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An Attitude of Gratitude

Grateful Indian Woman

Autumn is traditionally the time of year which follows the harvest. When the harvest is bountiful, this signals a year of plenty ahead. In this way, autumn is associated with being thankful and grateful for reaping a good harvest. The Thanksgiving holiday is based on this tradition of gratitude in the autumn season. It is fitting that in the U.S., November has been declared “National Gratitude Month”.

In Chinese Medicine, the autumn season corresponds to the Metal Element. After the harvest of Late Summer the leaves fall, remaining plant debris dies, and this rotting debris decomposes, to return its rich trace minerals back into the earth. This is nature’s way of composting, of recycling its life-giving nutrients to nourish next year’s crops. The natural cycle of death and decay in autumn therefore provides for the renewal of life next spring.

The Metal Element can be seen in people as well as in nature. It is worth noting that the emotion associated with the Metal Element is grief. Grief is about letting go. Just as the trees must let go of their old leaves in autumn to make way for the buds which come in spring, we must be able to let go of thoughts and feelings that are not useful or positive. The Metal Element within us gives us this power to detach and let go, which gives us the freedom to move forward, unburdened. Spiritually, letting go is the power to forgive.

The ancient Chinese realized that the Metal Element within us also gives us the power to receive, to take in the goodness and quality which is always present. Metal is about respecting and appreciating one another, striving for excellence in all we do, and valuing ourselves and each other. Mentally, it gives us the ability to be inspired by creative ideas. Spiritually, the Metal Element within us connects us to our divine source, and gives us the power to recognize and connect to the spark of divinity in each person. Metal gives our life purpose and deeper meaning.

When our Metal Element is strong, we cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”. This attitude is always a choice available to us, if we look for it. It is about counting our blessings, and seeing the silver linings even in the dark clouds. When we need an “attitude adjustment”, we can simply focus upon what we are grateful for, and observe how our experience becomes better for it.

We are all the embodiment of all the Five Elements, all the year through. While the Metal Element is most active in its season of autumn, we can access the power of Metal within us all year through. We can do our part to build this energy within ourselves by making it a habit to cultivate an attitude of gratitude every day.

Not feeling so grateful? Schedule an acupuncture appointment today to strengthen your Metal element. Call us at (904) 296-9545.

By Michael Kowalski A.P.,Dipl.Ac.(NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Physician
Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center, Jacksonville, FL
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