What Season Are You? Listening to Autumn

What autumn (and every season) reveals about you...

Posted Oct 14, 2009

What season are you? According to Eastern wisdom, each season has its own unique energy and you can learn to listen to how its energy affects you.  You can additionally coordinate seasonal energies with personal life goals.  In fact, many answers you seek toward improving your life may be found in your ability to attend to the ebb and flow of this cycle.  The process is more than poetic.

We experience energy cycles physically every day as we follow sunrise to sunset and in the waxing and waning of our own body’s energies.  Eastern wisdom, medicine, and holistic arts have known this for millenniums.  It is their basis for living well. 

PAYING ATTENTION is instrumental to the process.  In terms of seasonal cycles, your first job is witnessing how the unique energy of each season corresponds to and affects changes in your body, mind, and environment, as well as within others. Note, however, that although there may be aspects of say autumn that seem common to everyone, how autumn’s energy works in you is also somewhat individual.  It can, however, be coordinated with personal goals. 

Martial and other arts teach you to capture nature’s energies and flow with them, not against them.  By harmonizing with nature’s seasons, you can live longer and healthier and make the most of your time and life. 

To help us understand this movement various holistic arts sometimes refer to a fifth season, which turns out to be late summer (what some of us refer to as Indian summer). As such, the fifth season is often pictured in the center of a circle made up of the other four seasons.  This is to remind us that our energetic center is the self, that part of us that essentially gives us purpose, in part by coordinating the energies of the other four. Its associated element is earth, emphasizing the notions of place and growth.

When we are centered, we are self-aware and can begin to synchronize who we are on the inside with our external environment. 

So as you begin to coordinate personal endeavors with natural cycles, you need to stay centered—flexible, positive energy. 

Autumn:   This is not a time for hustling, though many of us—myself included—have had to fight off the urge.  Instead it is a time to reflect upon and gather the new tools and networks we have built via the seemingly boundless pursuits of spring and summer. It is a time to consider and prioritize ways to let their information sink in and see how it can be used to our advantage.  Autumn’s associated element is metal—from which we gather strength and endurance, sturdiness. In holistic arts, it is important to see the seasons, elements, and their energies as integrated and flowing—not disconnect.  How you enter one seasonal influence and flow into the next is as important as being there. And each time you do, you must bring your attention back to self—checking in to see what is most needed to fulfill your imminent (and authentic) goals.  Fire is what brings us into the strength of metal, yet at the end of its cycle metal softens into water (the winter season) which generates your most creative cycle.  So after energetic pursuit, gathering, and understanding of data, winter offers the flexible power for shaping information into new life and is what holistic arts consider the most creative of the seasonal periods, which will, of course, give way to spring’s explosion of energy as the cycle begins again.

Thus far, we have been talking about the macro picture of seasonal influence.  Ultimately you want to be able to use these same energies upon need—whenever and wherever. So once you develop a feel for how each of the seasons affects you and its unique energy, you can transpose it to help you achieve daily goals as well—the micro picture. 

You will probably notice that you favor and act from one season’s energy more than others.  Everyone tends to do this.  That’s where you feel most at home.  The point is, however, not to get stuck in any one season’s energy or nitpick anyone else who may be operating from a different phase of the cycle than you.  Your gift to yourself is in what you receive during each cycle.  Your gift to the world around you is in what you give back, without judgment.


Note:  For more information on the energies of seasons, elements, and other natural sources as well as plenty of exercises for a 365-day mindset, see my book, Bow to Life.  For a scientific adventure into the world of human attention see my newest book [amazon 1601630638].


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