Learn how to discover your authentic self
‘Tis the season of tricks and treats!
Halloween may remind us of sweet childhood memories, masks and monsters, and tons of sugary candy.
But about those masks and monsters….
Most adults this time of year already have stomachaches, not from junk food, but from deadly dread and monkey-mind madness.
Where’s the dread and stress coming from?
As the weather cools so can our enthusiasm for monster-big social gatherings.
Family Thanksgiving dinner is simply not as stress-free as a sunny beach picnic, right?
So often we feel obligated to put on masks over our true selves before ringing doorbells that habitually lead us into fear and discomfort.
We struggle into costumes like “happy daughter” or “thoughtful son” in the name of safety, protection or boundaries.
When we hide ourselves away from Who We Truly Are, we are effectively – and with our permission alone – shutting down, shutting up, and shipping out from true transformation and self-empowerment.
Let me be clear.
I miss plenty of opportunities to grow throughout the course of my day and absolutely this time of year.
Why grow when I can put on a mask and go with the flow – and I know I can take it ALL off once I’m at home safe and sound!
I don’t always relish family gatherings. Or awkward conversations with staff. I sometimes don’t even like how my monkey mind behaves?
Life gets spooky-strange-scary with all these monsters running around.
Monster mother-in-law, monster-brother-in-law, monster mother, monster father, monster best friend’s boyfriend, monster motherfu… you get the idea.
As we roll up closer and closer to spending time with precious, precious people who drive us CRAZY — they’re called “spiritual teachers,” by the way – consider the Five Elements.
(Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?)
If you’ve taken the quiz you know about the Five Elements.
If you’re a student of mine, you know a LOT about Five Element theory.
If you’re new to this world, welcome!
In simplest terms: Mother Nature is within our nature and honoring that connection builds vitality, health, well-being and Joy.
The Five Elements within our personality manifest in varying degrees, life seasons and moderations. They are… <drum roll, please>.
Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.
(I’ve put a little cheat sheet at the very end of this post for y’all.)
Now let’s get back to those masks and monsters.
The next time you’re having an absolutely fabulous encounter at a family gathering, work meeting or stoplight, take a break and be a witness to your mind, body and spirit.
When you’re stressed, anxious, angry or resentful, reflect and check in on yourself using the lens of kindness and patience – and plenty of deep breaths and some Qigong moves too.
Ask yourself, which of the Five Elements is active and playing trick-or-treat on me?
All Treats No Tricks:
The Five Elements and YOU… at your natural best
WOOD element symbolizes the beginning of life, breaking through, like a sprout breaking through the earth, awakening, and generating. The Wood element is also expressed by the movement of thunder breaking through thick clouds. Just as the first clap of thunder in the spring has a way of awakening the animals and plants in hibernation, thunder (Wood) also has a way of awakening a person from their delusions and egocentric self.
FIRE element symbolizes full growth, life-force expanding, radiance and beauty. The energy of fire is also represented by being explosive and hot. Fire burns bright then burns out. Flames have a way of beautifying whatever it touches, for the most part. Examples of Fire energy include bonfires, firecrackers and internal combustion engines. Fire can roar! Emotionally the Fire element flares up as untamed anger; quick, consuming and explosive.
EARTH element is harmonizing, grounding, nurturing. It’s the root of prosperous growth. The energy represented by Earth is stability without being rigid. The Earth element is reliable and dependable. Although unmoving, Earth is not stagnant. The Earth element is symbolized as a centered state of being. An example of the Earth’s energy is the foundation of a house; upholding and supporting the structure while offering safety and shelter.
METAL element represents the collecting, reversing, retreating and introverting cycles of life. The energy of Metal is described as contracting and heavy. Metal’s motion is inward, which can appear as cold and stagnant. An example of Metal energy is an overcast day in winter. Metal’s power and strength can be symbolized as the alchemy required to change free-flowing water into rock-solid and unmoving ice.
WATER element is represented as the reverting phase of contraction. Water is all about collecting and re-gathering of old into new. Water waits, percolates and welcomes new breakthrough of understanding and creativity. This element has the characteristics of fluidity; an inherent and natural tendency to flow easily (usually downward) and toward the roots of true growth. Water’s movement can be gentle and slow or smooth and fast-moving.