Dear Five Faces: I enjoy your blog and know it’s supposed to be about relationships with other people, but I’m wondering if we can use knowledge of the elements to help our relationships with ourselves. For example, I know I’m a Wood, but there are times I really want to reach out and connect with someone, maybe help them out with something, and the voice in my head tells me I have too much to do, deadlines to meet, etc. The end result is that I pass by the opportunity to express the compassion and caring I feel, and it makes me sad. Is there something I can do to change this? Signed, Too Efficient
Dear Too Efficient: There absolutely is an ongoing internal relationship between our personal Five Elements, and your question is a beautiful illustration of the fact that our own array of elements can become out of balance in relationship to each other.
We have the primary element we do for a reason; it’s the way we frame and interact with the world that works best for us. However, our primary element shouldn’t interfere with our ability to express the totality of who we are. When that happens, it can indicate that something is out of balance in the way our five elements are relating and interacting with each other.
In your case, you are unable to express your Earth energies the way you’d like to, so we can say that you are manifesting too little Earth. There could be as many reasons for this as there are elements and relationships on the Flow and Control Cycles, but because your reasons for not expressing the Earth are very Wood (they deal with accomplishment and deadlines), I think it’s safe to say that your Wood is over-controlling your Earth at an emotional level.
Your letter didn’t mention if you’ve been more angry or impatient than usual lately, but these would be additional clues that you have too much Wood energy at the moment and it’s affecting your ability to express your Earth.
Similar to a relationship with another person, being aware of the internal problem is the first step toward solving it. If you are feeling more angry or impatient, work on relaxing and letting go of the stress. If you know you’re a Wood, you must also know ways that work to keep yourself functioning as a willowy Wood instead of becoming too rigid or fixed. Remember, an out of balance Wood will always focus on the urgent over the important, which as we know, can be rather dysfunctional. Woods usually need to stay alert that they don’t slip into this pattern.
For your current problem, in addition to de-stressing, you can also hold two places on your face that will help balance the emotional energies in Wood and Earth: 1) the outside corners of each eye, and 2) right below the center of each eye near the top of the check. Holding all four places at once (two points around each eye) will not only help balance Wood and Earth individually, it will also harmonize the relationship between them. Try this for a few weeks and see if it helps you express your Earth and Wood in a beautifully balanced way. Good luck!