September 22nd was the first day of Autumn. The Autumn months in Chinese medicine are associated with the element metal and the organs of the lung and large intestine. The emotion is grief.
Autumn is the end of the growing season. Leaves fall from the trees and return to the earth enriching the soil for next year’s growing season. Just as leaves fall from the trees, in our own lives we are now ready to let go of the things that no longer serve us so our lives may be more enriched. As humans letting go is difficult. We hold on to our favorite material objects even though they become broken or worn out over time. We cling to relationships we know are toxic even though we know this will only bring suffering. But Autumn is the time to let go! Let go of negativity so that next growing season we start out fresh and nourished.
METAL is the element associated with Autumn. Gold, Silver, Trace Minerals, Elements.
GRIEF is the emotion associated with Autumn and the metal element.
Grief is a natural process we all go through at various times in our lives but when our metal element is blocked grief can either manifest as excess or repressed and lead to depression.
The metal energy gives us our self worth. When unbalanced we don’t see our own value. Instead of gold we see ourselves as pennies. Because we are unable to see our own self worth we look to acquire objects to give us our value. But does that new dress or that new IPhone really make us happy? When metal is in a state of imbalance we think of happiness as status, money, power and conquests. We then acquire new shiny things but still we are not fulfilled. If we let go of the past experiences that has caused grief and lowered our self esteem we will rise up to a more fulfilling life physically, emotionally and spiritually.
LARGE INTESTINE is the organ all about letting go! The large intestine physically lets go of the wastes from our bodies. The colon eliminates the toxic so that we are receptive to the new and pure essence. By eliminating the outmoded mental and spiritual rubbish in our minds we can open up to experience the pure beauty that surrounds us.
LUNGS breathe in and breathe out. Autumn air is new and fresh and crisp! We breathe it in and fill our lungs with cool, pure oxygen while breathing out carbon dioxide.
The large intestine and lungs work together. While the large intestine lets go of the toxic the lungs take in the pure. When we are out of balance and they are not working together we become physically ill resulting in such ailments as bronchitis, shortness of breath, coughs, allergies, congestion, colds, sore throats, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
So what can we do to make the most out of out Autumn season physically, mentally and spiritually? Leg Go! But how?
1. It’s time to draw inward and conserve our energy for the winter months. This is not the time for a new diet or work out regimen (these things are for spring). This is the time to still our hearts, collect spirit and qi (energy). You might imagine yourself like a squirrel collecting food for the winter.
2. Breathe. The breath is so powerful and the best way to release tension. Focus on the breath at least 5 minutes a day. Breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling smoothly through the belly and not through the chest. This simple exercise can have an extraordinary effect on the mind and body.
3. Protect yourself from extremes, especially extremes in weather. If it’s cold or windy wear a scarf and cover your lower back to protect your body against a wind invasion which could lead to common cold.
4. Discard objects in your home you no longer want or use.
5. Discard the mental attitudes that are no longer serving you.
If you find discarding difficult take the first step by writing these things on a piece of paper and burn it. You have now addressed the issue and put the intention of change in the air.
6. Get some acupuncture! Needles are great at redirecting energy physically and emotionally.