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As the trees turn bare and the days grow darker, we can feel a sense of sadness, heaviness, or even grief.

And with the current state of events in our world right now, this may feel even more intense. 

But as painful as they can be, another way to look at these emotions is that they mean we’re actually in tune with the cycles of nature. 

That’s because according to Chinese Medicine, each season is correlated with a specific emotion, and Fall is associated with sadness & grief.

In fact, it’s taught that hidden within every season and emotion are valuable gifts.

By understanding these seasonal energies, we can better understand ourselves and flow with our emotions, even embracing them, to live with more harmony and balance.

So let’s take a deeper look into how we can find the gifts in grief by exploring the energy of Fall…


In addition to an emotion, each season has a corresponding element, organ system, flavor, color, and more, that influence us in unique ways.

Fall is associated with the Metal element and the Lungs and Large Intestine organs.

In nature, Metal is found deep in the earth as valuable & often precious resources.

The interesting dichotomy of Metal is that it’s used both for cutting (knives, scissors, swords) and in objects of great value (jewelry, money, awards, plaques etc).

Similarly, the Lungs and Large Intestines are in charge of both releasing waste and receiving vital oxygen and nutrients. (The Large Intestine not only eliminates but also absorbs back water, electrolytes & vitamins.)

And as leaves fall from the trees, they return their richness back to the soil to fertilize new life in Spring. 

So Fall, like grief, is a wonderful teacher not only about letting go, but also about recognizing what is precious.

Here are 6 ways to consciously work with Fall’s energy by releasing, re-evaluating, and re-prioritizing in many aspects of your life.

1 - Reflect On These Questions: 

  • In what ways has loss helped you recognize what is truly valuable? 

  • What do you need to shed right now? 

  • What attachments, habits or beliefs no longer sustain your deepest values?

  • What is most precious to you? How can you allow more of that richness?

  • How can you live more in alignment with your deepest values?

  • Where can you shine more appreciation - both within and without?

2 - Declutter Your Home: 

  • This is as much about letting go as it is about making space to honor what is truly of value to you.

  • Make piles to give away, imagining how these things will get new life & bring joy to others. 

  • Clear out expired items from the fridge, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom.

  • Organize junk drawers so you can make use of what’s in there.

  • Create simple, intentional spaces throughout your home that highlight objects and activities that bring you joy & inspiration. 

3 - Do a Digital Detox: 

  • Unsubscribe to mail lists that don’t interest you.

  • Unfollow social media accounts that don’t inspire you.  

  • Clean your laptop of old emails and files. 

  • Create space for new interests and more authentic connections, in-person and online.

4 - Evaluate Your Eating: 

  • Reduce foods that cause heaviness, sluggishness, phlegm and discomfort in your body like:

- dairy

- fried/heavy foods

- refined flour & sugar

- deli meats

- raw/cold food, smoothies and iced drinks

  • Eat more real, whole foods that bring your body valuable nourishment.

  • Opt for nutrient-rich soups, lightly steamed or sautéed veggies, seasonal produce, whole grains, nuts, beans, healthy fats, and simply prepared proteins.

5 - Shift Your Schedule:

  • Reduce daily actions that drain & distract you and re-prioritize on what will truly fuel you.

  • This could be just swapping 10 minutes of TV/social media/shopping for 10 minutes of meditation, stretching, dancing, reading something inspiring, connecting with a loved one, doing a hobby, etc.

  • As you start living in alignment with values, you’ll gain momentum to flow through your day differently. 

6 - Try Diaphragmatic Breathing:

  • Most of us breathe shallow in our chest due to stress and tight upper back/neck muscles. 

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing both expands the lungs and creates a gentle massage on the intestines, supporting your body to release waste and make room for better absorption of oxygen and vital nutrients. 

  • Find your diaphragm by placing one hand on your upper abdomen with the thumb below the breastbone and the pinky above your belly button. 

  • Breathe into this area for a few minutes, feeling it rise & fall below your hand, and letting your shoulders release with each exhale.

  • Try to do this whenever you notice yourself breathing shallowly. 


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