The great Hippocrates once said, “a person’s health is dependent on the balance of four body fluids, that correspond to the natural elements of air, water, earth and fire. By paying attention to this balance, we can improve our health. Ayurvedic medicine also has the same elemental idea, with the addition of a fifth element; ether. Chinese philosophy states that good health is a result of five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) being in harmonious balance.
You can see a pattern here. The earth is not merely a platform in which we reside on. It is a living being, as are we, and we are a part of each other. Its health is our health.
When seasons change, our environment undergoes a major transition. Now, coming into autumn you may notice the weather is a little cooler, the mornings a little darker, the trees and plants around us also begin to transition and transform. They shed what they no longer need in preparation for new growth in the spring.
If we maintain the notion that we are a part of the earth, and the earth is a part of us, is it then safe to say that we also undergo a similar transition? Our changes are a little more internal but they are there all the same.
In winter, you simply cannot consume the same foods you did during summer. Cold slows everything down. Our digestive system slows down too and this is why we need well-cooked warming foods during winter, foods that are easy to digest.
In traditional Chinese medicine there is a major and minor organ associated with each season. The lungs are associated with autumn. They are the one organ that connects the outside world to the inside and vice-versa. The lungs bring in oxygen, transform it, transport it around the body, and eliminate what the body no longer needs. The minor organ associated with the lungs, and autumn, is the large intestine. The end stage of elimination of what we no longer need. Rather fitting, isn’t it?
Can you align yourself a little more with the environment around you, and use this time to shed what no longer serves you? Is there something you need to work through in order to let go of? Can you invite the intention of new beginnings? The lungs are our biggest organ of transformation, and the emotion associated with the lungs is grief and sadness. Can you breathe a little deeper, and allow some stuff to come up and clear? Tears are so powerful, cleansing and healing.
Autumn is all about transitioning and transforming. Therefore, it is the perfect time to transform. Because, after a period of transformation, there is new growth.