Flowing with the Seasons

Each season has correspondences; vibrations of color and sound, a particular taste, an emotion, and an organ system.

SPRING

Spring is the Wood Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine; a time of new beginnings, new possibilities, a rising up and reaching for goals and dreams. Emerging from Winter, Spring is the time to envision plans and hopes for the future. The organ system associated with Spring is the Liver and Gall Bladder.   The color is green. The taste is sour.

How can you support your energy in Spring? Ponder these questions:

What expands you?

What areas do you want to grow in?

What are your dreams and how will you plan to fulfill them?

What areas might you need to prune?

Where is it time to move on?

What frustrates you? Harness the energy of Spring which is Assertiveness and destroy those pesky habits. Form new patterns that help you grow.

Choose the sour taste to support these changes. Sour astringes, helping our Livers and Gallbladders to do their work of detoxifying. Perhaps you could begin your day with warm lemon water, add in some sour pickles, or cook with recipes that call for vinegar.

SUMMER

Summer is the Fire Element; a time of fullness, of relationship, a time of contentment and joy. Summer is a time of celebration. It is the season of the Heart. The seeds we planted in Spring in the form of new ideas and new plans now blossom in their fullness. Take time to observe. What makes you happy? What is your passion? What feeds your heart and makes you feel expansive?   What encourages you to share that love with others?

In this season choose the color red – in your clothes, in your foods. And add the Bitter taste to some of your meals. Coffee, dark chocolate, tea, turmeric, dandelions, and nettles all contain the bitter taste.

LATE SUMMER

The Harvest. Slow down a bit. Lie in the hammock, sit on the rocker or glide on the swing to savor the blessings in your life. Where are there abundance and a harvest in your life? From this abundance what can you share? Notice the areas of your life where you have been transformed? Turn inward, nurture and tend.

In this season choose the color yellow – in your clothes and in your foods. Add the Sweet taste to your cooking. This is the season of the Stomach and Spleen. Foods such as bananas, mangos, and sweet potatoes can support your healing.

FALL

On the East Coast of the United States, Autumn is a time of trees letting go of their leaves, shorter hours of daylight, and of changeable weather. In Chinese Medicine it is the Season of the Lung and Large Intestine. Both organs participate in the regulation of what we take in and what we let go.   Dressed properly for Fall. Cover your head and neck and spend time outside with your focus on breathing in what is precious and beautiful and breathing out, releasing whatever no longer serves you.   Keep only what is valuable.

In this season choose the color White – in your clothes and in your foods. Be sure to be eating mostly warm foods. Cooked foods are easier for the body to digest. Incorporate pears, almonds, cauliflower, rice, and garlic.

WINTER

During the colder, darker days of Winter take time to go inward, go deep. Explore your inner core. What gives you courage? When have you been brave? Where are you wise? Store these moments. Take stock. Winter is a season that allows us more time to rest, longer nights allowing time for renewal. Sleep. Nap. Dream. Who are you after this past year? Who do you dream to be in the New Year? The organ system linked to Winter is that of the Urinary Bladder and Kidney.   When we are well rested we feel warm and we are better able to ward off colds and flu. Poorly rested and we feel chilly, particularly in our low back or knees and find we are more susceptible to whatever is going around.

In this season choose the color Deep Blue or Black – in your clothes and in your foods. Keep eating those warm foods, like soups and stews. Choose black beans, black mushrooms, and fresh fish that swim in cold waters like cod.