The Earth Element
Last month, I wrote a short article about the fire element, which is one of the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The next element on the creative cycle (see diagram below) is the Earth element and is very appropriate for this time of year as we transition out of summer and into fall enjoying the harvest of the local food now available.
Each of the five elements has a particular time of year when it is at its peak except the Earth element. This element flows as a buffer between all the seasons as a way of flowing back in the nurturing energy of the Earth before moving into the new energy flow of the next season. So from early to mid-August is an Earth time before the fall begins in mid to late August as viewed by the Chinese seasonal calendar.
The Earth element in represented in the body through the digestive system (Stomach) and the receiving of nourishment, which allows us to digest new experiences within yourselves and the world-at-large. It is also represented by the lymphatic system (Spleen), which works to support and protect the body at the cellular level keeping our immune system nice and strong.
When your Earth element is balanced and whole, you feel supported, confident, at ease and comfortable with life. You have a healthy concern for home and family, which offers security and stability. You feel very empathetic towards others. However, when your Earth element is unbalanced and fragmented, you feel ungrounded, uprooted, never satisfied, always in doubt, not even trusting yourself.
A great way to nurture your Earth element is by eating the food that support your overall well being and nourishment. Enjoy the foods of the season and honour the process that got it to you whether you bought it from a store, from the farmer directly or went to a restaurant or perhaps you even grew it yourself. It all has a place in supporting the nurturing energy of your body.
If you are feeling worried or are continually over thinking about your life or the situations within it, try the healing sound of “who”, which is toned out as straight sound. This helps to support the Spleen/Stomach and release out those nagging thoughts.
The language to best express the Earth element is movement so take a walk in the forest or on the beach to reinvigorate the mind, body and soul. Perhaps, you could put a a favourite piece of music and let your body move any way that feels enjoyable.
Probably the biggest and best way to support the Earth element is to be comfort with your life and the decisions within it. Find ways (like some of the above) to release the stagnation of living and bring in an attitude of gratitude. This will help you ground into the virtue of the Earth element, which is acceptance of what is whether we like it or not.
I wish you a beautiful and enjoyable late summer on this great planet Earth!