Lessons from the Earth Element
The Earth Element teaches us about stability and groundedness. It helps us to stay true to ourselves and make sense of the ever-changing world around us.
In humans, the Earth Element plays an important role in physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. When we’re able to embody the earth’s natural balance, it becomes easier to experience health and vitality. On the other hand, when we fall out of balance, we often encounter challenges and frustration.
In this article, we’ll explore the Earth Element’s many gifts. We’ll also talk about the Five Element Theory in order to provide a solid foundation for understanding the Earth Element.
Five Element Theory
Before exploring the Earth Element, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the Five Element Theory.
Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong are based on the understanding that there are Five Elements that make up the existence of all physical matter. These Elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.
Each of the Elements has their own unique qualities. Depending on where they’re found, each Element expresses itself differently.
For example, the Fire Element in a forest manifests differently than the Fire Element in a person. In a forest, the Fire Element shows up as a hot, colorful flame, while in a person, it expresses itself in the form of passion, love, or anger.
Within humans, each Element corresponds to different organs, emotions, and even qualities of character. For example, if someone likes to “go with the flow,” we say that they are rich in Water Element. If they’re also emotionally stable and grounded, then they probably are strong in Earth Element as well.
In Qi Gong, we seek to understand the lessons that each Element offers. Through that process, we’re able to cultivate each of their positive qualities and experience their gifts.
Gifts Of The Earth Element
The Earth Element embodies powerful lessons for health and wellbeing. If we pay attention, we can learn from its majestic presence and embody its timeless wisdom.
Here are three essential gifts that the Earth Element offers.
Groundedness and Stability
The world is constantly pushing and pulling us in different directions. Whether it’s friends, family, colleagues, or the media, we all encounter other people telling us how we ‘should’ be living our lives.
The Earth Element teaches us how to stay firmly grounded in our own authentic selves. Instead of being easily swayed off our true path, it helps us to move through the world with strength and stability.
To understand how Earth Energy embodies these qualities, all we need to do is look at its relationship with the seasons…
On planet earth, the seasons are constantly changing and transforming. During winter, rain and snowfall from the sky and cover its surface. Animals seek shelter and trees let go of their colorful foliage.
During spring and summer, most aspects of nature are vastly different. Cold days give way to warm sunshine and barren forests suddenly become alive with flora and fauna. Many places are barely recognizable between summer and winter. However, the earth itself is almost completely unchanged.
It doesn’t matter what season it is, earth’s form remains relatively similar. It is the foundation of all change that takes place in the natural world. Its firm structure provides plants and animals with a stable home.
As humans, we can seek to embody the same strength and stability that the earth holds true. When the Earth Element is strong within us, we can enjoy more creativity, expansiveness, and openness to life.
In addition to being the foundation of all terrestrial life, the earth also serves as the ultimate ‘digestive system.’
Every living organism eventually returns to the soil so that it can be recycled into new and beautiful expressions of life. Because the earth is naturally balanced, this process takes place with grace and ease.
As humans, we experience a similar digestive process but on a much different level.
When we eat, our digestive system breaks down our food so that it can nourish our mind and body. When everything is in balance, we’re able to benefit from the full nutrients from our meal. However, if we fall out of balance, we can experience digestive issues.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, digestive issues are often the reflection of a deficiency in the Earth Element. Therefore, people who are struggling with digestion are well served by focusing on exercises that cultivate the Earth Element. Cultivating the Earth Element within us can help us regain balance and improve digestion.
It’s important to remember that we digest life’s experiences similar to how we digest food. When we experience something, we take in energy and then transform it into an emotional state.
It’s easy to talk about indigestion in the context of food, but it’s also easy to get “emotional indigestion.”
Emotional indigestion (which isn’t a real term, but should be) happens when we’re unable to process life’s experiences in a positive and constructive way. Instead of appreciating the lessons that challenging situations offer, emotional indigestion makes it difficult to see past any initial unpleasant feelings, such as anger or resentment.
Maintaining emotional balance requires cultivating the ability to digest all of life’s experiences, including those that aren’t easy to experience. By tapping into the Earth Element through Qi Gong, we can learn how to embody its stabilizing qualities in an ever-changing world.
At Holden Qi Gong, we have a wonderful Qi Gong for Healthy Digestion workshop that teaches powerful practices for harnessing the Earth Element for healthy digestive functioning (both physically and emotionally). Learn more and experience the Earth Element’s healing qualities for yourself.