“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
– John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
In Chinese Medicine theory, every season has a corresponding spirit. The spirit of the fall is the Po – our corporeal soul. It is about movement, sensation, and the connection of our bodies to both our minds and to the world at large. It is what gives us animation, reaction, and human emotion. It governs our visceral responses and our capacity for sentiment and empathy.
The emotion associated with fall is grief. In Chinese medicine theory, grief is said to disrupt the flow of our qi, causing us to withdraw and disconnect with the world around us. As I often discuss in face reading sessions, grief is not only about death or the loss of a person. Our face reveals lines my teacher calls “lost love” that show up when we let a talent or creative passion lie dormant for too long. The body expresses this loss physically to illuminate the emotional blow felt by the spirit. There is also a collective sorrow that can be felt universally in response to world events that pull at our heartstrings. Regardless of the situation, in periods of emotional mourning we often go inward, retreating into our sadness as we ruminate in solitude waiting for the feelings to pass.
The Po allows us to receive and process our grief, even as our grief transforms us. It is the ability to both be and feel. By connecting us with our human urges, it lets us bring an experience into our being, receive the essential message, and ultimately move forward. It supports personal evolution within a world or space that might appear to have a very disparate agenda. Though we might experience tremendous change as a result of our own journey, the Po allows us to stay grounded in the world in which we reside and navigate the familiar from an internal place that might feel unchartered and uncomfortable.
While on any given day we are capable of all emotions, the seasonal cycle highlights and brings to the forefront those feelings or urges that can be addressed while we are in the strongest position to handle them. I urge you this fall to look at the things that might be causing you grief and harness the power of the season to catalyze your own personal revolution.