Are you feeling stuck or frustrated with life? Stressed out to the max? Are you feeling overly negative? Do you seem to do the same things over and over? Relax. There are some easy ways to help you get off the hamster wheel and disembark the crazy train. Simply getting in tune with nature and its recurring cycles can offer a fresh perspective on life.
Autumn has just arrived, and the energy of this season, more than any other, can be a time of big changes and opportunities. It can support us in letting go of the old, stale things in our lives and eliminating what no longer serves us. Autumn’s gifts allow us to be receptive to the new and pure, to let in new things that inspire us, touch our souls and make space for new experiences to learn and grow from. Autumn’s energy can also help us realize what is most precious in our lives.
In nature, most things occur in predictable patterns and change is inevitable. Since all living things are subject to the same cycles and influences that occur in nature, one way to stay healthy and happy is to learn about the changing nature of each season and live in harmony with them.
The beauty and simplicity of Chinese Medicine is that it operates in tune with nature, such as the changing of the seasons. There’s the birth, growth, maturity, decline and death cycles—the Five Elements– and each has its distinct characteristics that influence our lives. Trying to flow with nature can lead to happier and more balanced lives.
There is more to this season than “letting go.” Since it’s a time of turning inward, Fall marks the end of the growing season—there can be a sense of gathering in or melancholy with a sense of loss as the light begins to fade and the air chills. I always get a little reflective and somber when the light changes. And I definitely feel a a little sad that my summer hiking season is coming to an end. But I also enjoy the spectacular show of brilliant yellows, gold and reds on the trees.
While Autumn signals change, think of it as an invitation to set yourself free from the things that drive you crazy, keep you stuck and stress you out. Here are some simple things you can implement now to help you live more in balance with nature and improve your wellbeing.
- Breathe Deeper. Most of us breathe too shallow and this can adversely affect our nervous system, immunity, energy, and sleep. In Chinese medicine, Autumn is associated with the Metal element and the Lungs. So take time each day to breathe slowly and deeply in the clean, crisp Autumn air and feel yourself energized and purified. Feel the old negativity, impurity, and frustrations leave your body and mind.
- Get a Nature Fix. The simplest yet most healing thing you can do is get outside and go for walk in nature. If you really look, nature is all around you, even in the concrete jungles. Observe the details. Clear your mind. Stand or sit under a tree and fill your lungs with air. It’s invigorating and you will feel stress and strife lift.
- De-Clutter. Go through your closet, drawers, desk, garage, or any cluttered area and discard what you no longer need. Go through your closet and donate all the clothes you don’t wear anymore– if you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably never will. A good purging will do you good.
- Let Go. Think about what’s really important to you. Can you let go of what is no longer necessary? If you can’t leave your life-sucking job, then at least let go of the negativity that you feel. Changes in your emotional health can free you and release some the physical pain you may be feeling.
- Rest More. Give yourself permission to slow down, take more naps, go to bed earlier and sleep longer. Do a little less on your huge To-Do List. Because the metal element us gives us our sense of self-worth, this is a great time to give ourselves some extra attention and self-love.
- Get a health tune-up. Align your body with nature, its cycles and change with acupuncture. Acupuncture excels at releasing stress, building up immunity and resolving inflammation, among other things. It will put you more into a “go-with-the-flow” attitude.
So chillax. Once you learn to live in the flow with nature and roll with the changes, it is easier to stay healthy, happier and more connected to life. Use this Autumn as a catalyst for changing what no longer serves you. It will open up more space for new things that will make you thrive in life.