Are You In Your Element? Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood

Eastern Taoist Philosophy categorizes everything we are, everything we do, and the world around us, into one of the 5 Chinese Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water. 

(Why these are different from the Ayurvedic Elements is a topic for another time.)

Seasonally, we have just transitioned from the Fire Element of early summer, into the Earth Element of late summer.

  • In a life cycle, this Element corresponds to the ages of 33 to 58 years old.
  • Earth is a building element. It’s literally a time to get your hands dirty and create what you desire through steady, long-term focus. 
  • The Earth Element is the time to invest in your health, relationships, career, and finances. 
  • Characterized by weighty life decisions, entry into the Earth Element may be marked by marriage, divorce, breakups, promotions, starting a business, a physical move to a new place, sobriety, starting a family, going back to school/graduating, or purchasing property.
  • All of these can dramatically shape your future and require care and attention over time to manifest the most fruitful outcome. 
  • The Earth Element is the expression of your commitment to long term plans that take time to fully manifest. 

Just as a lifetime experiences all 5 Elements, so does a yoga practice.

The Earth Element can be the most difficult phase of practice for many students because it demands constant commitment yet offers the least instant gratification.

When the yoga stops feeling new and you see less dramatic results, you've transitioned from the exciting and unpredictable Fire Element of practice, into the more stable and less dramatic Earth Element. 

The Earth Element phase of yoga practice -- or anything -- yields micro benefits that only grow and compound over time. Without a steady commitment, the results will not manifest.

Many students are temped to quit at this phase because the challenge is in the consistency of putting in the work to reap the long term rewards.

But a bountiful harvest of any kind requires time, patience, and effort applied first.  

And although the Earth Element has fewer immediate payouts compared to other Elements, it has greater long term benefits which make it worth the effort.

The key to a successful Earth Element, in your practice and in your life, is setting a vision of your personal harvest. 

Who do you want to be? What do you want to manifest? Create a long term vision of yourself. Include your health, your relationships, your career, and your finances. Touch upon each of your 7 Centers of Personal Power so no aspect of yourself is overlooked.

Use this phase to strengthen your body so you age with grace and good health. Nurture your relationships by setting strong roots and long term plans to move toward over time. Build a career that excites you and will keep you inspired long term.

Inside the smaller aspects of your day, like a yoga practice, don't quit just becasue the shiny newness of a situation has dulled.

An abundant harvest requires strong roots, which can't take hold without a focused commitment. 

Remember, there are no shortcuts through the Earth Element. You must give first to set receiving in motion. 

The Taoist 5 Elements offers a broad wealth of insight on how to manifest your greatest potential with the least resistance from the flow of the Universe. 

As part of my personal ongoing Earth Element phase of teaching, I'll continue to unpack these lessons with you one blog at a time!

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