An Auspicious Season
In the next few weeks, we’ll start to notice a coolness in the air, the changing foliage, and shorter days, all paired with a shift in mood as the holidays approach. When this inevitable change occurs in nature, we inherently follow its course, tuning in to the changes in our body, mind, and spirit. Traditionally, autumn is known as the Harvest Season, when we reap the fruits of our spring and summer labor and prepare to preserve that yield for the cooler months that lay ahead. It also triggers our bodies to harness energy in preparation for the winter months.
In fall, more than in any other season, we have the opportunity to self-reflect. After providing the abundance of spring and summer, Mother Nature makes the earth bare, signifying the end of the growing season—a cue to transfer our energy from the outward to the inward. Nature provides a visual display and guide on how to embrace the cycle from production and output to healthy dormancy, in hope of finding harmony and balance between the two.
Imagine if the autumn leaves stubbornly defied the laws of nature by clinging to the tree limbs because they might need them later. This would inevitably stifle new growth. How can we hope for a fresh harvest if we don’t accept the futility of the old, release it, and, as a result, make room for the new? Autumn inspires us to let go of stale, fruitless energy in exchange for clean space in the mind and body ripe for new experiences. This natural exchange of energy reveals what no longer serves us and ultimately propels us closer to self and to a deeper understanding of our most essential needs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is considered the beginning of the yin cycle, when we experience fewer daylight hours and when the yang energy of summer surrenders to the growing yin energy of the approaching winter. It is instinctive to switch from the more active role we play in Summer to a more self-reflective role, which allows us to travel deeper within. Autumn provides the opportunity to slow down the momentum of growth and to disperse the overactive yang energy in the body. In other words, we learn to rest, have quiet time, and reflect.