Treat this period as golden opportunity to cultivate stability in your life and develop a practical daily programme including meals times, sleeping times, as well as working efficiencies and leisure.
In most ancient civilazations late summer season typically starts in the middle of August. Even though the weather can still be warm and you keep on enjoying swimming in the sea, externalizing your feelings, thoughts and emotions, there is a gentle but steady shift of energy from the Yin cycle towards the beginning of the Yang cycle. The creative, expansive state of Yin energy that starts in Spring and peaks during Summer, is now turning into a milder and more consolidated form of Energy that starts to move downwards and then inwards during the Winter period. In the Oriental Philosophy of the Five (5) Transformations, we call this moment of transition Earth Energy. People start to feel more silent and pensive, contemplating on the romantic, joyful moments of the summer slowly melting into a past memory and try to get organized, so as to deal with the day to day practical matters and duties of life. Earth Energy is associated with the afternoon -late summer downward moving energy, the organs of spleen, pancreas and stomach, the nature of practicality, stability, homely attachment and sweetness. Autumn Earth Energy is associated with the following attributes:
- Taste: naturally sweet
- Organ: stomach, spleen and pancreas
- Facial diagnosis: bridge of the nose
- Typical ailment: chronic hypoglycemic condition
- Emotional attitude (balanced): happiness, understanding, harmony, empathy, balance & stability, inner wisdom, contentment.
- Emotional attitude (unbalanced): suspicious, jealous, cut-off from others, discriminating, racist, worrying too much, insecure, irritable, craving for support.
- Strengthening Foods: all grains, especially millet, round vegetables, sweet foods like amazake, rice & barley syrup.
- Weakening Foods: salty and artificially sweet foods, cheese, milk, butter, sodas, fresh cream, chocolate, tahini, ice cream, cold, frozen foods and bevarages.
- Cooking style: stewing, casserole.
- Self-development: create stability, standard programme in the house, create a daily routine. Keep the promises you give to others, walk the talk.
- Inner qualities: thoughtful, considerate, balanced
Due to this drastic shift of direction, this is also the time when we may experience instability, imbalance, disharmony and dis-ease. To effectively deal with transitionary autumn period and reap the tremendous healing benefits nature can offer, it is important to base your daily meals around the naturally sweet flavor of whole grains, beans, sweet-taste vegetables and complex carbohydrate sources in general. Naturally sweet grains and vegetables restore balance to Earth related organs namely stomach, pancreas and spleen. Moreover, complex carbohydrates seem to have strengthening and stabilizing effect on these organs. Foods like whole grains, cabbage, fall squash, carrots, onions, wild chestnuts, some of the sea vegetables help the pancreas maintain proper levels of glucose in the blood. Especially millet, sweet brown rice, pounded sweet brown rice known as mochi are all well known for restoring the balance of energy in these organs and for helping the skin become more smooth, full and naturally beautiful. Chewing well is also considered essential, as saliva, a mildly alkaline substance, helps neutralizing the potent acids in the stomach.
- You can combine soft millet with chestnuts to make a delicious porridge that is especially nourishing and southing in the morning.
- You can bake sweet potatoes, carrots and onions in the oven with thyme oil, salt and lemon.
Overall, you can take this opportunity to deeply take care of yourself and nourish your body and spirit. Prepare wisely for the winter by pacing yourself and contemplating on your personal, emotional and professional priorities, before steping into concrete action plans. Treat this period as golden opportunity to cultivate stability in your life and develop a practical daily programme including meals times, sleeping times, as well as working efficiencies and leisure. As John Clare writes in his “Autumn” beautiful poem from the The Village Minstrel, 1821:
“…I love the year’s decline, and love
Through rustling yellow shades to range,
O’er stubble land, ’neath willow grove,
To pause upon each varied change.”
Be well in Autumn..