Autumn a very special season of the year is all about releasing, letting go, surrender and forgiveness. It’s for releasing all in life that no longer needs to be and reveals again what is most precious in our lives.
The trees slowly start to shed their leaves, daylight savings ends here in Melbourne Australia, days shorten, the weather starts to cool and we begin to start our transition into a more yin phase, season and energy of the year. Nature’s energy begins to descend and contract.
For many this transition from Summer to Autumn can be the most challenging of the year. The decline from the warmth of the yang masculine energy to the internal feminine. It is also why so many women find it harder in post ovulation and the inner Autumn (PMS week) of their cycle each month.
The shift from the external yang energy to the internal yin is something many of us have not be taught accept and surrender to. Our Western culture does not appreciate enough this glorious energy of YIN – the feminine, being, resting, reflecting, nurturing and nourishing.
Change of season, can also be a time when our immune system is fragile, especially if we fight or resist the change. I feel my cold last week that I lovingly caught from my partner was a release and letting go of all the energy that hadn’t quite been cleared from last year and the summer energy of being on and go go.
The shift in energy from Summer to Autumn provides more space and breath to breath. It starts to invite more stillness, self reflection, pondering, contemplation and supports activities like reading, journalling, yin yoga and meditation.
The energy of Autumn correlates with the Metal element in the Five Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (guess who is a Metal Element person…… Yes ME!). We are made up of all five of the elements, but connect more deeply with just one main element.
The metal element is all about respect ourselves, knowing who we are and honouring our own self-worth and our boundaries.
The characteristics of metal are hard, strong and precise. The are also shining like gold, silver, crystals and iron. In the body metal manifests as mineral and trace elements. Metal allows us to shine, to be brilliant, to inspire and motivate. Metal also has a component of flexibility as it can be remolded many times. When metal gets too strong, however, it becomes rigid.
The Metal Element:
- Season: Autumn
- Essence: Refine and define self
- Meridians: Lung and Large Intestine
- Sense Organ: Nose
- Sense: Smell
- Tissue: Skin and Hair
- Expression: Crying or Weeping
- Colour: White
- Odour: Rotten
- Climate: Dry
- Spirit: Po
- Emotion: Grief
Autumn is a common time for people to get sick. It may therefore not surprise you that the lungs and large intestines are the organs associated with the metal element. Metal governs our respiration, our breath the lungs, the ability to breath in the new and surrender and release the old. It also affects our immune system that protects us from pathogens in the air. The lung meridian opens into the nose, which is the doorway into the lungs.
Large Intestine eliminated the waste and toxics from our bodies. When our bowels are not moving each day, it could be because we are not letting go of something on a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual level. Think of the daily amount of “garbage” directed at our minds and spirits. We need to eliminate mental and spiritual rubbish or we become toxic and constipated, unable to experience the pure joy and the beautiful that surrounds. The Colon function on the mental and spirit level enables us to let go of all this waste in our lives.
Too little metal can lead to hiding, low self esteem, no drive and numbness. When metal becomes overbearing we will have difficulty with expressing ourselves, with intimacy and spontaneity. This can also result in issues with the respiratory system, the skin, elimination, and with the lymphatic and immune system.
Choosing appropriate practices or activities will help to maintain or reestablish the balance for the Metal session of the year. Energy or Chi has an intelligence of its own and knows exactly how to bring our system back to homeostasis.
Ways To Balance The Metal Element:
- Healthy self-care boundaries
- Easy of rigid routines
- Creating inspiring rituals (i.e. Full / New Moon: check out Aligned Living Membership)
- Letting go of perfectionism
- Letting go of old, deep and painful past experiences or people
- Allow ourselves to feel our grief and emotions and then let them go
- Enjoy more meditation, yin or gentle yoga
- Make more space to connect back to self
- Less striving, more go with the flow
- Deep diaphragm breathing exercises
- Skin brushing
- Eating a balanced diet in aligned with Autumn seasonal foods
- Kinesiology (great for releasing mental, emotional and spiritual imbalances)
I hope this gives you a little insight into the energy of Autumn and the metal element and how you can work with this seasons energy in a little more harmony.
If you would like to know more about living in aligned with the energy of the seasons, then do check out the Aligned Living Membership. We explore the Metal element in much more detail and we celebrate each season with a Equinox ritual and gathering.