This time of year can be joyous in some ways—schedules are calming down, chai lattes can be found in abundance, and cozy scarves and boots are back in style—but for some, Autumn brings out A LOT of emotion.
Is there more to this than just the physical changes around us—i.e. shorter days, dying leaves, and colder temperatures? If so, is there a way to better prepare for this time of year so that when it inevitably comes around you won’t find yourself in darker, colder places internally as well?
Chinese medicine says yes! A substantial part of this ancient healing modality is learning how to sync up your own body to the energy of the season around you. When you begin to learn the intricacies of season change and how it affects you individually, you can become the master of your own life, and your own health and happiness rather than “going along for the ride” with the drastic fluctuations in temperature.
As this is one of my favorite topics and I know I’ve covered it before, I’m going to STRIVE to bring you new information. This year, we are diving deep and focusing on the spiritual! Following are 3 transformative, relevant, easy to incorporate, new pieces of info that will help you to not only survive the fall, but thrive in it!
1. Develop a journaling practice.
This time of the year teaches us that there is not only beauty in letting go, but that it is a necessity. Why not embrace that rather than complain about it? Holding on to events, ideals, situations, people, and emotions not only cause strong feelings like anger, resentment, irritability, and frustration to surface, but they can take a toll on the physical body as well.
Instead of dwelling, write it all out. Take inventory on anything you are holding on to; in the morning, take 20 minutes to write about it. Write from your whole heart, and without judgement, write whatever comes up. When finished, say out loud, “thank you for the lessons this _______ has taught me, I now release ______________, and let go.”
Then, throw out or burn the journal entry.
The small act of throwing out your written word is teaching the mind/body/soul little by little that it is okay to let go. My suggestion? Do this every day until you don’t feel as strong a “grip” or attachment to it.
2. Create an intention.
I’ve recently gotten into intention, or mantra, work and I can honestly say it has changed my life substantially for the better! An intention is a brief statement that positively states your worth. For instance, “I am worthy”, “I am confident”, or “I am abundant” are excellent ones.
If you are working on letting go or changing a specific ideal about yourself, it may be helpful to create your intention directly focused on that. For example, if in your daily journaling, you are trying desperately to let go of beating yourself up about an event that did not go the way you wanted it to, your intention could be, “I trust and surrender that everything is working out exactly as it should,” or, “I trust my journey, and know I am being taken care of,” or, “I let go of control, and trust the process.”
An intention can be anything, but it helps if it really ‘strikes a cord’. When I choose my intention for the day, I get a strong sense of power, confidence, and comfort in my heart center. Be aware though, that beginning this work can be challenging at first. An intention may seem false when you are so deeply rooted in another way of thinking. Just keep doing it. Remind yourself that you are not there yet, and you may not even believe your words, but you are headed in that direction. As with the journaling practice, this is best done consistently for the most benefit.
3. Develop a visualization/manifestation board, journal, or Pinterest page!
The platform you choose doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are actively thinking about what you want your life to look like and you are taking the steps to put some sort of physical representation of that life down on paper (or a computer screen).
How do you create a “manifestation board”? There are no specific rules. A manifestation board is quite simply a piece of paper with magazine cutouts, pictures, words, or drawings that you want to manifest into your life. It can be palm trees, money, love, anything… the world is your oyster!
This is a creative exercise that brings you back into connection with your power. Your power that you can actually have/decide/create the life that you want. AND, that the feelings you are experiencing right now, are not going to stay forever and ever.
Tying it all together
This brings me back full circle to why I decided to choose these tips for staying healthy in the fall. You say, what??!?! There is literally not one soup recipe, Holly. What are you going on about? Well, believe it or not--emotional, spiritual, and mental health are equally as important as physical health. In Chinese medicine, emotion is a strong cause of disease, and is commonly THE cause, if not a contributing factor.
Working on a deeper level to allow emotions to surface that have been being pushed down for years and years allows the healing to take place on your own terms. This time of year gently nudges us in this direction. It is a season that comes hand-in-hand with the emotions of grief and sadness and can easily introduce bouts of depression in a lot of people. It is nature’s reminder that we must process, learn from, and then let go in order to be free.
If you’d like to couple the spiritual piece with the mental/emotional in a true ‘holistically inspired’ fashion, check out these other posts from years past…
Three Simple Ways to Stay Balanced in the Fall
How to Make Easy and Really, Really Yummy Chai
Breathe Easy During the Holidays: 2 Breathing Techniques Anyone Can Do