Humans have the not-so-funny habit of forgetting about the rhythms of nature.
In society, this often leads to harmful activities that damage the environment, and in turn, creates suffering for ourselves and other creatures. In our personal lives, losing touch with nature can cause a variety of health ailments and detract from our wellbeing.
In Qi Gong, the forces of nature are revered as sacred teachers and sources of great wisdom. By listening carefully, we can channel the lessons of the seasons and allow them to nourish us throughout the year.
Returning to Harmony
If you look at plants and animals, you’ll notice that they’re receptive to the forces of nature. They pay attention to their environment and allow its rhythms to nourish their wellbeing.
For example, during spring and summer, plants produce leaves to harness the sunlight that is abundant during the seasons’ long days. During fall, they release their leaves in order to conserve their energy for the winter ahead.
Within the animal kingdom, most creatures engage in vastly different behaviors during each season throughout the year. Many of them are reclusive during winter and give birth in spring. Many species even migrate thousands of miles each year to find synchronicity with seasonal changes.
Humans, on the other hand, have a tendency to ignore the natural flow of the world around them. Too often, we make decisions based on what we think should happen, rather than follow the currents of the natural world.
Modern technology has made it possible for us to “ignore” many of earth’s natural rhythms (at least in the short term). Instead of going to sleep when the sun goes down, we’re now able to artificially create our own, ‘day-like’ environments within our homes using lights and electricity. Instead of eating fruits and vegetables that are ripe during the current season, we’re able to go to a grocery store and buy food that was imported from thousands of miles away.
While technology has undoubtedly made life more convenient, we have to be careful to not turn our backs on earth’s natural rhythms. After all, technology can never replace the magical gifts that nature has to offer.
Without our connection to nature and the seasons, life loses some of its wonder. Even if we don’t realize it consciously, there’s a void when we aren’t able to take in the energies of earth. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we feel a deep sense of calmness and rejuvenation when we go on a hike or enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Because modern technology makes it possible for us to lose touch with nature, we need to make conscious decisions to maintain and cultivate this essential relationship. Qi Gong is a wonderful way to remember the natural energies that constantly surround us.
The Lessons of Each Season
One of the fundamental lessons of Qi Gong is that each person is a microcosm of the world around them. Therefore, each season can teach us important lessons about ourselves.
Just like humans, the seasons are constantly changing and transforming. If we follow their example, we can experience our highest expression of health and happiness.
Let’s go through each of the seasons to explore how they correspond with our experience of being human. We have also linked to a blog post that goes into more detail about the gifts of each season.
Spring embodies the energies of birth, creativity, and growth. In nature, this energy is visible in the plants and animals that are coming to life after the winter. In humans, the energy of spring is reflected through ideas, inspiration, and new chapters in life.
When we pay attention to the lessons of spring, we’re able to harness our own creative potential within ourselves. For some, that may mean starting a new relationship. For others, it might mean taking a new job.
The creative and abundant energy of spring will be expressed differently in each person. Our job is to pay attention to our true path and allow the energy of spring to be one of our sources of our inspiration.
If spring is the time for new ideas, summer is the time to turn ideas into reality.
In nature, the baby creatures that were born in spring grow up and become more full versions of themselves. The sunlight which brought plants to life is now higher in the sky and shining more brightly than ever. In humans, the energy of summer invites us to take our inspiration from spring and bring it into the world.
Manifesting inspiration and creativity can take many forms. Sometimes, it means going on an adventure with your family or friends. At other times, it means making great progress on a work endeavor. And at others, it means creating fun and romantic experiences with your partner.
After any creation, there is Yin and Yang — positive and negative. Even when we’ve created something beautiful, there are always parts that we would like to let go of.
Fall is the time for letting go. In nature, the trees shed their leaves and let them fall to the ground. For humans, we can follow this wisdom to release what is no longer serving us.
If you’ve created a beautiful but imperfect relationship, perhaps the season of fall can help you let go of certain aspects of the relationship that aren’t working. If you’re in a job that is no longer the right fit, the energy of fall can help you to transition out of it. Each of us have different things to let go of, so it’s important to pay attention to your own needs and allow the energy of fall to help you release whatever is holding you back.
Winter is the season of Yin energy, which invites us to go inward and compost our experiences from the previous seasons.
During winter, many animals seek refuge from the cold weather. Some even go into hibernation in order to store their energy and wait for spring.
For humans, going inward often means reflecting on the past and deciding how we want to move forward. Since the past is our teacher, it’s important to spend time processing its lessons. By doing so, we can compost our past experiences in order to create a promising future.
In turn, spring follows winter, in which the entire cycle “restarts.”
Although humans can harness the energy of the natural seasonal rhythms of nature, it’s important to note that the timing of this cycle within us doesn’t always correspond with the present season.
For example, sometimes a relationship may end in spring, in which case we’ll be experiencing the energy of fall. When that happens, it’s important to remember the lessons of fall, even though it’s springtime in the world around us.
We hope that you enjoyed learning about the seasons and find their lessons helpful in your own personal journey.