For many, this time of year can be challenging. The shorter and darker days can make time feel difficult to comprehend. In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of Metal. This is a very poignant time for all, including nature.
This is the period when leaves are dropping from trees, with branches baring their souls. It can feel like a time of radical change and reflection. If we look at nature as our guide, we can use this season as inspiration for the Winter months.
Whilst the fever dream of Summer is well behind us, Autumn can provide insight into the quality of our day to day. As the days are shorter, our intentions and goals should be streamlined and refined. The season of Metal is all about quality and the act of letting go.
In Chinese Medicine, each season has 2 Organs associated with it; for Metal, the Lungs and Large Intestine are the primary Organs. If we look to both for the role that they play in the body, we can use this as a representation of what is required of us for this season.
The Lungs are the Organ that keeps us alive. We inhale air to fill our bodies with vital Oxygen, then we exhale the waste of Carbon Dioxide. We can look at this profound filtration system and use it as a framework for our daily lives. We take in what we need in order to be ourselves, and we release what we no longer need.
If we look at the Large Intestine and its pivotal role in releasing waste, we can see that during this time the ability to let go of what no longer serves becomes even more important. The Lungs releasing waste gas and the Large Intestine releasing waste matter are a symbol of what is necessary for this season. With the daylight being in short supply, we question ourselves on where and how to spend this quality time. This is the time to accept into our lives the much needed goodness, and let go of the rest for another time.
We also have an extension of our Lungs and Large Intestine, much like a suit of energetic armour. This is called Wei Qi, it forms a protective energetic layer beneath our skin, which acts as an immunity force field.
If we look at Metal in nature, we see minerals and valuable commodities such as gems and diamonds. This is a wonderful way of reflecting into one’s life; what is precious to you? What has value in your life? By asking ourselves these important questions, we can transition into the Winter with a clear idea of what we need and what brings us authentic connection. We can use the analogy of the integrity and clarity of a diamond, as a point of reference for this time.
This can be a time of judgement and scrutiny, and this can feel trying and negative. If we look at the Large Intestine, we can see when in disharmony energy gets stuck and inevitably becomes toxic. This can make one’s day to day feel bogged down and muddied. Therefore when looking to Winter, it can seem like an uphill battle. Lightening our load is essential and encouraged during this time.
By utilising the function of our Lungs, Large Intestine and Wei Qi we can be in flow throughout this complex time. By using methods such as breath work (strengthening the Lungs and the immune system) eating nature’s medicine (supporting the Large Intestine) and finding connection to what inspires us. Meditating or spending time contemplating the valuable aspects of our lives will welcome in just the right antidote; gratitude.
The key to progressing through this time, is the art of processing. Deliberate and intentional steps each day to choose integrity and authenticity will provide the support needed through the first of the darker months.