Explore the five mind-body types through the elements of earth, fire, ether, water and air.
Identifying with the earth element most dominant in your personality is an informative way of balancing your temperament. Our ‘elemental’ behaviour is easy to recognize, Alice for instance, never seems to be quite with it, she is detached, lost in thought and dreamy – some describe her as spaced out. She clearly has a strong ether element. Michael is quite the opposite; energetic and quick witted, he doesn’t stop talking and giving advice that is mostly inappropriate, one could say he is full of air. Khaya is definitely aligned with fire, she has a quick temper and is direct and aggressive. Yvonne is in touch with everyone’s feelings and gauges situations from an emotional perspective, she has the intuitive water element in abundance. Brett is completely practical, dependable and has simple common-sense solutions for everything. He is rooted in the earth element.
Once we have recognized which element is dominant simple visualization can be used to bring it into balance. Cooling down a fire element can be done by imagining lying in a cool stream with water running over your head. If you feel too spacey, ground yourself by visualizing roots growing from the bottom of your feet deep into the earth giving you a solid foundation. If you are impatient and unbending, visualise the way water runs across a stream resisting the rocks, flowing around and above whatever it comes into contact with. If you happen to be timid and unassertive use a visualization incorporating fire to increase your assertive skills. Dr Henry, Associate Polarity practitioner at the Mountain Valley Centre in North Carolina describes attributes of the elements according to Polarity therapy and believes that when we allow all five of these personalities to operate in balance, we learn to function more effectively in the world. After examining the attributes reflected by each element decide which element you need to increase and which you need to balance.
Ether provides space and balance and connects us with spirituality and well-being. When this element is lacking we are unbalanced and may find it difficult to accurately express our feelings. Physically we may have painful joints and problems with breathing. When ether is present we will feel connected and joyful, when lacking we may feel grief and separateness.
Air represents newness, new beginnings, movement and lightness. An abundance of air gives us the same feeling of refreshment and enlivenment as on a windy day. When there is an imbalance of the air element we may feel nervous exhaustion, panic attacks, headaches, gas, heart problems and leg cramps. When air is in balance it creates a sense of love, devotion and compassion.
Fire symbolizes light, heat, quickness and transformation. It is connected with will power, creativity and purification. When fire is out of balance we may suffer from headaches, eye disorders, digestive disorders, liver problems, pain and weakness of the legs. Too much fire results in sympathetic dominance or the typical type A personality – stressed and burnt out. Unbalanced fire shows as anger and resentment. Well balanced displays attributes of forgiveness and enthusiasm.
Water relates to flowing formless energy and is strongly connected to the source of all life. It represents deep feelings and flowing emotions. Imbalances show physically in the skin, as back pain, breast tenderness, prostrate problems and foot pain. A balanced water element allows us to relax and let go while unbalanced water reflects attachment to worldly things.
Earth is dense, passive and the great provider. It represents permanency, stability and material affairs. Physically, balanced earth means strong bones and active assimilation and elimination. When earth is unbalanced fear is prevalent and we may experience a stiff neck, constipation and weak bones. Emotionally, balanced earth displays qualities of courage and contentment.