"The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let go."
I have always loved the changing of the seasons. Born in Eastern Canada many (many) moons ago, the dramatic changes in landscape and weather run deep within me. I can feel the energy shift and the light change.. it even smells different as we approach each phase of the year. Autumn, especially has always been a magical time of year for me. (I was married on the Equinox❤️)
School, sweaters, boots, and books... these are a few of my favorite things (oops- wrong song for the season:)) The air turns crisp.. leaves start to fall.. our focus begins to turn inward.. Autumn energy and the magnificence of Mother Nature can inspire us to follow suit and begin the project of the season.
With only 23 days till the Winter Solstice, it is time to focus on the task at hand. Autumn, beginning with the Equinox on September 23rd is the season of harvest. The "work" of Autumn is to clear out negativity. As nature sheds her leaves and bares her soul.. there is an opportunity for us as well to strip off what is no longer serving us. The energy of Autumn, more than any other season, supports this theme of letting go. Autumn reminds us to detox the mind and the body ~ eliminating bad habits, negative patterns, and clearing out that which no longer serves us. Think of these practices as methods for clearing space.. as we eliminate unnecessary and toxic things, habits, and ideas.. we are actually creating space for what we really do want to occupy our homes, time, relationships, and thoughts. We prepare for Winter in Autumn by completing projects, getting organized, clearing away clutter, and getting ourselves physically and emotionally ready for the dark and cold months to come.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the element associated with Autumn is metal. Metal represents core issues with its sharp lines, straight edges, and strength. Contemplation, mindfulness, and self-awareness naturally mark the season as we being to turn inward and think deeper. Notice this heightened awareness and clarity which leads to the appreciation of beauty that comes so naturally as we are drawn to Mother Nature's stunning palette change. What else is symbolic of the element of metal in your life this time of year..?
The emotion attributed to Autumn is grief. Reflected in the theme of letting go, Autumn is a time to say goodbye to the abundance of summer and leave the past behind. For some, this may be a time of sadness with memories of loss. It may also be the perfect time to release pent up emotions and allow them to flow out and away. Grief is a natural response to loss, change, and death. Autumn allows for the experience of these emotions as part of the clearing process~ providing relief and making space for what's to come.
In the Yin Yoga tradition, the physical parts of our bodies associated with Autumn are the lungs and the large intestines. Both are involved with circulation and both participate in essential elements of our health. The lungs (yin-subtle) primary function is "respiration" ~ inspiration of fresh nourishing air to nurture our bodies and souls and expiration of waste. The large intestine's (yang-active) most important function is "elimination" ~ removing from us what is unnecessary or toxic and discerning what is essential for our bodies from what is harmful. Both have equal value and deserve our attention as we prepare our bodies for Winter. Illnesses and allergies can be more common in Autumn as a result of holding on to toxicity and negativity. Facilitate the natural tendency towards letting go by focusing on longer exhales in your breathing practices and consider a cleanse for your digestive system. And of course.. do more yoga;)
Some final suggestions for the season of Autumn:
~Cleanse your body (detox, drink more water, exercise)
~De-clutter your home (car, purse, desk, email...)
~Clear your thoughts (meditation, relaxation, journalling)
~Get organized (plan, finish projects, to-do lists)
~Practice letting go (resentment, bad habits, guilt, anger, toxic attachments, the past..)
~Create space (for all that is coming that is good and good for you:)
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall."
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Above all, honor yourself~ mind, body, and spirit.