It hasn’t been much of a summer this year in Victoria and as bugs and colds are already making the rounds it’s as if winter has already arrived. Alas, we are in the beautiful limbo season of Autumn. In preparation for winter, we have a special few weeks of Autumn, where we have the opportunity to start slowing down and to let go of that which does not serve us.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of the Metal element. Metal reflects our core issues, the most refined part of ourselves. Have you found yourself asking questions like “Who am I?” “What is my lifework?” “What remains constant in a forever changing world?” .During Autumn we are all called to deal with these core issues. For those of you who have an affinity for the Metal element, you’re called to examine these core issues, essential structures, and the guiding principles of life.
The emotion connected with Metal is grief or sadness. Autumn is the time for shedding, much like the tree with it’s leaves. It’s the time to be thankful for the abundance of summer and to release and say farewell in preparing for the reflective time that is to come. Metal connects us with the ability to let go of the past and create the space for the new.
The organs connected with the Metal element are the Lungs and the Large Intestine, which reflect the spiritual nature of the season, the letting go and receiving. It is common for people to be more vulnerable to colds, bronchial infection and allergies in the cooler days of autumn. The pollens and mold in the air, as well as the cold winds of autumn, stress our immune reserves, making it a good time to support the immune system with some herbs and supplements.
The Lungs are the organs of respiration, responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to every organ of the body and eliminating the waste matter from the cells through our expiration. To breathe is to create space by forcing out the old stale air, along with old, preconceived notions of reality. Inspiration of fresh air to nourish the body can only happen when the old air is released. The Lungs balance the ability to yield and demand, give and take, hold on and let go.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Large Intestine is responsible for making distinctions between harmless and harmful elements, it determines the nutrients the body needs and those it must eliminate. This means it’s trying to let go of the ‘shit’ in your life and keep what nourishes you. It’s important to not just physically, but emotionally and mentally eliminate the poor nutrients from your body. The thoughts, feelings & emotions that you’ve held onto that no longer nourish you, now is the time to let it go. Creating harmony between the bowel, brain and lungs will assist to eliminate the toxicity from your body, mind and soul.
Nourish yourself during Autumn
Best Vegetables & Fruits for Autumn
Eat plenty of seasonal vegetables, especially steamed and veggies in soups.
Pungent veggies that help stimulate the lungs, such as watercress, cabbage, turnip, ginger, horseradish, pepper, onions, and garlic.
Fermented vegetables which are easier to digest and help protect Spleen Qi.
Enjoy a few fresh fruits, especially those low in sugars, such as lemons, limes,
Granny Smith apples, and grapefruit. Enjoy seasonal moistening foods such as pears, pumpkin, squash, apples, seaweed.
Eat more building foods than summertime, such as proteins, meats, fish, dairy, nuts, beans, seeds and gluten-free grains. But not too much as these foods also cause dampness.
Avoid cold foods or drinks, dairy, and fried foods, which cause dampness (Fluid & mucus congestion)
Avoid store-bought salad dressings made with gmo oils and sugars.
Enjoy healthy oils like grass-fed ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil.
Warm Foods are best in Autumn.
Eat warm foods like bone broth, stews, soups, and hot gluten-free cereals.
Eat beans, such as lentils, kidney beans, adzuki beans, always well soaked.
These herbs and spices are good for the lungs: bay leaves, caraway seeds, cardamom, chives, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, leek, oregano, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric, Simmer a few herb teas such as Burdock, Comfrey, Ginger, and Licorice root.
Take away this list of things to do over the next few weeks during Autumn to prepare for winter
Practice Letting Go: Write down the hurts and resentments you feel lingering from the previous year on a piece of paper. Then tear it up and throw it in the recycling bin or burn it while visualizing the severing of the metaphorical emotional rope that was tied to those incidents.
Create a Time for Meditation and Relaxation: Take a few minutes to do NOTHING. Sit in the comfort of doing noting. Accept that this ‘nothingness’ is NOT hindering your progress.
Cleanse Your Body: Do a gentle cleanse by fasting (12hours) to give the body time to eliminate toxins. Replenish with warm fresh fruits and vegetables and bone or miso broths.
Drink Plenty of Water: 3-4lts per day.
Breathe and Smell the Scents of Nature: Take a stroll or vigorous walk and do deep belly breathing. Slowly inhale all the way into the pit of your belly then slowly fully exhale.
We hope everyone finds enjoyment in letting things go this Autumn.