(9/2015) Fall officially begins on September 23rd. However, havenít you felt over the past month, natureís energy moving downward and inward? The light has begun to change and is getting darker sooner; the sounds are changing Ė the locusts are making a lot of noise; the air quality is changing, getting drier; the summer blooms are past
their peak in beauty and their colors are beginning to fade.
Finally, when you think of the season of Fall, this is a time of decline and death. The leaves change to brilliant colors then drop to the ground and begin to rot. Everything in nature "lets go" in the Fall. Everything becomes quieter and more subdued. Without this "letting go" there would be no new growth in the Springtime. Also, by the
fruits and leaves falling to the ground and rotting, they bring needed nutrients to the soil. So, this is not only a time of death, but also of enrichment.
Some of the gifts of Fall include letting go and pruning (to make room for new growth in the Spring); crisp, dry air that allows us to breathe deeply; acknowledging of natureís awe; and acknowledging the intrinsic value of everything of creation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Lungs and Large Intestine are also associated with
the season of Fall.
The Lungs are considered to regulate the rhythm of your life. Think about how your breathing is very rhythmical without you having to concentrate on it.
On a physical level, the Lungs literally receive the pure Heavenly Qi (also known as, air). The Lungs then release the waste product of carbon dioxide to the outside environment (so that more oxygen will then be taken in). We breathe in a very matter of fact way. However, in many world cultures and religions, meditation and prayers are done
by being mindful of oneís breathing. The Lungs also regulate the strength of your voice.
On an emotional and mental level, the Lungs are responsible for receiving inspiration, the feelings of self-worth, and realizing the richness of life. How many times have you had an "Ah Ha" moment? Suddenly, you "see" the answer or understand something so clearly. That "spark" of inspiration comes from the Lungs.
On a spirit level, the Lungs are responsible for your inspiration that "feeds" your spirit. Since the Lungs are connected with the Heavens, they give our life a sense of quality and higher purpose. We need this guidance from the Heavens to inspire us.
The Large Intestine
The Large Intestine is considered to be the "Drainer of the Dregs," and removes the waste products from within us. As it carries away the impurities of the body, mind, spirit, it leaves us pure and brilliant. Letting go of the old and worn out ideas, beliefs, and actions allows for us to make positive life transformations.
On a physical level, the Large Intestine is the "Great Eliminator." It receives the transformed food/drink from the small intestine, absorbs any remaining fluid and minerals, then eliminates the waste, also known as the "mundane qi" (the qi that has lost its value).
On an emotional and mental level, the Large Intestine is responsible for letting go of impurities of the mind. It judges the value of things that will affect our quality of life and releases the worthless thoughts and behaviors that could keep our life unpleasant.
On a spirit level, the Large Intestine is responsible for the letting go of things that no longer serve us. This allows space for new growth and changes in your life. It would also give you a sense of quality to your life, because it removes the things that could "contaminate" your spirit.
So, why all the discussion about the Lungs and Large Intestine when the article is about Acknowledgement? Because if the Lungs and Large Intestine are out of balance then you may not be able to let go of the past, let go of inaccurate thoughts and grudges, or even keep things that are valuable. You may also experience life as dull or
"cold," feel inert and uninspired, or lack respect for and devalue yourself and others.
The natural energy of Fall is here to support you in learning to acknowledge your self-worth. Itís a wonderful time to see that you are a valuable gem, perfect just as you are! So, how can you strengthen your energy to better acknowledge your self-worth?
- The Lung is nourished by breathing. BREATHE! Consciously bring your awareness to your breath. Practice diaphragmatic breathing.
- Expansive movements which physically open the chest are also helpful. Perform exercises that open the chest, for example, stretching and singing.
- Eat foods that nourish the Lung and Large Intestine (and the whole body) to help the body to thrive. Eat foods that are pungent flavored/spices like onions, ginger, horseradish, and cayenne pepper. Eat fresh organic vegetables with some sprouted seeds & grains. Eat protein rich foods like low fat tofu, beans, & white meat. Eat light,
white foods like radishes, white meat, & white mushrooms.
- Emotionally, the Lung is nourished by respect. Learning to value who we are and what we do will attract respect from those around us. Deeply exploring what we value, and finding ways to express those values in the world, helps open us to the energy of the Lung.
- Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. Donít worry if everyone does not repay the kindness because that says more about them than about you.
- Donít believe everything you think. There is a critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is, this also stops us from living a full life.
- Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If itís anything less than loving, encouraging and supportive, itís time to make a change. Begin to speak to yourself in the same way you would speak to your dearest friend, spouse, sibling, child, or parent.
- Start each day by telling yourself something really positive, such as how well you handled a situation or how lovely you look today. Smile at yourself in the mirror.
Finally, here are some quotes that I love about acknowledging how special we each are:
"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power." Ė Lao Tzu
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid." Ė Albert Einstein
"When you accept Yourself, the whole world accepts You." Ė Lao Tzu
Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist, physical therapist, and Reiki Master with over 20 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg, PA. She can be reached at 717-752-5728.