As I sit here on my beloved island of Corfu, watching one restaurant and shop after another close their doors, I can’t help but feel the bittersweet tug of summer’s end. The warm breeze still caresses my skin, and the sea, though rougher lately, maintains its welcoming embrace. But there’s an undeniable shift in the energy, a melancholy that creeps in with the arrival of October. It’s the season of goodbyes, the time to bid farewell to those who come to visit during the summer, leaving us with cherished memories until they return.
Just a few weeks ago, I embarked on a journey to Italy, a place that holds a special spot in my heart. Every year, I lead a yoga retreat there, and it feels like a timeless ritual that never loses its magic. This year was our 10th anniversary on the enchanting island of Ischia, and it was as beautiful as ever. The Italian sun warmed our souls, and the days were filled with laughter, connection, and deep exploration.
One of the themes we delved into during the retreat was the lung and large intestine meridians. In Chinese medicine, these meridians are particularly relevant during the late summer and early autumn, associated with the metal element. We learned how to clear and tonify these meridians, bringing balance and harmony to our bodies.
What struck me was the connection between our physical health and our emotions. The lungs are linked to grief, and the large intestine holds onto sadness. It’s as if the tears that remain unshed accumulate within us, manifesting as the mucus in our lungs. The ancient teachings came alive as we explored how our bodies can carry the weight of our emotions.
As summer draws to a close and the leaves on the trees begin to change colors, we, too, must consider what we are letting go of this autumn. What are we releasing from the depths of our beings, just as the trees release their leaves? It’s a question that resonates deeply with me in this season of transition.
The world, as we know it, is experiencing incredible pain, suffering, and war tragedies. It’s a time when helplessness and grief seem to loom large, and it’s tempting to hide away, to freeze in the face of such immense challenges. But I’ve come to realize that from that place of being frozen, we cannot truly serve anyone, whether they are near or far from us.
In these moments, I return to the simplest self-regulating tools I’ve gathered on my journey. These are the tools that I need most right now to navigate these challenging times. I’m immensely grateful that I have these tools, for they help me find my way back to myself.
Amidst the chaos and turmoil, I find hope in the togetherness of human beings. In times of peace, we can offer solace to those who suffer, and in times of unity, we can build a better world. As I look at the changing leaves and breathe in the crisp autumn air, I’m reminded that seasons come and go, but the human spirit, resilient and compassionate, endures. I pray that together, we can find our way through the darkness and into the light, forging a path toward a more peaceful world.