Change of Season Soup

October 11, 2015

pp-cos-soupWe’ve finished the bones of our website. Hurray!

In celebration, I gave myself time to settle into my fall routine of healing and teaching classes to home-schooled teenagers.

As I teach classes and set goals for students, I take inventory of myself as well. I am very patient with students and the learning cycle. I see unlimited potential in these teens and I create high ceilings for them and their accomplishments. I do not always take that same level of responsibility for myself. It is this that I wish to change in myself this year.

I put these thoughts into my pondering-pool, to weed out the thinking that has brought me to this above average place. Just in time for the weather to be cooling off, that I may weed out my thoughts while we put our gardens to bed for the coming winter.

I was a very good student, and I sought very good in everything, but not great. I used clothing to hide out in public, for it was always safer to be part of the herd.

 The herd. I remember when I realized the significance of “herd thinking.”  It is a way to hide-out in plain sight. What as animals is a great survival skill, in humans becomes a yoke that binds the spirit.

We had begun to realize this long ago. Jim and I sought our own path by homeschooling, studying healing and living a lifestyle that took us out of the mainstream.

 So what other ceilings have I yet to remove from my life?

Another memory came to me from our life in Alaska. A sage healer offered us unfamiliar herbs that he suggested we use to make Change of Season soup. I thought of this as some kind of physical preparation for my body, but as I experienced it through the seasons it turned into so much more.

I brought the herb-filled cheesecloth home. The new smells inspired my curiosity, though there was a pinch of doubt that I would like the taste! He’d suggested we use good quality chicken or beef with organic vegetables; then add the bag of herbs to the other ingredients and simmer them on low heat for several hours (it will vary according to your recipe). He encouraged us to make enough soup or stew for about three dinners, so our bodies could fully digest the herbs and adjust to the oncoming season.

I bought a beautiful roast, about 4 pounds of antibiotic and hormone free meat. I put it in a large crockpot with onions and began home schooling our daughter. During quiet moments in school that morning, I cut the organic carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, parsnips, and green beans and added them to the beef and broth; then I added the change of season herbs. The sage healer never told me what they were. I recognized the reishi mushroom and what I thought was astragalus. The others were new to me, as this was my first experience with Chinese herbs.  Each season we were offered the healer’s mysterious mix of herbs wrapped in cheesecloth. Each season, I was able to identify more and more of the herbs, which was the unspoken intention of our dear friend and teacher.

As we continued our steady progress through our main lesson studies the “Change of Season” aromatics permeated our living area. I found more of my thoughts going to how this was going to change me, and I could feel myself embracing the experience. As the smell went from meat and onions to a symphony of deliciousness, so did my belief that it would be a wonderful experience for our family.

Three days later, I did feel a little different, perhaps more grounded. The stew was delicious; the flavors subtle.  There was not an immediate difference in my health that I noticed. Experience with herbs has taught me that they are subtle and long-term strengtheners of our body. It is consistent good choices that accumulate into health, positive attitudes and healing miracles.

I did feel good about my choice to make the stew and it inspired me to continue my commitment to healing, herbs and a healthy lifestyle. Years of experience have taken this learning deeper. Now I feel the movement in the spiral of each season: as Fall takes its place, I am harvesting the learning I gained during Spring and Summer. I claim my changes and I feel gratitude for my learning and all the opportunities that are before me.  I embrace the separation of the wheat, or learning in my life, from the chaff of my experiences; releasing the old and making room for all the new adventures and learning to come.

As I write this article, I look forward to the continued weeding of my mental garden.  I look forward to eating the “Change of Season” soup that I will make this week.  We have already shared a pot of soup with our community.   If you are interested, I have made more for others who would like to begin this seasonal practice.  “Change of Season” herbs (in cheesecloth) may be purchased at

May this Fall bring you a great harvest of truth, love, and abundance in your life. May you embrace your journey to know your own greatness: that you may serve and inspire others to reach for the greatness within themselves.



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Written by Char Milliman on October 11, 2015.

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