The Emotions of Autumn….
Whether we like it or not, we are affected by the seasons. Just like you feel happy on a bright sunny Summer day, you will also be affected by the climate of the Fall. Currently, nature is letting go of the “fullness of the Summer” (leaves falling, daylight waning, temperature cooling, tree sap going internal). The emotions that you may feel are completely normal… not pathological (unless they get out of hand). The emotions that arise at this time of year are: Sadness/Grief OR Awe/Inspiration OR a mix of these two. Regarding Sadness/Grief, it can be a scary/sad feeling for something to go away – such as how the warmth and fullness of the summer is going away now (but just remember: it always returns in the Spring).
Through the perspective of Chinese Medicine, we are reminded that this natural movement of going inward is a transition that we must not fight. Yet, so many people “fight” the draw of this time of year. That is the draw to do less, rest more, reflect on the year, and in some way prepare for the even deeper rest of winter. These are the activities of the Fall that are in harmony with nature.
When we adhere to what is appropriate for the time of year, we stay healthy, feel happier, and experience more peace. When we fight it, that is where the problems begin to arise. The problems can take the shape of depression, low energy, and getting sick (sound familiar?). Seasonal Affective Disorder is very likely caused by fighting the natural movement to go more internal at this time of year. I encourage you to reflect on how your body feels at this time of year, and upon what activities you “feel like” doing. If you go with what you feel, rather than what you “think you should be doing”, you will inevitably feel more peace, as you are aligning yourself with the natural world.
You cannot fight the fact that it is getting colder outside or that the daylight is waning, but you can embrace the activities that bring you back to you (might have to read that sentence twice). I highly encourage you to not follow along with the tendency to push yourself to “do more” or gear up to a higher level of activity that is apparent in our culture during this time of year (and in the winter). You are fighting nature when you do that, and it is a losing battle.
Lastly, the test of all this is in how you feel when you change what you’re doing. If you feel better by “doing less”, than great – you’ve just learned something new about yourself. If it doesn’t work for you…. well, go ahead, keep pushing yourself, and I’ll see you in the Spring when you’ve gotten really sick!
I hope this article is helpful. Comment below if you can relate to its contents. What activities do you love doing in the Fall? What activities would you love to drop in the Fall?
I use Acupuncture every day to help clients
stay balanced through seasonal changes such as this one.
According to the Chinese Medicine classics, if you don’t take care of yourself in the current season,
you will suffer the consequences in the following season.
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