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The Self Care Of Grief: Clearing Emotional Clutter

Autumn is here and we are having unusually wet weather. Almost to the day of the solstice, I felt a heaviness in my lungs. From a Chinese medicine point of view, autumn is the element of metal and it rules the meridians of the lungs and large intestines. It might have had something to do with the few days I spent in NYC walking for hours amid the thick traffic, or it might also have been the herbal cigarettes I purchased and smoked on a whim, and it also could be that with this season in particular I may need to give some attention to these organ systems. Something else to consider is that with this season, and the metal element, the emotional association is grief. 

We all experience loss in our lives, and these few weeks of autumn can be a healing time to revisit and heal current or past losses. The outer life of nature mirrors our inner life in cycles. In the season of autumn, there is a release of yang energy and a rising up of yin energy. Yang energy is active, exuberant, hot, aggressive, stimulating… and yin energy is quiet, yielding, cool, calm… When we are in harmony with the cyclical nature of life, we move in the same rhythms that nature does.

Autumn nature reflected

People, possessions, and status in our lives come and go. It is our attachments to these outer things that are the root cause of our sadness and grief. In this season I try and give myself permission to contemplate if there is any residual attachment to anything or anyone that needs to be released again. This process goes contrary to our Western sensibilities. I witness that we are encouraged to always be in a process of accumulation and we are discouraged to release and leave a space of emptiness in our lives. It is the emptiness (the next season of winter) that gives rise to a regeneration for the next cycle. I ask myself, what am I clinging to that has served a purpose in my life that needs to be released? And then I let myself feel the loss of it. 

Grief work isn’t easy work to do.

It is easy to ignore it or cover it with anger and resentment. If you are feeling angry or resentful of a person or situation, look deeper, and you will almost always find there is grief at the core of the anger. A true release of grief will be done with forgiveness of yourself and others. Be kind and gentle with yourself in this process.

Elderberry Lung Tincture

I have been working on a recipe to support the lungs and to assist in healing any respiratory issues that may present themselves as we move into the cold months.

I dried elderberries and then extracted the medicine by soaking them in vodka.

To this concoction I have added ginger root, elecampane root, and lemon rind.

These all have been soaking in vodka for a few months.

This will be strained and I will add raw honey to make a syrup.

I will let you know how it turns out.


Peace be with you my friends, and much love.