I tried to wake up my daughter this week for school. Although she is only 39 lbs., it was like waking a bear from hibernation. She growled after her usual amount of sleep, “Mommy, I just can’t wake up!” I knew then that we were moving steadily away from the late summer/earth and into the fall/metal season. That sentiment of fatigue was echoed by so many of you this week. As the days get shorter and we shift the balance in favor of the yin energy, we actually do need more sleep. Nature has a way of dictating a natural rhythm of rest and action. Modern technology allows us to disobey these primitive yet effective rules. However, it is known that if we live according to nature, we will remain balanced and therefore be healthier year round. So I will continue with my favorite homework assignments, more sleep, more water and more food.
The fall/metal energy is about inspiration and letting go. The beauty that strikes us this time of year as the trees shine with glorious color, practically forces us to inspire with awe. Soon we will see the trees letting go of their leaves. As they fall to the ground, they will rot which will eventually create rich soil for new growth in the spring. The same is true for humans. If we are able to let go and provide time and space for things to melt away, we will create a rich soil within ourselves for new things to flourish. So if you are feeling a sense of nostalgia or grief right now know that those feelings are perfectly appropriate to the fall season. In Chinese medicine the metal element’s job is to refine the divine spark within us. Letting go of the rubbish and holding onto only what is valuable and inspiring is the mandate of the metal. Sometimes the letting go can be very difficult. It is hard to let go of things that are familiar even if they aren’t serving us anymore. It is also sometimes scary to think of the void that will be created by leaving behind old feelings, patterns and behaviors. Furthermore, it may feel like a betrayal to let go of loved ones who have moved on. However, if you think in terms of what is aiding your balance and what is hindering your balance, the lines of dismissal become clear. All of life carves out our soles, but not all of life is meant to be carried throughout the entire journey.
I would encourage you all to find a tree covered hilltop and breath in the cool fall air as you think about what it is that you need to discard. Breathe it in one last time and breathe it OUT! Then try to incorporate more of what inspires you into your daily routine. Those two things partnered with a little more rest and stillness will guarantee that you will be in resonance with the fall season.
Also remember as we move into the winter/water season to let yourself hibernate even a bit more. The potential and power that is harnessed during the winter is what becomes the foundational willpower that pushes us into the spring and through the summer. Think of the winter as a time of building reserves while cultivating stillness.
It is easy for most of us to get swept up by the joy and spontaneity of the summer. Now it is time to relish in the gifts of the more yin seasons. Let the fall inspire you and let the winter restore you so that when spring comes you will be ready to rise up with clear vision and creativity!
As always I have to say that it is truly inspiring for me to be able to be on this journey with all of you. You all have such incredible insight, determination and humor! Thanks for sharing it with me.
With respect (metal), courage (water), benevolence (wood), joy (fire) and sincerity (earth)… Shani
Shani’s Seasonal Letter – Fall/Metal 2012