3 Ways to let go of Summer and Move Smoothly into Fall

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The leaves are blowing in the wind. The sun is setting earlier and the air has a certain crispness to it. The Yang, hot energy of summer has started to wane. Autumn is in the air! This is an important transitional time from summer, the most Yang time of the year, to the densest Yin season of winter. Everything starts to slow down and turn inward and descend. Nature is consolidating and disintegrating, returning to the soil, so as to nourish the earth and allow it time to become fertile again. The Yang energy of summer still hangs in the wind though, as the harvest begins.

Get Prepared:

Foods now need to be eaten warm, cooking time is extended and foods are prepared for the winter. Cooking methods include braising, pressure cooking or slow cooked soups. Vegetables and fruits are being picked and prepared for preserving so as to make your food last throughout the winter. Food in autumn is warming and pungent. Vegetables like peppers, onions, cabbage and tomatoes are prepared to be bottled.  Herbs can also be dried, like dill, parsley and rosemary. Fruits that are ripe in autumn are apples, pears and figs, while vegetables like parsnip, Brussel sprouts, pumpkin and winter squash also come into season.

The organs of fall are the Lungs and Large Intestine. You can nourish the lungs and large intestine by including mushroom, garlic, sweet potato, ginger, onion, cabbage, pears, walnuts, leeks, radish, miso, soya beans, cinnamon, celery, mustard greens, apricot, apples, grapes, coriander, turnip, taro, Brussel sprouts and grains like quinoa, rice and oats into your diet. If you take a look at the nature of the foods that support the lungs you find that they are a mix of sweet and pungent. While the sweet nourishes, the lungs need pungent foods so as to ensure that qi (energy) and blood are circulating, and therefore the energy doesn’t stagnate and produce phlegm. It is important to remember while the lungs take in the new (fresh air) the large intestine is responsible for eliminating and releasing waste. This is best done by drinking adequate water and adding foods that lubricate.

Get Organised:

The element for fall is Metal.  As metal is associated with organization this is a good time to get your life in order and finish outstanding projects. For those who find it difficult to let go, autumn can pose a problem, as this is a time to ’let go’ of the long summer days and outdoor living and move inward, becoming more mindful and reflective. The summer furniture needs to be packed away. The house needs to be cleaned thoroughly, to rid the house of dust mites while re-arranging the house for indoor living. 

The Lungs are the most vulnerable of the organs, as they are superficial, and in the closest contact with the outside. The Lungs control our Wei Qi, our protective barrier, which circulates on the exterior of the body, protecting us from external pathogens. A weak Wei Qi allows viruses or bacteria to enter the body, giving us a cold or flu, so nourish and protect your Wei Qi by dressing and eating warm and ensuring you are sleeping in a clutter/dust free environment.

Get going:

The emotion of the lungs is sadness and grief. Long reflective walks while breathing deep into your lungs will help to release any pressure you have weighing on your chest and give you time to reflect on the past events of summer, while working through ways to deal with them. The lungs are in control of warming the muscles and the skin, and has an opening through the nose. Often when we are sad, breathing becomes very superficial and therefore the lungs do not get the air they need. This is turn leads to a constrictive feeling some may feel when sad or grieving.  As the temperature has also cooled this is the perfect time to go out for a slow jog or a long hike, to breathe deeply into the lungs, so as to release the blocked energy and re-oxygenate the body.

Fall requires good planning and motivation as you move into a new stage in your life. Don’t look sadly on the cold seasons. This is a time for you to look introspectively and take time for yourself.

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