Resolving to Change

Dear Readers,


Welcome to 2021! Here in the United States, it’s certainly starting out with a bang (not necessarily in a good way). It’s been said that it’s hard to change what you don’t know needs changing, so I look at the start of 2021 as offering a pretty clear message that some change might be a good thing. But how does one go about ushering in change? Honestly, I think we begin with ourselves. And when we do, that change will not only reflect out to the collective, it can also guide us in ways that allow us to support the collective if further changes are needed. 

But what do we change? At a personal level, I believe we are the only ones who truly know what we may want (or need) to change about ourselves and our circumstances. There are a variety of ways we can ascertain what we might want to change, and for those of you who know me, it won’t surprise you to hear that I think a great tool to do this is the Five Elements model. The ancient Chinese used the Five Elements model to break down any singular whole into five pieces that could be studied and understood as aspects of the whole. But the brilliance of the model they created is that it works for any whole: a country, a year of seasons, a lifetime, and yes, an individual person. 

This last point is true because we all have all five of the elemental personalities in our energetic make-up. That means that if we want to take the time to review this past year from a perspective of what worked for us (and what didn’t), the Five Elements model can be useful tool.  Basically, we would be exploring which elemental expressions of ourselves we think we nailed this past year, and what aspects we’d like to improve on or resolve to change. Does that mean I’m recommending New Year’s resolutions? Maybe. In truth, New Year’s resolutions are just a fancy way of formalizing desired changes for the coming year. And each of the elemental personalities can and does connect with the idea of a fresh start in their own unique way. But whether you resolve to change in a formal way or not, the idea that each of us can help the world by improving ourselves is important. 

Continue reading

Her Close Friend Really Changed!

Dear Vicki: Max and I have been close friends since childhood. We met at a child’s reading event at the local library when we were 9 years old and bonded over the books. Growing up, Max was a quiet, go with the flow kind of guy and I was a quiet, go with the flow kind of girl. We hung out a lot. But during college, Max really started to change. The first Christmas vacation back home we went to a poetry reading together (Max loved to write poetry), but he seemed cold and withdrawn. I wondered what was going on, but he never mentioned any problems at school, so I never asked. But by the time we graduated from college last year, Max was a different person. These days, his easy-going nature is completely gone and he’s become very precise and rigid. What happened to my old Max? I don’t know if it will help, but I’m a children’s librarian and Max is a computer programmer. Signed: Missing Max

celtic logo

Dear Missing Max: Childhood is a wonderful time of imagination, play, and discovery. As we’ve said here many times, regardless of our primary elemental personality, we all use a great deal of Water energy during childhood. If we are also a primary Water personality, our love of books, going with the flow, creativity, and the other aspects of the Water personality will stay with us as we grow.

However, if the Water personality aspects we manifest during childhood change as we grow, it is possible that our primary elemental personality really wasn’t Water, we were just in the Water phase of life. It’s also possible that the changes we manifest as we grow are because we have learned to lead with a different elemental personality for any number of reasons, even though our primary personality was, and still is, Water. And I think that might be what has happened for your friend, Max.

Continue reading