When life feels, well, constipated...
Have you ever noticed the transitions of the Equinoxes (summer to fall, winter to spring) seem to be more tumultuous - physically and emotionally?
Maybe it’s the dramatic shift in directional momentum - in summer to fall, the energy shifts from outward and expansive to downward and in; likewise, from winter to spring, it's the rush of energy from the depths moving upward and outward.
In both cases, many people tend to get more colds, more fatigue, and more emotional.
These are also optimal times for "cleaning house", though with somewhat different intentions.
Liver (in Chinese Medicine) is the Organ of Spring, (and our largest 'cleansing' organ) so, it makes sense that this time of year inspires us to spring clean. Autumn is associated with Large Intestine (and yes, Lungs, as I've written previously), which is an eliminative organ.
Spring cleaning - while about clearing out the excesses of winter (whether of stuff, heavy winter clothes or bodily toxins) - is a preparation for new growth and activity. It's a welcoming and opening for freshness and creativity - opening the windows, tuning up the bikes, turning the garden for plantings.
Autumn cleaning is more like, a the risk of sounding morbid, getting one’s affairs in order.
It's about paring down to the essentials of comfort and home, clearing out the dead flower beds; putting the patio furniture away (that ALWAYS makes me sad…) In olden days, it meant the last harvest was done, pulled in and processed, and life now was simplified to the basics of staying warm and fed, and attending to the deeper, inwardly, spiritual matters of life.
Spring Cleaning is about making space for new growth, new energy and new creation. Autumn Cleaning is about clearing out what’s left from all that growth to make space for rest and restoration.
Doesn't that sound lovely?
And, of course, easier said than done.
In our culture, autumn is almost like it's own new year, as school and other routines pick up again, and, well, we all know how anything but restful the holiday season has become.
Still, we can use this season of letting go, to, well, let go.
While the Lungs teach us the depths of our love in the form of grief, the digestive process of elimination via the Large Intestine offers us the lightness of unburdening and relief.
What can you let go of as this year comes to close, not with the intention of letting anything new come in (which it will anyway, life is funny like that), but just for the sheer joy of feeling sweet relief?
What's bogging you down, stopping you up, yes, I will even say constipating* your life that you can now just release and flush away?
I invite you to have fun with that... and share your thoughts if you want.
*Definition of constipating. transitive verb. 1 :to cause constipation in. 2 :to make immobile, inactive, or dull :stultify.