By Erica Sofrina, Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World
It is Pumpkin time, one of my most favorite times of year. One of my most enjoyable fall rituals is to fill my trunk with an abundance of the multicolored, unusually shaped pumpkins and gourds that richly grace the Half Moon Bay, N. California coast side where I live. I especially love the lime- green and tangerine ones with exotic curly handles. I throw in handfuls of dry, crackly autumn-colored corn and drive happily home where I arrange them artfully around a haystack in my front yard. (See top pic)
Inside I arrange a bountiful “horn of plenty” with the smaller multicolored gourds and mini-pumpkins along with the acorns, dry corn and colorful autumn leaves I have collected. For my Thanksgiving table, I adorn it with mini gourds, pumpkins, acorns and bright orange and red autumn leaves. The most unusual ‘prize’ pumpkin is saved for the centerpiece. My table is laid out on a soft, deep-blue table cloth which really makes the rich earthy tangerine and autumn colors pop.
This is my celebration into fall. I don’t really feel it has arrived until I greedily scoop up nature and feature it prominently in my home.
The fact is that the more our homes are filled with the objects, shapes, textures and art work depicting nature, the happier we are in our living space.
This teaching comes from the five elements theory which comes out of Chinese medicine and is a fundamental part of the ancient art and science of Feng Shui. As human beings we are connected to 100,000 generations of ancestors who lived in the natural world. It is embedded into our DNA to feel a deep sense of balance and well being in nature. Studies have shown that people become depressed, lethargic and unproductive when deprived of it. That being said, we don’t need science to prove the joyousness we feel sinking our feet into white sands while watching a magnificent sunset, or sitting down on the crunchy red autumn leaves beside an alpine lake. We experience it healing our soul and nurturing our spirit.
One powerful way to remedy winter blues is to work with balancing the elements that begin to diminish during the fall and winter seasons. We can do this by pepping up the fire, earth and wood elements in our homes during this season.
In working with the Feng Shui five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood, we work with the controlling and the nurturing cycles. When we have too much of an element we control it by bringing in the element that is stronger. When we have too little of an element we can nurture it with the element that feeds it. (For a thorough explanation, click here for a free information).
By bringing into our homes more of the elements of fire (red, orange, purple), wood (green) and earth (gold and earth tones) during the colder months, we diminish the abundance of the water element that is most prevalent at this time. In the five elements theory wood feeds fire, which creates earth. Earth dams, or controls the water element. By adding objects, shapes, colors and textures from the elements of fire, wood and earth, we will cozy up our homes again and add a warmth that is lacking. Because we are deeply affected by our physical surroundings, our physical bodies come back into balance as well. As a result depression and lethargy often naturally lifts.
I encourage you to play, create, feel and experience the objects, textures, smells and magic of nature. Looking for these objects becomes a sort of zen experience as you start hunting for acorns, leaves and seasonal objects to decorate with. You begin to see these natural treasures in secret hidden spaces and it becomes a magical treasure hunt! I confess I have been known to drive around and stake out my favorite fall trees from the yards of unsuspecting neighbors and ‘borrow’ the ones that fall on the ground, to use on my Thanksgiving table. I figure is is all a part of recycle and reuse!
Bring nature into your homes in abundance during this time and especially emphasize the more earthy, woody and fiery aspects. It will replenish your soul and create a deep sense of joy and well being within you, making the fall and winter a magical cozy and happy time to be in your home.
If you have children or grand children, make collecting seasonal nature decorations a part of your family ritual. When my sister was alive, she always had her children decorate the holiday table with objects they made and/or collected in nature. They have carried on the tradition ever since and my nephew has created some awesome Thanksgiving tables that were phenomenally creative. We see her living on through him and feel her presence through these simple and powerful traditions.
Tell us how you bring nature into your home during the holidays. Your comments are always welcome!
As a special gift to my readers, please click here if you would like to receive a free color Five Elements map which will help you learn how to identify and work with the five elements.