“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle
As a life-long outdoors lover, I can’t help but integrate nature practices and metaphors into my coaching. It’s part of who I am.
So when it comes to wholistic wellness and empowerment, the model I favour uses natural elements to represent the four parts of self – our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual realms.
Whether or not your an outdoorsy type, you can use these powerful natural symbols to help you understand where you thrive and where you’re out of balance when it comes to yourself and your desires.
The four elements that represent the four parts of self are water, air, earth and fire. I’m sure you’ve heard of them before, as this mythological model has been used for centuries and across many cultures. My simplified interpretation reveals that by reviving each of the elements within ourselves, we become our healthiest, most vibrant and whole selves- and can achieve our dreams too.
To use this model for your own benefit, the first step is to understand the function of each of these parts of self.
Water – Our Emotional and Artistic Realm
Like water, a healthy emotional state is fluid and flowing. All of your emotions have powerful messages to share with you and by expressing your feelings in a healthy way, your life flows forward as desired.
Air – Our Mental and Intellectual Realm
This element is made of our airy, invisible, intangible thoughts. Your mind contributes its logic, beliefs, information and plans which directly influence the other parts of you and the results you achieve.
Earth – Our Physical Bodies and World
Like the physical environment, the physical self is tangible, grounding and gives form and substance. Your body has powerful gifts to share with you and is the vehicle to externally actualize for the other elements.
Fire – Our Visionary and Spiritual Realm
Igniting our passions and burning desires, the spiritual self is the dreamer, the visionary and the universal connector. Your healthy spirit gives you your flickers (or explosions) of passion and inspiration and also connects you to the greater universe or Spirit.
Like a beautiful artistic masterpiece or an exquisitely prepared meal, when each of these 4 elements are flourishing individually, the result transcends what any of them could be on their own – the whole is greater than the sum.
This new entity, now in its full brilliance (although it’s been there all along), is know as the 5th element.
This element has many names, including nature, wood, ether and soul. I call this your True Self (or your True Nature if I really want to stick with the metaphor). This is the real you. You are not your feelings. You are not your thoughts and ideas. You are not how you look. Nor are you your dreams. These and many other factors contribute to you, but don’t define who you are.
I would love for you – your True Self – to resume your rightful place at the centre of your life and make plans from this empowered and balanced place.
But first things first. Which element do you rely on the most? Do you naturally lead with your emotions, mind, body or spirit?
Your movement into balance starts from your strengths and your comfort zone, so know what this is for yourself. Claim your leading element!
In next week’s email, I’ll share the second half of this discussion to tell you how to bring everything together into balance.
To your True Self!
P.S. Email me to share your leading element as I’d love to know. Mine is definitely water!