Autumn Equinox 2015
Title: Essence of Nectar
Medium: Egg Tempura and Oil glazing on linen
My intention with my art and life is to travel and grow, to give what I have to offer, and believe me, I have a LOT to give! I’m ready to expand internationally into the wonderful platform of transformational festival culture, where my innate and cosmic creativity feel at home. I wish to fertilise, gather and spread my art pollen, investing in projects based on cultural / spiritual / social ACTIVISM. This pathway, I feel, is vitally important to me for the direction I wish to expand into. I wish to offer my art as seeds of awareness to encourage us to BEE the change, and to inspire vision and exploration into what we need to create here on our planet. I have some very interesting projects in store for this year and beyond, so watch this space … I’m ready to FLY!
With our modern lifestyles it’s hard to imagine what it used to be like for our ancestors who operated their lives in harmony with the cycles of nature. Their daily and yearly tasks were deeply influenced by the weather and the seasons. Their survival depended on it.
Their entire food source was planted and harvested from their land. When harvest time came they hoped their crop was enough to feed their family throughout the entire winter. The danger of starvation is now long gone with supermarkets and stores providing a wide range of produce for us throughout the year. Gone too is the threat of the cold, and being limited to carrying out our duties in daylight hours. We can now control the light and temperature in our homes at the flick of a switch. Sometimes these factors distance us from the true rhythm of nature. However, we cannot deny the influence our surrounding environment still has on us as our bodies and minds respond to the changing of seasons. As nature’s cycles continue around us these same energies are also very active within us. Life is in a constant state of change. Just as nature accepts and adapts to these changes, when we consciously align with these cycles and adjust accordingly, we experience greater flow in our lives and are able to function with ease. Working with these natural cycles helps us to evolve.
A Traditional Chinese Medicine viewpoint
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), autumn relates to the Metal element, which includes the organs: lungs, large intestine and skin. Each of our Metal organs play an important protective role, helping to limit what we take into the body, as well as being avenues for eliminating toxins. The lungs and the skin are considered closely related as the lungs help the pores to open and close.
Our body receives Qi (‘chi’=energy) through the air we breathe and the food we eat. The lungs play a vital role in receiving this life-force through each breath. Breathing exercises such as Qi Gong, or simply focusing on long, deep breaths will help to strengthen the Metal organs and immune system ready for the winter. Eating a moderate amount of ‘pungent’ flavoured food can help disperse any stuck energies in these organs.
In TCM autumn relates to the emotion of grief. All around us nature is dying and ending. Death is a natural part of nature’s cycle. Without it we cannot enjoy new growth. At this time we may notice things are coming to an end in our own lives. Autumn is the perfect time to let go of those things (objects or relationship), that no longer serve you, ready to turn inward for winter and focus on the all-important aspect of self: your spirit. Know that in letting go you are creating space for something even more magical to appear.
A time of balance
The Autumn Equinox falls on March 21st. Equinoxes indicate a time of balance and equilibrium, where for a short time, day and night are of equal length. However, balance is only ever temporary, as we continue our cycle through the seasons. The Autumn Equinox signifies that we are now heading towards winter, where the nights will soon become longer than the days. We see the leaves transforming in colour and we witness our move away from summer, a season of growth, towards winter, a time of decay, inactivity and rest.
Equinoxes give us an opportunity to stop and adjust. Autumn Equinox is the time to begin preparing for the approaching winter, a time of dormancy and stillness, when we naturally begin to turn inward in response to the increasing darkness. The increasingly cold weather reminds us that we have to respond to it and change with it. Preparations and intentions for the coming winter must be made. For our ancestors this meant storing the harvest that had been reaped, to sustain them through the winter ahead. Although we can now access our food during any season, the energy remains the same: the changes around us parallel the changes within us.
A time of harvest and balance
Autumn is traditionally a time of harvest. In the previous months nature has been busy producing. During autumn everything in nature is contracting and moving its essence inward and downward, preparing for the approaching stillness of winter. It is the perfect time to take stock of our own lives and get rid of any excess baggage (emotional or physical!). It is a time to recognise our own personal harvest, celebrate what we have produced, release what we no longer need and give thanks for all that we have.
Also use this time of balance to reflect on the balance in your life. This is the ideal time for reconciling opposites and bringing different aspects of your life into balance: masculine and feminine; dark and light; young and old; giving and receiving.
- Take time to relax and review what you have reaped over the past year and sacrifices made to get where you are today.
- What have you harvested this past year that you are grateful for?
- What beliefs can you let go of that no longer serve you?
- What can you clear out of your home or work space that you no longer use, or have outgrown?
- How do you balance your personal needs with your commitments to the outside world?
- How do you receive and how do you give?
- In which area of your life could you create more balance? How will you do this?
- Write down all regrets, resentments, sorrows, failures and unfinished business from the previous months that you do not wish to carry forward into the winter. Release them by burning the page.
- Help strengthen the lungs, large intestine, skin and immune system by incorporating Qi Gong or gentle breathing exercises into your daily practice.
- Include a moderate amount of ‘pungent’ flavoured food in your diet, such as mild curries, chillies, garlic, onion, ginger, basil or oregano.
The Autumn Equinox symbolises a stage of inner preparation and release, ready to face the darkness of the coming winter. Working with the energy of this season and taking stock of where you are and where you are heading is a valuable exercise. There is time to rest, reflect, celebrate, give thanks and prepare for the cold months ahead. Recognise what you are grateful for and what you no longer need.
Acknowledge your own personal harvest, release what no longer serves you and honour and celebrate your whole self and all of life.
‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.’ – Seneca
Working with the elements to create harmony in body, mind and spirit, Michelle Teunon is a Melbourne-based kinesiologist, bodyworker and Qi Gong facilitator, passionate about supporting people to release limiting behaviours and step into their true potential. Ph: 0408 081 455