A few weeks ago I was giving a lecture at a professional women's group. Before I took center stage, we went around the room for brief introductions. One woman got up, threw both hands up in the air and said, "My name is Suzi, and I'm a realtor!" The room burst out in laughter, everyone smiled and then we heard a minute or two of where Suzi worked and how others could refer her.
When it came time for my lecture, I had the group take a brief quiz which asked questions about their preferences related to work, home, and dress, as well as their desires and needs. And then I guided them through the personality traits of each of the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. (See here for a basic article on the traits of each Element).
An important part of the Five Elements is that they are much more than physical material. They are energetic qualities that are embedded in everything in the Universe. Yes, that's right! We are stardust....
I like to start my discussion of each Element by tapping into the energy of that Element. The energy of that Element is a big clue as to who you truly are.
So when I got to Fire, I just had to call out Suzi's demonstration of the Fire Element, which was perfect as well as exhibiting the dramatic quality of Fire! Fire loves to be on stage, center of attention, and just loves to make others laugh (that is, laugh with them not at them!). The movement of Suzi's arms was like fireworks! - ascending upward like flames.
How Can You Tell The Elements in Others?
If you watch others, you might be able to tell their Element just by their actions:
- Wood is in constant motion. It is uprising energy, pushing forward, energetic, and competitive.
- Fire is ascending, like flames rising from the fire. It is open, energetic, and warming.
- Earth is the stable Element. It is grounded and interested in pulling people together.
- Metal is contracting. It's energy is reserved and disciplined, even graceful.
- Water is descending. Water likes to be quiet and still, introverted.
A common question that I get is, "Do we change Elements during out lifetime?"
I would say no. In my experience, we have one true, authentic Element that is a driving force throughout our lives. This Element propels our temperament, our wishes, motivations, desires, and needs. (Sometimes, people are a combination of two Elements).
If you think you were one Element when you were younger, and now a different Element, there could be a few reasons for that:
- Your Element is impacted by the stage of life you are currently in. Just like the Elements describe our personalities, the Elements also describe the stages of life. So if you are the Fire Element, you might feel more subdued at a later stage in life. You might feel more like Earth (more of a home-body) or Water (more introverted than usual). However, the spark of Fire is still in your eyes!
- Your True Nature Element might have been suppressed as a child or young adult. This happens more often than not! Think about it. You might have lived most of your life carrying out another's wishes (perhaps a domineering parent) and not living fully in your Element. Oprah said something that really stuck with me (who I am kidding? She's said many things that have stuck with me!). At one point in her career, she asked one of mentors "Have I really changed that much?" Her mentor said "No. You've moved more fully into who you are." I think this sounds true to many of us on our spiritual path.
What do you think?