Autumn is my favorite time of the year — the cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, and we begin to move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contractive nature of autumn.
Fall is the time to practice getting out of the way and letting Spirit take charge of our lives. In other words … trust in the kind of loving Universe. Be more present period — get out of the should of’s, what if’s, could of’s and step into the what is. BE with what is now.
In Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with the direction of the west, courage and sadness are the emotions, while lungs are the yin organ and the large intestine is the yang organ.
When I think of direction of the west, I visualize beautiful sunsets, letting go of old patterns that make way for new life. Think of the leaves that change their pattern of being green, into a gold, yellow or red before they let go and fall to the ground. It is in the west where we face our emotional pain, our losses, and the grief we have accumulated. For it is here that we are in touch with that part of us that is dying, worn out, and no longer serving our life.
Remember our hearts have a tremendous capacity to heal, if we only allow our feelings to flow uncensored without judgment or self-criticism. This is really important—read that last sentence again. The quality that arises when we are truly in the west is compassion or loving kindness along with an objective understanding. What else does our pain need but to be accepted, loved unconditionally and understood? Such allowing often brings in a sensation of relief and movement in the Soul, which in turn frees our hearts to expand, deepen and understand ourselves and our life in a new way.
The direction of the west is also associated with dreams and visions, pay attention and see what they are showing you…
Courage and Sadness
Allow yourself to weep for the things and people you have lost. Weeping is the sound of the autumn season — find your courage to face what’s ahead.
It takes courage to allow yourself to BE wherever your find yourself this season, do not stuff it, or pretend to be in a space you are not. Be true to yourself, allow yourself to feel and slow down, to breathe it all in and then let it go. For it is in the feelings of sadness we find our true courage within.
Lungs and Large Intestine
The lungs are the masters of qi [chi]. Above, they are connected to the throat; below, to the orifices of the heart and the liver. It is in charge of inhalation and exhalation — the flux of coming in and going out. Ask yourself, What am I bringing into my life and what am I letting go of? Do you connect with the current flow of your life? IF NOT, make better choices.
The energy function of the large intestine is to let go of those things that no longer serve us. Physically, it lets go of waste after our upper digestive system has taken all the necessary nutrients out of the food we eat. On an emotional level, the large intestine does the exact same thing.
I love how Sharon Saltzberg, a Buddhist teacher, writes in her book Lovingkindness about one of the offshoots of letting go: “Generosity has such power because it is characterized by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously — these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom.” Autumn — a perfect season to give generously of your time and talents to others.
As our days begin to get shorter and our nights longer, I invite you to do some self-exploration, and take some time to ponder the following questions:
- What is working in my life? [gratitude]
- What no longer serves me? [letting go]
- What small steps am I taking each day to bring me closer to my heart’s desires? [courage and trust]