In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we talk about the changing of the seasons and provide some ideas about how to live with the flow of the seasons. The idea is that when you live with the flow, then you engender good health during the current season. You also build a strong stable base for the following season. By living this way, our health becomes stronger.
As we’ve been exiting Summer, with it goes the abundance of sunlight. Our days get shorter, and our nights longer. One of the general principles of living with the seasons is to observe nature and act the way that nature acts.
No, don’t go burying nuts in the yard with the squirrels. Rather, observe the leaves turning color, plants in the process of becoming dormant, the cooler weather, shorter days, and yes, the squirrels are putting away food for the coming seasons.
This is a time to finish business from the previous season, harvest the fruits of the labor that occurred during the Summer, and organize, clean, and separate what is needed from what is not needed. This can come in many forms.
For example, Summer is a season of expanding. We socialize and make new friends more easily. In Fall, we would look to consolidate these relationship gains by introducing them to more intimate settings. The opposite is also true when a relationship has run its course. Fall’s energy of purity and cleanliness can make a break easier for everybody.
We are supposed to begin winding down our days with the sun and rise with the sun. It is really difficult to do that when you are supposed to be at work at 7:30 a.m. and it’s dark. Then, you finish work and the sun is already setting; at least here in Chicago. A common problem that we encounter is that our work schedule is not flexible enough to allow this type of “go with the flow” lifestyle.
But never fear! Here are some steps you can take in this modern world to help you live in the flow during Fall:
1. Fall is a great time to organize the pictures from all of the fun you had during the Summer and make albums and put them in their proper place. Whether it’s an actual photo album or on Facebook, Instagram, etc…
2. Fall lends itself easily to sentimentality. While it can be unhealthy living in the past too much, consolidating the past can help you further appreciate your experiences of the Summer and let you put them in their proper place.
3. Fall is also an excellent time to consolidate and organize the great things you did during the Summer at your job. Update your resume and that list of accomplishments. Finish a project that’s been lingering. Clean your desk of unnecessary items like old post-it notes. Make the snow flurry of post-it notes into something more permanent like a laminated flyer or notebook.
All of this organizing and cleaning helps us make the proper room for the storage that we need to thrive through the Winter. During this season, your energy will remain in harmony with nature if you can focus on finishing Summer’s business, consolidate your gains, and be discerning on what stays and what goes from the Summer.
These steps will help you flourish during Fall and prepare for Winter as well as prevent you from getting sick.
Also, if you ever find yourself spinning your wheels when it comes to the change of seasons, a good acupuncture appointment can help through the transition and safely land you into the current season.
Do you have any traditions you like to do each Fall? Please share them below. We’d love to hear from you!
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