You are comprised of: 84 minerals, 23 Elements, and 8 gallons of water spread across 38 trillion cells. You have been built up from nothing by the spare parts of the Earth you have consumed, according to a set of instructions hidden in a double helix and small enough to be carried by a sperm. You are recycled butterflies, plants, rocks, streams, firewood, wolf fur, and shark teeth, broken down to their smallest parts and rebuilt into our planet’s most complex living thing. You are not living on Earth. You are Earth.’
– Aubrey Marcus
I wrote this essay a few weeks ago while leaving behind us the Equinox, a symbol of balance between night and day, light and darkness.
Coming back from the Andes of Peru presented me with many challenges. Therefore, I am diving into nourishing those practices that keep me more balanced and sane in the mad world we are living in!
Nowadays, we live busy and stressful lives. So many people spend too much time in front of their devices, eating on the run and not having enough quality time for themselves, friends and family.
Our contemporary culture supports the myth of having more, distractions and multi-tasking without really paying attention to the subtleties of what happens inside us and the relationship with the Web of Life.
Many women are overworked, on the verge of burnout and don’t have enough rest and space for fun, play, and pleasure.
There is an increase in mental illnesses, depression and substance abuse.
Modern life objectifies the Natural world and our bodies. Not only it praises exhaustion and individualism, but it also suppresses our sense of belonging and interconnectedness. It creates consumers, sets impossible standards of beauty and perfection and doesn’t support the full and raw expression of feelings, instincts and the relationship between humans and the Earth community.
It is common practice in industrialised countries to take without giving back. We are not educated to use what we need and honour the Web of Life, and we don’t hold reciprocity as sacred.
Our language objectifies the natural world as separate from us and sees it as a commodity we can use or exploit. Our culture is blind to anthropocentrism and devalues the intelligence of the non-human world.
We cannot create proper balance without restoring our relationship with the living planet.
The good news is that we are part of an enormous global transition where so many of us are dedicated to making a difference and being in service to the thriving of All life.
It is vital to create more balance in our daily life, so we can genuinely support ourselves, each other and our communities.
In this article, I invite you to create some simple practices to embrace the Elements around and inside you so you can welcome more balance in your life.
From ancient indigenous wisdom to eco-psychology, Buddhism, Chinese medicine, and neuroscience, we understand that we are wired into connection with each other and the natural living world.
We are surrounded by the Elements around us, and they are part of us. For example, many traditions and Hermes Trismegistus speak of the universal Law, saying,’ As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.’ This principle teaches how our inner and outer reality mirror each other.
We become more whole by entering into a relationship with the world around us.
By reconnecting with the natural and other than the human world, we honour our longing for belonging. We understand that what we do against the Earth, we do to ourselves and vice-versa.
I find it fascinating that all indigenous cultures, old animistic traditions and esoteric teachings relate to all Elements as sacred.
Fun fact: The Magician is number one in tarot cards. Each deck has variations, but nevertheless, this figure wholly owns the relationship with the Elements. Consequently, she/he holds the capacity to create, manifest, and achieve what she/he envisions. Because of the relationship with these natural forces, the Magician bridges the gap between Heavens and Earth.
We are made of Earth.
Think, for example, about the essential elements. Carbon forms the basis of all plant and animal life. It is found throughout the Earth, in our DNA and muscles. Calcium is part of a compound in our bones and rocks.
We have nitrogen in our cells, which supports us in transporting energy. This component is also part of the soil and water and is essential for plant growth and the food we eat. Moreover, our bodies also contain hydrogen, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus and potassium.
We are made of Fire.
The Sun, water and carbon dioxide enable plants to grow through photosynthesis. There is no life on Earth without the Sun’s heat and light. Moreover, you can think about the warm temperature in your body, the heat you produce when you move or exercise and how warmth and light influence your mood. Our cells have, receive and communicate with light.
Recent studies demonstrate that the human body glows rhythmically.
Most ancient cultures revered the Sun as a God or Goddess.
We are made of Air.
The first thing we do when we are born is to inhale, and the last thing we do is to exhale. Breath unites us all.
There is certainly no life without breath. The human body is made up of oxygen, which plays an essential role in our metabolism. It is the third most abundant element on the planet.
We exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen with plants, the oceans and algae; this is a beautiful example of how life is based on cooperation.
We are made of Water.
Our body is full of fluids, from sweat to saliva and tears, and blood carries oxygen and lymphatic fluids. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. About 70% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered.
Water is the giver of All life. All indigenous cultures consider water liquid light and hold sacred lagoons, rivers and lakes. Last but not least, you may be familiar with the fascinating studies of Masaru Emoto on water’s intelligenceand memory.
So, when you are ready, make some space and dive into the following exploration!
- Take pictures of beautiful landscapes.
- Lay down on the ground, surrender to gravity and allow yourself to be held and receive support.
- Lean with your back on a tree.
- Walk barefoot on the beach, in your garden, in a park.
- Use clay to make a sculpture.
- Prepare healthy and earthy meals.
- Pump yourself with a massage or use sensual oils on your body.
