THE FIVE ELEMENT CYCLE
HEALING THE PAST, PRESENT
AND FUTURE continued
By Pat Gorman with Stephen Flores
Photos by Stephen Flores
The Fire Element
After the windy period of growth and change in ourselves associated with spring and the wood element, life softens a bit, warms up. The days grow longer. Summer is on its way. In nature this is a period of great interaction. Plants cross-fertilize, bees and insects assist. The sexual energy of nature peaks. As food becomes more available, the more personally intense focus of spring broadens to take in others. So this is a time of communication, interaction, flirtation, joy.
Our culture does sometimes permit us vacations in the summer; this is very appropriate, as are all the ways we know how to have fun: trips to the beach, barbeques, picnics. The big question is: are we having enough fun?
Fun, joy, interaction need to be part of our daily creative cycle, as well as seasonal. Do we make time to meet with our friends? Do we invest in cultivating friends outside of work, people with whom we feel a strong kinship? Do we have people we are close enough to to tell them anything? Staying strongly connected to those we love is not only food for the spirit: it actually keeps us healthier in our bodies. In a study of heart disease, a small town was discovered where no heart disease existed. This seemed impossible. Genetics were looked at. No. Finally, the researchers realized that no one in the town moved away. They had their families and stayed together. Later, when some people started moving away, heart trouble and heart attacks began occurring.
So our sense of community, of loving and being loved, is essential. And although most of us want to be in couples, it’s not absolutely necessary for a happy life. But loving people is. A small change can be wrought in our fire element by simply telling our friends we love them before we hang up the phone; by starting perhaps a once-a-year reunion of old childhood friends; by simply asking a neighbor or co-worker to join you for tea and asking them about their life. Making just one small connection a week can create a profound change in our sense of happiness; this will be especially strong if we begin in the summertime.