The Five Elements Intro

By Donna & David

We have not only been life partners for 44 years, we also work together, run an organization together, manage faculty and staff together, teach together, write together, grandparent together, play together, and always have a ridiculous number of details on our plates. To make it more interesting, we each perceive our roles and responsibilities and those hundreds of details quite differently.

These differences in style and approach could be a source of tremendous conflict or they could complement one another quite nicely. They have done both in our many years together, but from early on, our journey has been learning how to minimize the conflict and to dance with the delicious energies of the complementary parts.

A big part of this favorable development has been fostered by understanding the ways that we are different Elements, energetically. The Chinese physicians mapped the Five Element System thousands of years ago, and it still provides a penetrating understanding of nature as well as of human relationships.

Take the simple aspect of how we approach our work. David can switch gears swiftly into work mode, skip meals to get the job done, and sit at a computer for 10 to 12 hours typing away. He doesn’t feel drained by it. He feels invigorated by the way this brings him into creative realms.

Donna can’t switch quickly into work mode. She hovers in the realms of playful encounters and spiritual connection. Systematically putting words onto paper or doing the administrative tasks required by our company are not her natural style. To go there, she needs preparation time, transition time, and a physical and mental space that allows her to do these tasks at her best.

We recognize that we reach our muses in different ways. But if we didn’t understand the Five Elements, we might pass judgments that were hurtful and anything but supportive of one another’s styles.

If Donna didn’t know that David is strong in the Metal Element, she might be highly critical of his approach to getting things done. If David didn’t know that Donna is strong in the Earth Element, he might be fuming about how much time she needs to shift gears before being ready to sink into their next project.

It is easy to think that there is something wrong with another person when you don’t understand that each of us is born with a specific element or rhythm. Rhythm is sometimes the translation from the Chinese to convey that this energy is highly dynamic. Each element or rhythm is one of five, and it determines a great deal about who we are, how we think, what we do, how we move, and where our motives lie.

In a nutshell, a Water element values deep meaning, a Wood element values clear truth, a Fire element values passion, an Earth element values calm connection, and a Metal element values intellect and wisdom?

How much would it help you to understand these qualities of other people’s inner lives! And to be able to know other people’s element just by looking at the way they walk, talk, and act? If you knew your boss was an Earth Element and that personal connection is super important to an Earth, you would communicate in a very different way than if your boss is a Wood Element who doesn’t focus so much on connection but is vitally interested in clarity and getting to the point.

How would it help you with your parenting if you knew your kid is a Water and you knew that Water’s NEED alone time and that they will often spend time in a dark room away from the rest of the world? How would it help you with your Fire friend if you knew that Fire types must have excitement and high energy and pleasure or they actually can whither a bit inside?

Whether or not you’ve heard of the Five Elements, this e-letter issue will give you free resources to take your understanding of this beautifully simple yet highly accurate system much deeper.

We are also celebrating our newest online program Living the Five Elements! Donna, Dondi, and Titanya have worked hard to bring you the insights, wisdom, and answers that have been so instrumental in making their lives – in the lives of everyone in our family -- so much better. We are excited for you to check it out!

Love and Blessings Whatever Your Element May Be,
Donna & David