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October - Acceptance

According to the classic Su Wen text the 8th of October marks the beginning of the third month of Autumn. We have just been through the Autumn Equinox, which is the celebration of the equality of Yin and Yang in Nature. From now on, for the next six months in the northern hemisphere, we will be surrounded by the dominance of Yin in Nature. Of course, it is progressively increasing until the Winter Solstice and will be progressively diminishing after that.

Yin is that which is passive, receiving, slow, closed in, dark and cold, etc. Hence, the Equinox is a prelude to all those qualities. What is helping in the process is the element of Metal - the Element of Autumn. Metal is associated with Lungs and Large Intestines. Metal element is introducing us into the Yin phase of the year by its Lung-related quality of acceptance. Acceptance is what keeps our Metal element in balance. If you think of the air you breathe, you take in and accept all that enters your Lungs without a filter (except some large particles filtered by nasal hair). With the very first breath, you accept coming here to Earth at birth and you continue accepting this life with each breath you take. The air that falls into your abdomen is like the leaves falling down to the ground in Autumn.

If you are in conflict with the life around you, you may develop Lung problems as your breath becomes short and shallow with habitual rejection of the present life. Many of you would have gone through major life changes in the last couple of years which have asked of you a great deal of acceptance. Big and fast changes can create resistance to accept everything, inflicting on your breath and Lungs.

Accepting is not the same as assimilating. Once the passive act of breathing is complete the Metal element inside of you judges what is valuable to hold and what is not. That which you consider unworthy, you will eliminate through Large Intestine. The Colon clears all that you subjectively consider simply "rubbish". Hence, some well placed judgement will help your guts work smoothly.

Imagine when this natural physiology and balance between the Lungs-Colon is infringed. Do you know what happens? You either feel emptiness in your life, leading to melancholy and depression, or you are full of debris held and not eliminated.

You will feel emptiness if you cannot accept things as they are, since you do not breathe with full Lungs. That habitual rejection a priori makes you disconnected from as-it-happens life. Further, it does not give you the essential material from which to extract your precious gemstones, leading to a lack of meaning in life, in what you do, at work, or perhaps in relationships, and eventually leads to a lack of meaning in your existence. That could make you feel empty inside. As a result we reach for substitutes that make us feel "alive" or "connected", such as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, etc.

At the other end, literally, in Chinese Medicine we say that in order to take things in we must empty first. Ancients would say that we should have a bowel movement after each meal. However, our sedentary lifestyles have already changed that. It is acceptable as a healthy rhythm to empty once a day. If you consume regular meals and do not empty once a day, you mostly probably hold onto stuff you should eliminate. My master teacher would vow that if we wake up at 6am each morning we would not have emptying issues as we stimulate the Colon movement by getting up and about. The 5am to 7am correspond to Colon time in the Chinese Medical Clock.

Even my singing teacher used to say: empty completely your Lungs of all the air and then the next breath will come automatically and will be deeper. In fact, to sustain the health of Autumn related organs, we can help ourselves with breathing exercises (including singing!) and movement: stretching, yoga, Qi Gong, walking and bike-rides in the Nature, will stimulate our Lungs and Colon to extract more meaning from our existence and regularly get rid of trash.

If you nevertheless experience problems with elimination on physical, mental or emotional level, or feel depressed not finding meaning and value in life, there couldn't be a better time to get some acupuncture treatment and Chinese Medical diagnosis to help you with the process of accepting and letting go.

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