- Dance to the rhythm of the drums.
- Put your hands in the soil, take care of your plants, dig, sow, and grow your veggies, flowers or herbs.
- Create a mandala outdoors in a place you love.
- Join a charity supporting reforestation or protecting animals or the oceans.
To deepen your practice and connection, I invite you to spend some time meditating and reflecting on how the Earth nourishes and holds you.
What is my experience of being part of the body of the Earth?
How am I treating my body?
What is my relationship with receiving?
How can I give back to the well-being of all living creatures?
What actions do I need to take on behalf of the Earth?
- Light a candle or sit by a fire if you have a chimney.
- Spend more time outdoors and expose your body to the Sun.
- Make a list of all the things you are passionate about.
- Take some time to acknowledge the courage and the love in your heart.
- Revisit your life journey and all the times you raised transformed from your own ashes.
- Allow yourself to say no.
- Spend some time in the morning to set an intention to guide you through the day.
- Dance to music that raises your body temperature.
- Feel the warmth in your body and your muscles
- Connect to rhythm, clap your hands, stamp your feet.
- Add some spices to your meals to bring warmth, ease digestion and enjoy some beautiful yellow or orange colour in your food (like turmeric or ginger)!
To deepen your practice, connection and prayer, I invite you to meditate on how the Sun’s light can guide you and bring you greater clarity. You can also visualise your cells bursting with light and spreading it through your whole body. Give yourself permission to absorb that light.
Moreover, you can ask yourself:
Where do I need more clarity, direction and focus in my life?
What is my relationship with structure, power and authority?
If you feel to take a further step, ask for support from a therapist or coach to express and explore your relationship with sacred anger as an energy that can fuel and catalyse change. (This is obviously not an invitation to hurt yourself or others).
- Learn to pay more attention to your breath and allow yourself to pause during the day and take deep inhales and exhales.
- Allow yourself to make sounds, hum, yawn, and just play with it.
- Enjoy the wind and the breeze on your skin.
- Connect more consciously to the words you speak and the energy and vibration they hold.
- Sit under a tree honouring the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- Spend time in the evening to review your day and list what you feel grateful for.
- Dedicate time to words of appreciation and beauty and offer it to yourself and others.
- Make space for poetry, laughter and lightness.
- Study and research the behaviour of winged beings.
- Watch comedies or something that lights you up and inspires you.
- When you feel overwhelmed by facts or circumstances, step back and allow yourself to rise above the details, gain perspective and look at the big picture.
To deepen your practice, connection and prayer, I invite you to meditate on ways to strengthen your imagination, dreams and vision for a better world.
Moreover, I invite you to spend some time outdoors, listening to the wind and ask yourself:
What is the wind whispering to me? What are the messages I need to hear?
What is my connection to my voice? How am I speaking my truth?
What do I need to do to balance my mental activity or inner voice?
- Have a walk to the beach, river, or lake.
- Listen to the sound of the water and fully absorb that vibration.
- Offer gratitude to the water when you drink and when you shower.
- Spend some time on a rebounder, or stamp your heels rhythmically on the ground, to move the fluids in your lymphatic system.
- Notice where you hold tension in your body and move gently to some music to release the contraction and invite fluidity.
- Connect to the fluids in your body, feel your sweat, and lick your lips.
- Honour your tears as water in the desert.
- Listen to music that moves you.
- When you shower, imagine the cleansing power of the water washing through you.
- Make a list of things you need to release and let go of.
- Offer your prayers to heal the waters inside you and around you.
Here is an invitation to deepen your practice, connection and prayer. Water is the element that connects us all. There is water in the form of vapour, glacials, sweat, tears and saliva. It’s always the same water on the planet! The river becomes a cloud, then rain and falls back into the ocean. Make some space to reflect on the interconnectedness and interdependence of life.
Moreover, you can ask yourself:
What are my emotions teaching me?
How can I accept and also welcome the so-called negative emotions without judgment?
If you feel to take a further step, reach out for support to make time to honour your grief, pain, tears and losses.
Thank you, dear friend, for taking the time to read this article!
Trusting your experience, senses, wisdom, and intuition is a process that, also with the Elements, will enhance balance in your daily life. I invite you to spend as much time outdoors in the land as possible.If you can, make some time to pause, slow down, listen, observe, inhabit your sensations and allow your imagination to run free. You can also create an altar in your house to honour the Elements.
All these simple practices I have shared with you may stimulate new learnings and insights. This is a bottom-up, so to speak, exploration, it is about engaging with yourself, and there is no script, manual or recipe book. It is about owning your experience, and getting to know yourself better, so you can have more agency and grow your vocabulary of expression.
The relationship with each Element holds many layers, symbolism, narratives and metaphors. To get the best out of these invitations, please pay attention to subtleties, shifts in energy, and synchronicities and trust your gut.
I suggest you use a notebook to notice your feelings and see which wisdom wants to emerge.
Let me know how all this lands with you. I would love to hear what you would include, what works for you and what you loved the most. The lists above are just an example, an invitation and are not exhaustive by any chance!