Metal Moves Us to Let Go
About half a year ago, we experienced the outward bursting of wood energy as spring began. During the summer, that outward fiery energy shone brightly as the sun enveloped us in its warmth and vitality. We are still experiencing that here in San Francisco, but the cycle is beginning to close. In most places, the leaves will fall off the trees as the energy of autumn moves everything inward. Autumn is a time for reflecting on what we’ve gained over the past year. It’s a time for letting go of that which we don’t need to carry with us any further, both materialistically and emotionally.
The element of autumn is metal, according to Five Element Theory. The emotion of the metal element is grief and sadness. You may notice that you are feeling very sensitive to loss this season. As the trees cyclically lose their leaves and the animals begin to prepare for the scarcity of winter, we, too, are experiencing the loss of the sun’s warmth and all the abundance that it provides during the summer. It is very natural to feel more sadness in the autumn season. It is best to allow the feelings to arise, feel them fully, notice what message there is at the depth of the emotions, and then let them go. It’s important not to dwell in the sadness because sadness can zap the body’s energy. With the inevitable winter in a couple months, we need to store as much of our energy as possible.
The organ pair of the metal element are the Lungs and Large Intestine. According to Chinese theory, each of the major organs has an external orifice and a tissue with which it is associated. The external orifice of the Lungs is the nose and the tissue associated with the Lungs, another breathing organ, is the skin. We need to be on lookout for the pathogen of dryness this season. This is the season of dry skin, dry sinuses, dry coughs, and constipation. Paying close attention to fluid intake to keep these organs hydrated will pay off this season and the next. A dry condition left improperly cared for can be very stubborn to treat.
Now is a perfect time to get in touch with your breathing. Breathe in deeply and notice what is going on in your body, in your mind and in your emotional landscape. Imagine breathing in all the healthy oxygen and vitality that the atmosphere has to offer and let go of anything that doesn’t serve you, that may be harmful to you, and that his holding you back. If you are successful at keeping your metal in balance this season, you will be prepared to face the deep fears of the watery winter season.
If you find yourself having difficulty balancing your metal element this season, our Acupuncture team at Zazen would be happy to help you recalibrate. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great balancing tools for maintaining vitality and emotional wellbeing. They are also great at assisting us in letting go, as well as preventing that dry pathogen from taking hold.
Wishing you graceful shedding,
Charity Burgess, L.Ac.