Elemental Grace



I have been contemplating grace – this mysterious elegance that asks us to surrender to what is present in life while navigating an exploration of what it is we actually want. How can we live into this inquiry of grace in light of essential energies at work in all things?

A balance of yin and yang – of action and non-action, grace requires a balance of the 5 elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.

Water surrenders into evolving and resting in the mystery of not knowing. Fear of the unknown challenges our faith. With grace, we find courage to rest into what is, and allow life to flow as water will, meandering as a river or steady as rain. Water nourishes the depths of our beings, as it renews the fields.

A healthy wood element chooses to grow towards the light holding this direction steady while making moment to moment decisions in our daily lives. With decisive grace comes the power of vision and creative momentum, fueling desires and challenging us to take the next steps in the direction of our dreams.

The fire element brings one into a heart space of compassionate and passionate loving. A little fire warms the hearth – too much fire burns the house down. The spirit of the fire element asks: How can we be graceful in our relatedness, and give voice to our hearts' truth?

The answer can be found in the nature of the element of earth: finding center. Connection to the earth element brings nourishment. With grace, we stay grounded in ourselves, as we move through life's ever-unfolding journey. Earth calls out in us our soul's song, our sense of home, and the center that we return to at our own core.

Finally, the metal element allows us to have the boundaries (internal and external) that are appropriate to guard the three treasures of shen, qi, and jing. Metal, a precious element that defines grace, works within us through our breath and reminds us of our essential holiness.

Grace is a dancer responding to the influences of the music, the floor, other people’s bodies, the temperature, gravity, and the feelings and emotions within. The relatedness of fire comes into play in this dance, the flow of water, the flexibility of wood, the centered, grounded earth, and the spirit of metal. All this while utilizing the boundaries and possibilities of the current architecture of the body and the space we move in.

How do we be spontaneous and alive rather than governed by outmoded patterned movements and reactionary ways of being? Somehow we dance, balancing all of these forces and directing our qi in the direction that’s calling us to grow. The dance of the elements is in constant flux, and with grace, we live in communion with these forces harmoniously, within and without.

I invite you to live into this inquiry with me. How does grace move you in this dance with your elemental nature? Please post an answer in the comments if you wish.

#TraditionalWisdom #5Elements #DanceasMedicine

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