalanced within us, our expression of grief may become imbalanced and inappropriate. It may be excessive and ongoing or we may be unable to express it.
The organs that correspond to the Metal Element are the Colon and the Lungs. These organs work together and have heightened energy during this season. Our Colon supports us in letting go and helps make room for fresh inspiration to come in through our Lungs. If we are unable to let go, we become constipated - physically and mentally. We become toxic, negative, and have no room to notice what inspires awe let alone have the capacity to bring it in through our lungs.
The Lungs in Chinese Medicine relate to the Heavenly Father and our connection to something greater than ourself. If cut off, we may feel a longing and search for connection and value elsewhere and may turn to material things for instance. This only fulfills us briefly as everything in the material world loses its value and the real source of the quest is always a reconnection to spirit as it manifests in all of life.
If our Colon and Lungs are not functioning properly, we might experience any number of symptoms both physical as well as emotional ~ breathing problems, cough, allergies, nasal congestion, colds, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin problems, depression, and negativity. In my private practice, I have seen an increase in the number of clients with sinus and skin problems this month. The skin remember is another organ which allows us to breathe. In Chinese medicine it is referred to as the "third lung".
Treating the Metal Element, especially during the Fall season, can help someone get "unstuck". We are creatures of habit and some habits just don't fit anymore. I welcome you during this fall season to take inventory of your personal space, your work space, yourself...mind, body and spirit. Is there something you are ready to let go of? Are you ready to shift and make space for fresh inspiration to come in? It is all around us. We just need to get clear so we can notice it and take it in.
When the Metal Element is balanced and restored within us, we are able to reconnect to Spirit and our sense of self-worth. We can take a deep breath and welcome inspiration.
Each Element and Season has a gift to offer us, if we are willing to receive it. While I personally love all five seasons, I have always had a special appreciation for Fall. I invite you to take a nature walk and share with me or someone else one thing you notice. Is it the way the light looks? The color of the sky? The red, orange or yellow leaves? Is it the crunch below your feet as you walk over them? Is it the smell in the air? Is there a memory that is awakened? There is magic out there as nature prepares to sleep. I encourage you to go out and discover what it is for you.
Tips for Balancing your Body, Mind and Spirit this Season:
Clean your space of anything you no longer need. When your space is clean and clear, your mind becomes more clear as well.
Take inventory What are you ready to let go of? What is something (or someone) you would like to welcome in?
Exercise and keep your body moving. Yoga and specifically twists are great for cleansing. Inhale and Exhale. Take in and let go.
Take care of your skin by drinking water (half your body weight in ounces) each day.
Enjoy warm seasonal foods and homemade soup. Add ginger, cayenne pepper and cinnamon to help build heat from the inside out. As the days get cooler, avoid a lot of cold and raw food. Your body needs warmer nurturing food.
Relax with a hot cup of tea and a good book. This is the time of year to start slowing down.
Take Nature walks and let your lungs fill with fresh air and inspiration. Notice the crispness in the air, the colors of the trees, how the light has changed...notice the purity. Notice the beauty within and around you.
Meditate. Take a few minutes each day (start with 5 or 10). Sit upright, clear your mind and focus on your breathing. This is a practice I am working on too. It can be challenging but I know it is rewarding.