Autumn: In the Mood for Nostalgia, Feeling the Need to Cleanse!

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If you had to choose your favorite season, what would it be?  I believe entering any season brings a feeling of nostalgia, anticipation, excitement, the need to cleanse etc. etc.. For me, autumn takes me back to my childhood where my family and I would drive from our home in Westchester County, New York up to Franconia, New Hampshire. We had a small ski chalet.  Of course, it was not yet ski season; rather, we called it leaf peeping season!  I have such fond memories of taking walks in nature, my Mom packing us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat on a newly discovered rock big enough for all of us to sit on.  My sister, brother and myself enjoying goofing around along the river, my parents doing their own thing.  Fall was a season of innocence.  Collecting all the fallen leaves in a huge pile and throwing our bodies right in the center.  Rolling around with pure abandon. Fast forward 40 plus years and fall has a very new meaning for me.  I have spent the greater part of my married life  living abroad experiencing the different shades of autumn.  In Puerto Rico, I yearned to travel back to New England to get a glimpse of “Peak.”  In Beijing, there was one street notorious for its golden yellows.  Unless you lived a distance from this street, Autumn in Beijing was fully accessible. People watching was almost as beautiful as the leaves!  South Africa felt anti-climatic as  summer brushed into fall and landed in winter.

Now I am in Switzerland, experiencing fall “Full  On!”  And yes while I do miss my youth of indulging in the beauty of the White Mountains, I also feel so grateful to have  stunning views outside our patio right here in Nussbaumen.

As I gaze outside our window watching the leaves blow off the trees, I am reminded that inside our bodies we also experience this need to shed our layers.  Unlike trees, we can’t just let our leaves go! We have the same excess heat that accumulates from the summer months and is pounding on our doors asking to be guided out.  Back in the day when I was pounding down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without a care in the world, I had no inkling I might be weighing down “my leaves,” so to speak.  So again, I fast forward 40 plus years and fall not only brings me nostalgia toward my childhood, it also is a reminder that I too must play a role in shedding excess heat, toxins and metals from my body.

While it may be a coincidence that apple picking is a favorite weekend outing in Autumn, consuming 2-4 tart apples daily can be a great start toward releasing excess heat through purgation. What about some of the other local harvest?  Indulging in raw shredded beets with lemon juice and ground mustard are perfect for cleansing the liver.  Green soups with whatever local greens you fancy are another wise choice for taking care of your body and mind as you transition from leaf season to stick season! Remember, we are not just cleansing our bodies, our minds also take a toll and need to be refreshed through intelligent consumption.  And I use the word consumption loosely.  Not only do we consume whole foods and grains, but our minds take in external stimuli constantly.  Hence, if you do decide to take the time to shed your leaves, you may also want to slow down, find more time for quiet reflection, meditation and gentle yoga.  Go lightly and playfully!

Happy Fall, Lisa

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