Ayurveda understands many aspects of our world through the lens of five elements – ether (or space), air, fire, water and earth. You, my gorgeous human, are a unique snow-flake embodiment of all of them. Each one of us has a thumb-print combination of the five. We were born this way. When you learn about these elements, you may identify with one or two more than the others. You may resonate with all five. But, really, we want to be able to tap in to our capacity to embody ALL of them, when needed, so soothe our soul and fulfill our heart’s deepest desire.
A gal who has a lot of Ether is one who can organize a dinner party with the most seemingly disparate personalities, yet somehow there is a golden thread that connects everyone. She is the woman who creates space for her own purely creative pursuits. Within the silence and space of her room, she accesses the muse who lives in the walls. We need these spaces so the other elements can come into play. Without space, there is no play. You may have experienced a lack of Ether in your own life. Who hasn’t remarked (or screamed), “I need some space!” Without enough space between activities, our lives can feel suffocating. Too much space, on the other hand, can leave us with a spaced-out feeling that yearns for the more Earthy and Watery elements of life (such as community connection and oil massage). Most important, a balance in the amount of Ether we have gives us the space we need to use our highest knowledge and process what is going on in our lives.
A woman who embodies Air is dynamic, changeable, artistic and creative. Whereas ether is space, air is defined as movement. Deeply feeling, she can fall quickly and deeply into love. She can also fall out of love just as quickly. Why? Because she has moved on. Air is about movement and change. In fact, an Airy gal may even forget your name once she has left your side. Don’t be offended. It’s not that she didn’t care. It’s just that her Air has carried her on to the next great experience, place or person.
You know a fiery woman when you see her! She lights up a room. She has a warm, bright personality that draws people to her and melts their hearts. A fiery woman is an alchemist. She takes all situations and melts them into what will serve her. She can see people and events clearly. She is definitely the girl you want running the show. Fire has the ability to turn wood into ash. At its highest level, Fire is the force behind our own evolution, converting who we are into who we are becoming. In the body, Fire creates the heat of fevers and governs digestion. In food, Fire is evident in the spiciness of a pungent curry or a hot tamale. In the mind, Fire illuminates truth, dispels ignorance, and governs our perception of reality.
Watery women are the juiciest creatures on the planet. A Water-rich goddess can meld her wet goodness into any of life’s circumstances with liquidity. Water is the principle of holding and fluidity, and it always flows along the path of least resistance. Water not only represents H2O in the body, but it also includes all the liquids and oils inside you. In the mental and emotional realms, Water is our ability to express gentleness, compassion and acceptance. And while Water may be passive in its ability to adapt to any container, it is also one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Think of the power of a crashing fifteen-foot wave, a breaking flood levy, or the healing power of a hot bath, and you’ll understand Water’s immense strength and capacity.
The world’s Earthy women are like mountains. They embody solidity and support. An Earthy woman is not someone you want to mess with. She is unmoving in her integrity, firm in her beliefs and bigger vision. We need earth to ground us in our communities. Without earth, we are like a rootless plant, our little green shoots desperate for a place to grow. Too much earth, on the other hand, can leave us feeling heavy and stagnant. Too much earth can also lead to a dominance of survival consciousness – where we are preoccupied only with the aspects of our physical survival. Too much earth also brings an inability to break from negative family lineage stories and other forms of delusion.