As Pete Seeger sang “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”. According to Chinese medicine, autumn is the time for us to discard the things we no longer need: unused possessions, old ideas, decaying grudges, cyber junk and lost relationships. Here are five ways to let it all go this autumn.
Stuff you don’t need
Grab a large cardboard box or bin liner and set a timer for 10 minutes. Fill the box or bin liner with as many items as you can that you no longer use or need. Now leap into the car and race to the nearest charity store. Good job!
Spend one day this week listening to your thoughts. Take a moment to really hear what the voice in your head is saying. Maybe is says “I don’t like my hair” or “I’m a shy person” or “I’m useless at sport”. Whatever it is, take note of it and ask “is this thought useful to me?” If it’s not useful, just let it go. If it pops into your head again, recognise that it is useless and let it go again. You will be amazed at how liberated you soon feel!
Write a letter to that person who hurt you that time. Use good old fashioned pen and paper. Write it all down in detail: Explain what they did and how it made you feel. If you know why it made you feel the way it did, write that down too. When you’re all done, take the letter outside and set fire to it. As you watch the letter burn, let yourself move on. After all, the best revenge is living well.
Go on a massive email deletathon. If it’s not absolutely necessary to keep that email, delete it. Then file what remains in nice, neat folders. Try to file everything that remains, until your inbox is empty (or at least until you don’t need to scroll down to see the last email). Now empty your spam box, and finally your trash folder. Inhale and enjoy that sensation of absolute cyber hygiene.
A lost relationship
This one is the big one because it deals with grief, the emotion that Chinese medicine associates with autumn. The experience of grief is necessary and important because it enables us to let go of what was so that we can find new inspiration and create new relationships. For this exercise, gather together a tea light, a lighter, a pen and a paper boat like this one. Go to a quiet place near flowing water. It might be a canal, a river bank or the ocean. Write the name of the person you have lost, on the boat. Light the tea light and put in it the boat. Breathe deeply and let yourself recall your happiest memory of the person you have lost. With that memory burning bright in your mind, put the boat on the water and let it go. If tears come, let them flow.