Autumn is the time of year when leaves begin turning bright orange, yellow and red. As Albert Camus says, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

It’s also harvest time, where we reap what has been sown throughout the spring and summer seasons. For us to absorb the abundant bounty of this season we need to get rid of any old stuff that is hanging around both internally, in our intestines, and externally in our environment.

If the mountain of paper work sitting on the side your desk is finally getting addressed, or the pile of laundry heaped on top of the dresser is making it’s way into the closet, this is a good sign – it means you are in alignment with fall energy and wanting to clean up your personal space.

If, on the other hand, you are looking at that huge pile of work and are feeling frustrated, stuck and depressed, that means its time for a fall cleanse. Always keep in mind that our external environment mirrors our internal environment. If there are piles of unattended-to things around you, you may have piles of old “stuff” inside you as well.

The body naturally wants to purge at this time of year and get rid of any “junk” before we head into winter. Many folks will experience a physical purging in the form of a seasonal cold. This is completely normal. It’s the body’s way of discharging excess mucus as it naturally begins contracting and drawing “inward” for the winter.

If we do not rid ourselves of excess mucus and other internal clutter at this time of year, we set our body up for serious congestion such as a bad flu, body aches, or a chest cold during the winter months.

Now is the time to clean your personal space, and head into fall and winter feeling physically and emotionally clear. One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate a quick one or two week Autumn cleanse.

Autumn Cleanse guidelines:

  • Light eating is ideal
  • Eliminate dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, kefir, milk)
  • Eat steamed or quickly blanched vegetables
  • Raw salads with daikon radish or other radish to help discharge mucous
  • Water sauté vegetables and season with a drizzle of oil for flavor
  • Drink a daily carrot, beet, celery, apple juice
  • If you have a tendency toward cold hands and feet or internal coldness, do not drink veggie/fruit juice, instead use warm stocks (chicken stock, fish stock) with fresh herbs and chopped garlic
  • Lightly seasoned Miso Soup with sea vegetables is a great way to start the day during an Autumn cleanse
  • Eat light proteins (fish, chicken) in small quantities
  • Baked squash, beets, parsnips and other sweet vegetables are deliciously satisfying if you are craving sweets
  • Brush your skin with a loofa or dry brush to help discharge through the skin (the health of your skin is imperative to the health of your lungs)
  • Exercise daily; a brisk walk around the tress and changing leaves, or a vigorous run in the woods, will help clear toxins through the skin/lungs

According to Chinese Medicine the lung and large intestine meridian and organ systems is where we need to put our attention at this time of year.  The lungs are the recipient of life (breathing in) and inspiration, while the large intestine helps us extract what we need for nourishment and then release the waste. During Autumn cleansing time, below are some spiritual/emotional questions to ponder:

  • Are you feeling inspired?
  • Are you grateful for every breath that supports your existence here?
  • Have you released the physical and emotional waste that no longer serves you?
  • What old “stuff” are you refusing to let go of?

Journaling and meditation are good ways to get to the root of what may be stuck inside your heart/mind/body. Journaling can also help us acknowledge and be grateful for what we already have.

For example: I begin every day with a morning journal. I write about all the crap that is bothering me: heavy workload, things I didn’t complete the day before, unresolved friends/family conflicts. And, I always finish my journal with all of the things I am grateful for; the people in my life, my work, the sunshine, the rain, the farmers that supply my food, and the main one… my life here on this planet.

To be able to have this awesome human experience is totally amazing to me. I am inspired every day by the whole thing: the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful; it all makes for a truly colorful experience… like the changing leaves during the Autumn season.

Take the next couple of weeks to get clean, get clear and get inspired about your life. Then relax and watch your health and happiness improve dramatically.

Want more info about changing with the seasons? Check out Staying Healthy with The Seasons by Elson Haas. It’s a good one.