To follow Nature, first we have to understand that we truly are a microcosm of the Universe. This means all the cycles, patterns and energies in Nature are reflected in us.
What’s happening right now in Nature? In late fall, the growth created from spring through summer and into early fall has reached a colorful crescendo. It’s a completion of the previous seasons, and Nature’s time to let go. So we see trees dropping their leaves to allow the vital sap within their trunks to sink back toward the soil. We see flowers, weeds and all kinds of vegetation dying back, to nourish the earth in anticipation of the following spring. Without this letting go, there can be no real rest during winter, and no subsequent growth the following spring. Every part of the process has a reason and a purpose, and it all combines to create the cycle of seasons we witness every year.
How are Nature’s energies playing out in us right now? All of our accumulated energies during the past two seasons—in terms of body, mind, emotions and spirit—has to reach a stage of fulfillment. It’s time to let go of things we don’t need. (And “things” can be information, emotions, or processing of life events, and the like.) In letting go of what we no longer need, we allow our bodies to deeply rest. We build up our Qi, or vital energy, and use it to strengthen our bodies for the winter season.
Fall is the best time of the year to let go. We need to keep only what will nurture us over the coming months. That way, nothing stays stuck in us over the winter, and we can emerge in spring rejuvenated and ready to start anew. This cyclical process is the promise of Nature, the promise of Life itself. We only need to follow and trust the process.
Here are five tips you can follow in fall to build your Qi for winter:
- Let It Go: Is there anything physically, emotionally, or spiritually you are holding onto right now? Give yourself some quiet time to become aware of what needs to go. Most of us can release feelings of stress and/or “have-tos.”
- Match Nature: There is less daylight. Nature has slowed down. Match this vibration by allowing yourself to get enough rest. Start to slow things down in your life and give yourself time to unwind and relax.
- Match the Temperature: The weather is getting cooler. Your body can expend a great deal of Qi fending off the cold. So preserve your Qi by dressing to match the temperature.
- Eat Seasonally: Your diet can help you adjust to the change in seasonal energies. Eat pears to nourish your Lung, the organ associated with fall. And eat bone soup and fish to help build the energy of your Kidney, the organ related to winter. (Nourishing recipes)
- Practice: To support your body’s energy system, practice the Four Energy Gates daily.