Feeling the Equinox

Yesterday was that moment of the year when we mark the light and dark hours of the day as equal. We feel the balance of this moment yet we note the movement all around. The air is crisp. The leaves on the dogwood are just starting to turn that lovely red color, yet most trees are still green and luscious. When you walk on the trails the path is always slightly wet from the rain, and you notice the acorns are falling.

We are heading toward those days when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. The temperature is cooling down, the air smells clean and clear, and you just want to take a deep breath in. We have said good-bye to summer already loosing that frenetic pace of needing to fit everything in and finding that slightly more inward time happening.

In Chinese Medicine following the natural cycles of nature is crucial to living a long and healthy life. This time of year in Chinese Medicine is related to the Metal Element. This element is associated with the lungs and large intestines, with the emotion of grief, and the process of letting go. Here are a few ideas of how to make some small adjustments.

  • You will naturally want to change what you are eating from the plentiful salads to dishes with the butternut and acorn squash that you now finding at the farmers market. Start making soups to nourish you.
  • Try to go to bed a little earlier. Our species does not hibernate, but you may find yourself wanting more rest when the nights are longer.
  • Get out and enjoy the crispness of the air and the leaves changing color. Pay attention to slowly and deeply breathing in and out.
  • Take an assessment of your closets and let go, let go, let go. If you find anything that you haven’t worn in 5 or 10 years you probably aren’t going to wear it again. Donate the clothes to someone who will use them.
  • As you are slowing down try to begin a spiritual practice or continue the one you have. Qigong every morning and evening is a wonderful practice as we go into fall.

Those Ah-Ha moments with Medical Qigong

I do my best to spend an hour doing Medical Qigong daily. For some people its yoga, other people jogging, some dance, but for me I find that Qigong has the potential to help to release all my contracted energy. Sometimes I realize that something emotional, or physical or even spiritual releases. It helps me feel clearer and more available. That would be enough of a reason to commit to this practice.

Recently, I increasingly go through extended periods of time during my Qigong routine where I am more aware of not just the flow from my body but a building energy of Qi within my body. In some ways it feels very much akin to meditating for an entire day. I am calm, rooted, and in touch with an inner strength that I am building. This is another benefit and with each year of Qigong practice I understand more clearly this idea of Qi cultivation is about. I am very thankful.