This past week, watching the yellow golden leaves of the beech tree outside my office fall to the ground brought me sadness. Autumn is beautiful and I love the crisp cool mornings as the sun peeks through the fog birthing a blue sky to contrast the fiery leaves of the maples. But, there is a deep grief in letting go of the summer’s warmth, abundance in the gardens, and saying goodbye to the expansive days.
If you find yourself feeling sad this time of year, welcome it into your heart and be with the emotions. Fall correlates to our body’s internal organs of lungs and large intestine. The breadth of life, the release of what no longer is needed. Yin and yang.
Let the seasons teach you how to be more yourself. Let go of shame and judgment of your emotions and be with them, fully present, in all the mess. Often, the autumn is when souls leave this Earth, so we may lose more loved ones this time of year. It is the time of the West, the direction of disintegration, compost, release, returning to the great mystery.
The anniversaries of deaths can be opportunities to honor, remember and grieve those loved ones even more fully. The more we are present to the loss, the more those souls can be released into the heavens with peace and reverence. Or maybe you're grieving the stress on the planet, which I certainly am.
Herbs can support our process during the Lung/Large Intestine season. I enjoy sipping Full Breadth Tea from our colleague Greg Disterhoft’s farm in Sunderland, MA. It contains Anise hyssop, chamomile, marshmallow, licorice root, thyme, and elecampane.
Respiratory Support herbs found in my tinctures can also support the lungs especially if there is heavy grief weighing on them which can appear as mucous that is stuck and doesn’t want to be expectorated. All of these herb can be found in my seasonal CSA box, designed to support you during the transitions.
Eating a simple diet in the transition to the cooler weather of fall such as soups, stews, and steamed greens can strengthen the elimination through the colon. Avoid too much raw foods this time of year and eat mostly cooked, warm foods drinking only room temperature or warm liquids. Having at least one bowel movement per day to cleanse the colon fully is ideal.
Grief is exhausting. It is important to listen to your body and rest when you are tired.
Self-inquiring whether journaling, meditation or sharing with trusted friends can be another way to honor the autumn. Ask yourself: what am I holding onto still that does not serve me? Who would I be if I let go of____?
Remain in the question, unattached to direct answers. Be gentle with yourself during this transition time. The leaves don’t all fall the same day. One by one they gently glide to the ground, trusting the Earth will be there to meet, becoming compost for the spring.
When we release, we create space for new ideas, plans, and creative outlets. What are you ready to make space for in your life?