Fall is the season of completion, the end of the seasonal cycle. Days are getting shorter, the weather is cooling, and trees are losing their leaves. Autumn is a time to pause and reflect on learnings and accomplishments from the past year. It’s also a time to let go and feel the peace of completion, trusting that what’s next will emerge in its own time.
Finding balance at this time supports your ability to be at peace with the season, including its aspects of letting go and perhaps grief or sadness. This newsletter offers a few exercises to move your energies and come into a deep balance with the rhythm of autumn.
Fall is a time to let go of what we no longer need. In the Chinese Five Elements system, this is Metal time. Metal is about releasing all that’s unnecessary and surrendering to the changes that life brings. Metal has a slow rhythm and a need for structure. If you want to visualize the Metal element, think of crystals.
If you are a person with a lot of Metal, you may be drawn to a mindfulness practice or source of deeper inspiration. Metal people may prefer solitude, be cool and collected, graceful and gracious, and might seem emotionally detached when relating to others. Metals need connection to get out of their heads and into their heart. They may need to let go of their quest for perfection and control.
The two meridians associated with Metal are lung and large intestine. As a result, autumn is a time when we may need to take extra care with our respiratory system and digestion.
Breathing deeply into your belly is a one of the best things you can do. Try breathing in to the count of 4 and out to a count of 5 – this extends the release of your breath and supports a more general release. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth helps balance cortisol and settles your nervous system. If you really want to get fancy, as long as this would still be relaxing, let your tongue touch the roof of your mouth as you breathe and you’ll give yourself a nice hook-up. But only if it’s relaxing – otherwise you can let go of that idea!
Another simple way to support Metal Element is to hold the Source Point for Large Intestine meridian (Large Intestine 4). This is located in the webbing between your index finger and thumb, part way up and over to the index finger side. Hold it, rub it, pulse it, or make figure 8s over it for a 30-60 seconds on each hand.
This is an excellent point to hold to clear out old “debris” and allow space for new fresh energy and inspiration. It can also help with constipation. As a Source Point, this point is good to activate to support the large intestine organ. This point is known in Chinese Medicine as the Command Point of the Face. It can help alleviate headaches, nasal congestion, toothaches, and pain or inflammation on the face. (Do not work this point if you are pregnant as it can induce labour.)
To help get in sync with the rhythm of autumn, here’s an exercise that enriches that rhythm in you. It evokes and then releases grief, the dominant stress emotion of autumn. This could be grief for the woes of the world or for something or someone in particular. By consciously experiencing sadness and then letting it go, you create space for a deeper peace and also inspiration, which is Metal Element’s natural tendency.
- To begin, stand tall. Hold your arms out as if you were cradling a huge ball in front of you – so big that your fingers don’t touch in front. Breathe deeply a few times, and on each exhalation, make the sound “ssss” as if you were letting air out of a balloon. Bring to mind any sadness or grief and let it go on the exhale. You’ll make the “sss” sound as you exhale throughout this exercise.
- Once you’re ready, on an inhale, fling your arms back and out wide as you can and let your troubles go out into the universe. On the exhale, make the “sss” sound and slowly round your arms forward around the ball again, this time bringing your hands a bit closer.
- Repeat and, on the exhale, “sss” and as your arms curl around the ball, let your hands come even closer in front.
- Repeat and, on the exhale, “sss” and bring your hands all the way together and then let them cross so that each hand comes to rest on the opposite shoulder. Give yourself a nice hug.
|I hope you have enjoyed these exercises.
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