Autumn, the art of letting go and how reflexology can help.
‘The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.’
Season changes are the perfect time to start reflecting on and reevaluating which things are working for us and which things we need to let go of. As we’ve moved into Autumn, I’ve been incorporating this idea into many of my facial reflexology treatments by focusing on the respiratory system or lungs and the large intestine. These are both organs of elimination and in TCM they are linked to the Metal Element and autumn. They are also linked to feelings of grief. If the Metal element is out of balance it can show up in the body as skin issues, allergies or constipation. By working these reflex zones, it can support you to let go of anything you no longer need both physically and emotionally.
In fact whether I’m working on the feet or the face and even when I’m carrying out a facial Gua Sha treatment, my intention is to release stagnation and blockages to allow the energy or qi to flow freely and help the healing process. People often comment on the tingling sensations they feel travelling around their bodies during treatments which is just that feeling of energy flowing.
But letting go is much easier said than done. Think about the things that you are holding onto that are no longer serving you: it could be an old emotion – pain, anger, sadness, resentment, shame, grief, regret. It could be a relationship, a friendship, job, role, place, person. It may be a feeling of unworthiness, comparison, fear or worry. I think we all realize that holding onto these things is unhelpful and long-term can lead to chronic stress and disease but how do we let go. Here are some suggestions, both practical and spiritual, that may help you.
• Write it down – this can be in the form of a journal or a list. Some people like to release what no longer serves them each month during a full moon ritual. After you’ve written down some things you’d like to let go of, (safely) burn the paper to symbolically and literally release it.
• Yoga, meditation and mindfulness – these activities help us to to be present and concentrate on the now rather than dwelling on what has happened before. Some yoga poses can help us to let go of emotions that are stuck in our bodies.
• Move – go for a walk or do a more energetic workout. I find boxercise or combat type workouts to be effective at releasing stress and anger!
• Change your perspective, rather than ruminating on past hurts, ask yourself is this harming me or helping me? If it’s harming you, let it go and move on. Make the conscious decision that it is time to let it go.
• If you need to let go of a toxic friendship or a relationship that has run it’s course learn a new skill, be with a new group of people. People grow apart for various reasons but by making the effort to be with people you have common interests with i.e. finding your tribe it will validate your sense of self-worth.
• Letting go can be a long-term process so be patient and have compassion for yourself. Also be compassionate to others – think about things from their point of view before you’re quick to react, assume or judge. They may have understandable reasons for acting the way they do. Even if you are unable to forgive them don’t let anger to consume you. As the saying goes: ‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’
• Try complementary therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture, reiki to support you
• Letting go of some things can be a very difficult and painful process, so do seek professional help if you feel you’d like some support and advice.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these things and if they have helped you. For more inspiration, read this beautiful poem by Safire Rose. It always gives me goosebumps!
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…