In the Flow with Healing Waters

A fall image with a changing maple tree and an old rustic fence.  Room for copy space.

Fall is in the air

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I’m all about pumpkins, apples, fall colors and smells, crisp nights and the leaves changing colors. If I could find a state where fall existed 12 months of the year, I’d be there.

I’ve written a blog on all the other seasons, so now I get to focus on my favorite.

In traditional Chinese medicine, autumn is all about organization, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. The organ associated with autumn is the lungs. The theme of the lungs is “letting go”, like the trees letting go of their leaves. What can you let go of or what should you let go of? Maybe there is something, someone, or an attitude that isn’t serving you well any longer and it’s time to let go.

Years ago we had a neighbor that I admired. I went out of my way and above and beyond to have a friendship with this person. All friendships take effort but there’s the kind that naturally come easy and others are a lot of work. Everything we did was always on her terms. I don’t hold any bad feelings and I think she is a wonderful person but I realized it just wasn’t the kind of friendship that I could or wanted to maintain anymore, so I let go. Maybe that sounds harsh or maybe it sounds healthy, but you get to choose. How is it affecting your wellbeing and do you desire to make a change? Sometimes it’s easier said than done to let go of relationships.

Attitudes can be a hard thing to let go. The attitude of needing to be right, being closed minded, an attitude of perfection, anger, sadness, etc. The longer we hold on to an attitude or emotion, the harder it is to let go. Early in my marriage it used to frustrate me if my husband didn’t agree with my opinion or perspective (I know, eye roll) I thought we needed to be in agreement about everything. I’m sure this came from my parents who fought a lot and also divorced. If we were in agreement there wouldn’t be an argument or a divorce. It took many years to let go of this thinking. It’s ok if he has another opinion, and he usually does! I wish I could have let go much sooner, it didn’t serve me well but for some crazy reason we can hold on tight to attitudes and dumb thinking.

Fall is also the time to prepare for winter. Growing up we always had a huge garden so there was last minute harvesting to be done and preparing the gardens for winter. There is something comforting about warming the house with baking squash, making soups or sipping cider.
During the heat of summer our bodies needed cooling foods like salads and fruits but as the temperature cools we need warm nourishing foods like soups, stews, roasts, beans, lentils, root vegetables, squash, pumpkin, cabbage, mushrooms, onions and garlic.

Since autumn is the windiest season, in Chinese medicine wind is considered the cause of 100 diseases, a simple thing like wearing a scarf can ward off colds which are said to enter most easily through the neck. As a teen it was annoying when mom wouldn’t let us out of the house without proper gear, but she was right of course. So listen to mom and dress for the weather.

One of the best ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply. It sounds so simple but most of us don’t breathe deeply at all and this can affect things like our immune system, energy, and

sleep. When we breathe deeply and with intention, we are flushing our cells with the oxygen needed for all body processes. The best thing to do is go outside for a walk in the brisk autumn air (with your scarf) and take long, slow breaths. Enjoy the season!

Flowing with fall,