As human beings we are creations of the elements. Not symbolically. Not mythological. Not separate from but literally made of the minerals of our planets earth, the fluidity of our planets water, the metabolic heat of our planets fire, the breath of our planets air, and the consciousness of our planets aether. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are in a continual dynamic play with the elements all around us and inside of us. Embodying the elements is what we do, it is who we are, and yet we have the ability to play with these elements in order to come home to our natural spontaneous state of joy. By understanding the elements, how they live in our bodies and how they are expressed through our bodies, we can access our deepest stability and our most expansive freedom.
“If you open yourself to the Tao, you are at one with the Tao and you can embody it completely. Open yourself to the Tao, then trust your natural responses; and everything will fall into place.”
~ Lao-Tzu ~ Tao Te Ching
EARTH ~ I am here. I am grounded. I am safe.
Embodying earth is quite simple and yet we don’t attend to this need enough, the need to be grounded. A simple stroll in a natural setting, taking your shoes of and feeling your feet on the earth, or perhaps just closing your eyes and placing your hands on your body is enough to bring you back home. Your body needs nature to reflect back to you the earth element that you are made of, and remind you that you are an essential living part of this planet. Your feet need to connect to the magnetic pull of the earth so that you may feel that you belong here, and to remind you that you are connected. Your body needs your attention, your touch to know that you are aware of its needs, to grow, heal and regenerate. You are here. Your are grounded. You are safe.
“Touch signals to the body we are not alone. Compassionate, attentive touch informs the cells they are supported. A supported body can relax. In relaxation flow can be nourished and redirected for healing.”
~ Juliette McConachy ~ Awakening Arts
WATER ~ I am fluid. I am sensual. I am sacred.
Embodying water is an uncommon practise in our culture, we prefer to control and force, rather than trust and flow. The element of water is, however, profoundly powerful. You cannot force the flow of a river. And yet the river flows effortlessly, shaping and moulding the dense rock formations over immense measures of time. Water flows without resistance. It is also the source of our blood, our vitality and our sexuality. When you allow yourself to flow you hold your energy, you hold more vitality and you become more in touch with your sensuality. You honour your body as your sensual temple and you become more in touch with your sacredness. From this remembrance of your sacredness you begin to really feel and access your innate ability to heal. You are fluid. You are sensual. You are sacred.
“In transforming and releasing ourselves from trauma we must face, as does as newborn child, an uncertain world… When we enter it, we soon discover that our instinctive energies are not limited to acts of flight or uncontrolled violence. They are our heroic energies. And they can be harnessed!”
~ Peter A. Levine ~ Healing Trauma
FIRE ~ I am unique. I am transforming. I am glowing.
Embodying fire is like being a child, taking all of the sensory information in and then expressing an instinctual response. In this process, this play of receiving and giving, absorbing and expressing, we are in continual transformation. We grow from one moment to the next in response to the life we absorb from around us. Transformation requires fire and a well fuelled fire glows radiantly. Just as a raging fire burns rapidly. It is a play of absorption and expression, if we just keep absorbing we are bound to explode. Embodying fire requires freedom of movement and freedom to move requires presence and trust. Trust that your unique response to the world around you is a perfect expression of your inner flame. Your presence is a key element in this play. You are unique. You are transforming. You are glowing.
“The body’s language is feeling. So we’re developing some kind of loyalty to just living in this body on this this big earth planet body… There is some value to actually feeling these feet walking on the planet, walking on the earth.”
~ Arawana Hayashi ~ Social Presencing Theatre
AIR ~ I am love. I am freedom. I am connection.
Embodying air means allowing ourselves the time and space we need to simply breathe. In our culture we learn the habit of constricting our breath and in the process disconnecting our mind from our body. Our life-resourcing lungs envelop our heart and our heart sends our life-force (oxygenated blood) to our brain. All are connected, however we burden our breath and disconnect from our hearts with our dominating minds. We unknowingly limit our potential to thrive with the freedom we desire because of the same disheartening thoughts that run on autopilot. Your heart and mind are connected, and together they have the capacity to lift you out of stagnant or habitual patterns that no longer feed you what you need. What you need is what you already are. You are love. You are freedom. You are connection.
“Love is primarily giving, not receiving… Giving is the highest expression of potency… Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act giving lies the expression of my aliveness.”
~ Erich Fromm ~ The Art of Loving
AETHER ~ I am alive. I am universal. I am divine.
Embodying aether is the simple yet profound acceptance that you are divine. Created by all of the elements, the same stuff as the stars and the consciousness of the whole universe. We all embody the fifth element, the energy that we all have in common, the consciousness that connects us as one. It sounds lofty and yet in our most life-changing profound moments we know it to be true. We can access this knowing through our meditative practise, whatever that may be for you. The more we access this element the more we can accept it and embody it. How does it feel? The essence of aether evokes a sense of pure joy simply to be alive. You know it to be true. It is you. Unravel yourself to reveal the natural, spontaneous, joyous you. You are alive. Your are universal. You are divine.
“One becomes a great sage, eloquent and wise and enjoys uninterrupted peace of mind… At this state of awareness the poisonous aspects and experiences of life are absorbed and transformed into a state of bliss.”
~ Swami Satyananda Saraswati ~ Kundalini Tantra