Autumn arrives this Tuesday, September 22, at 9:31 am EDT. Fall is a time to gather, to harvest what we have grown, understood and resolved during the summer. As the energy begins to contract in the yin of Autumn, we keep what will sustain us in the coming quieter, darker, time of hibernation and re-nourishment, and let go what no longer serves us.

In Chinese Medicine, Fall is the time of the Metal Element, and the Lung and Large Intestine Channels of Energy. We use metal to create infrastructure…and sometimes the old infrastructure has to be torn down to make way for the new. In fall, we “gather in” what we have grown during the Spring and Summer….and sort through all of that to keep which will serve and nourish us in the Winter to come. We let go that which is not up to snuff, that which will not nourish us during hibernation and rest. There is often grief in letting go, but letting go is necessary to make room for more good. We must create the space to allow for the receiving.

Michael Gach is a wonderful acupressure teacher and says this about the Metal Element, the energy of Lung and Large Intestine Meridians (the channels of energy) and Autumn:

Imagine your body’s vast network,
Take energy into your lungs,
Let go of all that is unnecessary.
Receive and store energy, eliminate wastes.

The skin breathes…
Spicy foods open the pores:
Ginger, onions and garlic.

Let go of what is inside,
Cleaning mucus and toxins
Like the falling leaves, let go;
Grieving releases a loss.

Deepen your breathing,
Channel your energy;
Consciously use the tools you have been given.

Autumn is thought of as the time of letting come and letting go, which are the functions of our lungs and large intestines. We take a breath, and then let go of our breath to allow us to take the next breath. We eat, and then let go of what we have eaten and digested to make room for our next meal. Energetically, we make room to let come what we need to sustain us through the next seasons of yin, before the yang of Spring. The time of the Metal Element is a time of restructuring, tearing down what doesn’t support us, so our new, stronger infrastructure can begin to be planned and eventually built.

Sometimes it is time to let go of people in our lives. Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba said, “Don’t throw anyone out of your heart.” Sometimes the only way to keep someone in our heart and in our love is to let go of physical contact with particular beings. Sometimes the best and wisest thing to do is to send loving-kindness from afar. This letting go may be accompanied by grief, and it may be for our highest good, and that of all concerned.

I love Fall and Winter. I love the internal times. Today is a perfect time to simply affirm: I let go of whatever I need to release. I make room to receive whatever is for my highest good.

We let go, we let come. We don’t have to worry about the how, or the details. We will be guided as to what our part is. We stay willing. We trust. We rest. Happy Autumn!