**Note to readers: This article by Jamie Lashbrook uses philosophies from indigenous medicine from the Americas. References to the elements may differ from other Temple Times articles written according to Chinese Medicine. We find it interesting and helpful to see the overlap of ideas and how it can all work together. We hope that you do, too!
What just happened? Where did my summer go? My body and my emotions are scrambling to catch up to the shift with a bit more challenge this year. I find this to be so with most of my peers and my clients.
Autumn is a time of returning back to the elements of the body and our emotions as we literally fall back into ourselves. The fall season embodies the element of water. With its fluid grace water gently starts to soften the soil of our body so that come winter we can dive into the depths of our internal Earth/body journey. Water washes away what no longer serves and we are left feeling a little bare- a little cold and a little exposed after the warm celebrations of summer’s bounties. Water reflects our light, but only if we can slow down the emotional ripples within to really see our true image. It can soften the rough edges of our soul and carry us out into the great Universal tides of TRUST.
But therein lies the secret to the process of change and transition. The trees don’t question why they are being stripped of their leaves. They know they must let go of the old and allow it to compost into the cycle of life in order to grow again. Letting go means standing bare and exposed and vulnerable to change and embracing the storms. Letting go means you have to be able to discern your emotions and trust their guidance. This can be quite a challenge in a society that discourages being “too emotional.” Our culture often treats emotions as some sort of dis-ease to be quickly cured and covered. When we block the flow of our emotions, when the tears back up into our eyes and disappear, the cleansing watery ways of our inner life stand stagnant and we can no longer see our reflection- or any reflection.
Like nature, we are cyclic. Our bodies obey the same rules of balance that Mother Nature governs. Nature, out of balance, will do everything in her power to restore balance and self- actualize. A soul out of balance will do the same and the vehicle for that transformation and law is our body. Our emotions are our first sweet signal that this dynamic is in need of reflection. When we trust our emotional body, when we can walk with our every part and piece and spastic thought forms, then we can maintain a certain level of balance, grace and fluidity. I say a certain level because we really don’t have control of the outcome. You have to let go of that, too.
If we ignore this process and allow this stagnant emotional well to build and fester without flow, eventually cracks will form and flood our bodies with poison. I feel deeply and I see the results of these cracks in myself and others every day. It seems that most of our modern diseases are the by-product of a life in opposition to its natural process of balance, of letting go and trusting Mother Nature herself. The seasonal transitions are, by design, supportive of our highest self-actualization. Water (fall) washes away what doesn’t serve any longer so we can carry the gifts and bounties that burst in summer’s (fire) flame. Our emotional bodies are softened so that we might journey further into our flesh or the dirt of our body (Earth/winter). The wisdom of our bodies will show us what gifts must be brought to light again so that new parts of us can grow come spring (air). The new spring breezes carry those seeds into the places of light to grow so our creative spark of summer can again be seen and celebrated…. Cyclic, beautiful, Universal and inside of you.
I write these words sounding as though I flow right through my life with ease and learning and great revelation. I am here to say that I write these words from a place of personal struggle with letting go and seeing my beauty and rhythmic connection to all of life. I write from a place where I know how difficult trust is especially when your emotions are dark and your body disobeys your every command. I write to say that just taking one step into the direction of self- reflection will bring fluidity and grace back- even if it is just a trickle. And, I write, as always to help guide you in simple ways to “learn to listen to your gut,” your heart, your soul and your- YOU.
Falling With Grace
Yes, only for 5 minutes. You can do 5 minutes. I know your feet hit the floor and you’re off. But take just 5 minutes in the morning to sit without distraction and observe your thoughts, your emotions and your breath. Yes, some may call this meditation, and- yes I suppose that it is. But meditation brings up too many conditions for people, so let’s just call it slowing down.
Getting in touch with our true emotions can be difficult when our physical body is sluggish and imbalanced. Doing a 1-2 week cleanse can really connect you back to this watery emotional side- you may even find creative inspiration- watch out. You don’t have to become a slave to starvation. Simply eat lighter, eat in accordance with the season, drink more water and cut out those things you “know don’t make you feel good.” A little guidance around what type of cleanse is good for you is very helpful.
Eating seasonally will quickly align you with the rhythms of nature and the season. Root vegetables are energetically grounding for you. More cooked foods warm and soothe our bellies. When we feel grounded, comforted and nourished in our bodies we can listen to the emotions and messages that flow through.
Write a story:
Stories are meant to flow from beginning to end- maybe with a heroin, some great drama and love. Unfortunately, our real life stories of pain, fear, imbalance and suffering often stay stagnant. This is mostly due to the fact that we are not asking what is below the surface. If you are jealous- what is below the jealousy? If you hold anger- what flows below it? Write a story about it- maybe you tell the real story or maybe you allow your imagination to drift. Looking below these surface emotions can unblock them. Acknowledging them and letting them move through with our words can give them and you a new perspective on your life.
Body work is one of the most beautiful journeys into yourself. You physically feel your body, you allow someone to care for you and you are in a space to let go. Abdominal massage therapies specifically address the emotional body as your belly houses the gateways of emotional balance.
For further support please reach out with questions. Emotional imbalance can feel very lonely and be debilitating. Life- threatening emotions are real and if you EVER feel unsafe please reach out to a professional who can assist you.
As always, in a beauty way… Learn to listen to your gut,