The ancients had a profound understanding of emotions and characteristics. They noticed human nature reflected in the four principle forces of nature; earth, air, fire, and water. In their wisdom, they attributed personality traits and emotions to each of the elements to help students of life to understand the conscious mind.
With the element of water, it is fluid and adaptable and dictates one’s ability to manage any given situation. This is often referred to as going with the flow. In ancient China and India, the element of water was said to be the "Chi" energy that flows throughout the body. This energy is able to be directed through exercises such as Tai Chi and yoga, as well as healing modalities like acupuncture.
The element of water tests our ability to be fluid. When we are in right alignment with water, then we are able to adapt more readily to any given situation, small or large, slightly frustrating or largely challenging.
To work with water, learn to understand how water flows as it takes on many different mutations. It can flow gently down a stream, or tumble in a rage along a river. The sea rolls gently against the shore, or violently crashes against the rocks. Here we are able to see the metaphorical wisdom, the yin-yang expression of duality in the nature of water – everything that exists has a polar opposite. Sometimes we must be more forceful, other times quiet and gentle; and then everything in between. All serve us depending on the circumstance.
Water is also adaptable. Water put it in a vessel such as a jug or a bottle, changes shape and fits perfectly to the form of the vessel. Again, we can identify with water’s properties when we are moving through our life journey, seeing the symbolism of how we can adapt to any given situation – just like water.
Water has been traditionally used in ceremony for cleansing and clearing. Ancient and present- day shamans and priests pray for and utilize water to wash away sins, concerns and difficult situations. The next time you take a bath or shower, make an intention. As the water washes over you, honor the water by asking for it to cleanse and clear you, and to bring you the ability to flow more easily throughout your day. The more that we can be in harmony with Nature’s elements, the more that we will see life working with us in our favor.
Tanya Vallianos, MA, LPC, ATR, NCC, EMDR III, EAP II is a psychotherapist in private practice in Fort Collins, CO. She can be reached at www.innersunhealingarts.com or 970-420-9504.