If you’re one of many who mourns the loss of long summer nights as autumn takes hold, here’s a few things about the colder months that will help you embrace this change – as autumn is not only a time for transformation in nature, but within ourselves too. Find out why.
1) A Time To Consider Your Visions And Dreams
In Chinese philosophy, there is a deep affiliation with nature, as the change in seasons is not just about the climate, but it relates to changes in all things as nature resides within us.
It also states that the seasons are divided into five cycles (spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter) and that each cycle is associated with specific sounds, colors, moods directions, elements and organs.
The passing of the September autumnal equinox means that we have entered into the cycle that is associated with both courage and sadness. The sadness is because things in nature are dying, as trees and plants are ending their cycle of growth, and there is reduced light due to Earth’s orbit as it starts to tilt away from the Sun’s direct rays.
During these changes, Chinese philosophy dictates that you need courage to move forward. Sadness is a part of nature and cannot be avoided. It needs to happen in order to make way for new life. Once you accept this fact, the sadness associated with “dying” in autumn, in addition to any loss in your own life, will become easier to bear. So let’s be courageous and move forward into the next stage of our lives! Or do as the Chinese philosophers once did and try the following:
Stand facing west and honor the “westness” of autumn by considering your dreams and visions and the direction you’re taking in your life. Light white candles or place white flowers on a table – some may choose their bedside table for personal reasons – as white is the color of autumn. During this time, allow yourself to weep and let go of any loses you’ve encountered if you need to (weeping is the sound of this season). Let your courage take hold and focus on your dreams and visions and move forward to the next chapter in your life.
2) The Cold Kills Off Disease
The cold weather is a mixed blessing when it comes to our health. So while catching an inevitable cold each winter may seem like a curse, the cold weather actually kills off other diseases, such as those associated with disease-mongering insects and microorganisms. So much so, that the threat of climate change has scientists very worried that the climate will lose its pestilence-fighting purpose. So next time you feel frustrated by the cold, give thanks that it’s actually doing its best to protect us.
3) Optimal Time For Cleansing
Like spring, autumn is the perfect time to keep your organs strong and healthy as it prepares the body for fuller and richer diets during the colder months. Some of the common symptoms associated with the colder months, such as pressure in the head and sinuses, sore throats and a lack of energy, can also develop from a back up in the large intestine due to an overburdened liver and gallbladder (perhaps from all those long and over-indulgent summer nights!). To release this buildup of toxins from your body, limit your intake of congesting foods (meat, dairy and refined foods) and switch to natural foods such as whole grains, steamed vegetables and fruits.
4) Reap The Benefits Of The Harvest
After cleansing, reap the benefits of autumn as it’s harvest time – meaning your kitchen can become a hearty and nutritious wonderland of stews, soups and casseroles. Stock up on apples, walnuts, zucchini, squash, peppers, beans, cabbages and tomatoes (just to name a few) as during the colder months, our bodies actually need more protein and heat generating foods (think chilies and spicy peppers) to keep the blood and energy moving.
Not only do we benefit nutritionally, it also helps our body keep warm and generate some much-needed energy to prevent us from wanting to go into hibernation! And lastly, we all know that chicken soup is good for the soul, so cooking with some of nature’s own best ingredients during the autumn months really is a great way to connect with nature and yourself.
So here’s just four ways to embrace autumn and all the changes not only in nature, but in ourselves too! If you have another symbolic way to celebrate autumn, share it below.