The First Secret to a Stellar Fall

Take a breath

Please take a breath. Make it intentional. Now do a few of them: deep, easy ones.

In Chinese mythology and its traditional medicine, the breath is associated with the fall.  Autumn is the season of the lungs, and all that their function implies:  taking in, letting go, taking in, letting go. But we generally don’t realize how much vitality we can gather and relaxation we can attain by using our breath.

Our breathing is so automatic that those of us without respiratory issues don't think about it much. But even if you do have a condition, such as asthma, it's a very cool sensation to pay attention to your breath. It can be your focus in meditation, or you can just pause for half a minute, to reestablish your connection with the rhythm in your chest.

The benefit of this: an immediate (and long term) antidote to stress and anxiety. If you take it further, you can control your whole immune system. That takes the kind of practice Wim Hof, who swims in arctic waters with no ill effects, teaches.

You don’t need to become a world-class controller of your breath, however, to give yourself a lift.

The lungs--from the perspective of Daoism, one of China's great religion/philosophies--are also about capturing the essence of heaven though inspiration. So when you feel flat, or your life feels flat, breath in, breath deeply.  You may awaken a little inner sparkle, the blessings from the heavenly canopy that allows us to breath, in and out, delivering its invisible benefits every moment of every day.

A Practice for Fall:  Take 25-50 deep slow easy breaths in the evening before bed.  Make your inhalation and exhalation of equal duration. This will soothe your nervous system and make for a solid night's sleep.  Want more? Once your breaths are of even duration, gently make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation.  And then say "goodnight" to yourself as you slip into your well-earned dreamland.