As mentioned in previous blog I have an avid interest in The Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine. The five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood and the model is an energy model based on the meridians that run through the body.
You may be asking, what meridians? and why doesn’t my doctor ever talk about these elements or the meridians? Well, though these ideas crossover into many healing traditions our western medicine model is not one that works in the same way. Western medicine was largely developed out of WWI & WWII, which is based on treating acute injuries and accidents. As a result it is a more cause and effect model. Western medicine is actually quite good at that – fixing a broken bone, taken out a tumor or growth, stopping a bleeding wound etc. However, western medicine is not so good at diagnosing or treating chronic illnesses or taking preventive measures that require a deeper look at the dynamics between mind, body and spirit of a person. Thus, there is a need to sometimes look beyond the western views and into ancient ideas.
Lately, I have become aware of my own tendency to ‘leak Fire‘. Fire is the element that relates to the heart, to my passion and vision to name a few key words that reflect Fire. When I spoke to an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine imbalance showed up in Water and Wood. However, what I know is that Wood feeds Fire and Water controls Fire. So it makes sense that if Wood is getting burned out and Water is working equally hard at controlling Fire – then may be the issue is Fire. I’m feeding my passions and my vision and at the same time spending time trying to control the outcome. So I think the problem is ” leaking Fire“.
Personally, I think this is a very common problem in today’s world. As a coach I have worked with many people who seem to be pretty good at having the energy and thrust to bring forward new ideas (Wood) but spend a great deal of time controlling the flow of that vision and passion through fear (Water). Often the folks like myself are too busy protecting the Heart. Fearful of getting hurt, rejected or failing. Think of Fire and picture a forest fire – a natural burn. Fire burns wildly, it is not a tame, calm event. There is lots of heat and lots of intensity, unpredictability and a need for space to allow for the fire to move and find it’s path. Natural fire may seem quite destructive but burns what is decaying, old and allows for new life and possibilities.
Our Fire is the same. To be in balance (alignment plus flow) we need to let our passion and heart open and burn. Yes, sometimes that means feeling a tremendous amount of heat, pain and living through some destruction. But trying to control and constantly put out our Fire simply denies who we are and our potential.
I have moments where I am fully engaged in my passion and purpose and then I settle for less. I believe the ‘leaking Fire‘ results when I spend too much time settling for less. My Heart is crying for more space and yes that just might mean I have to let some of old forest burn.