Seasonal Tips

Living with awareness and sensitivity to the qualities of the different seasons is a time-honored approach to wellness and self-knowledge. In the west, perhaps mostly because of technology, we have become somewhat desensitized to the different gifts and challenges of each season. We can control the climate in our homes and workplaces and automobiles, so we barely notice the temperature, air quality, insect and animal behaviors, etc., as our ancestors once did. Nonetheless, the seasons have offerings that can serve us powerfully if we are attentive to them.

 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) divides the year into five seasons - fall, winter, spring, summer and late summer. Summer and late summer offers a special time of abundance. The natural growth of green and growing things surrounds everything; fresh foods are readily available nearly everywhere.

Staying Healthy In Winter

The traditional Chinese wisdom regarding the seasonal affects of winter suggests that it is a time of regeneration, reflection, renewal and the wise apportionment of our resources. Our ancestors weren’t gifted with the benefits of technology most of us currently enjoy and even take for granted. Their winters were likely darker, colder, lonelier and with less access to resources such as grocery stores abundant with fresh fruit from South America, Netflix and cable entertainment or snowplows to clear away the likelihood of cabin fever!

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So winter suggests a time when we must face ourselves and explore the depths of who we are. Think of the foliage of the other seasons now stripped away, revealing basic structure and essence. We say the winter relates to the bones, the skeletal essence of a person. You know how we say we know something in our bones? The ancient Chinese suggested that our ancestral energy, akin to DNA, but more than just physical characteristics, reside in our bones. We come to know ourselves and the gifts and challenges we carry with us from previous generations when we descend into the reflective energies of deep winter.

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