Playing with the Elements, Part 1 – Fire

As I have already mentioned in the article Seasonal clock, I work with four elements on many levels. It keeps me fascinating how several basic principles can be applied to something such complex as life.

Speaking of the 4-element system, the players are fire, air, water and earth. Each of them has its own spirit and each of them is needed. If we learn how to identify them in our lives, we can find a way how to reach balance more easily.

Although many say that water is the main player and without water it would not be life, I will start with the fire because only the fire warms the water to the temperature suitable for living. And this is also a nice example how the elements affect each other and cannot even exist separately.

The fire is the first spark of life and the feeling we are still alive. It is a small flame that may become a torch. Depending on conditions and our will, the torch brings the light and heat as long as we feed it. To keep the fire we need to supply oxygen (the element of air) and fuel, for example wood (the element of earth). On the advanced level, we also need to make the fire safe, having some shelter for it. And this belongs to the earth as well.

The fire represents everything that warms or burns or what brings the light. The fire means interest, curiosity, joy, laugh, activity, competition, excitement, passion, enthusiasm, etc. For simplicity I would call interest as the core of the others. People like the fire, being attracted to it by invisible forces, but they are also afraid of being burned. Then they build the shelters in the name of safety, too tight for life. And then, they complain that there is not enough joy or success in their lives. Or that they miss the sense (light) in their lives.

How to solve it? Anything that arouses your even small interest is a flame whose future you have in your hands. Is there enough oxygen and suitable fuel for it? Which kind of oxygen and fuel is needed for your particular case of interest? And are you willing to feed it? Then just try! No fire is dangerous from the very beginning. And only when you taste and like the first fruits it’s the time to think about the shelter, no earlier. So you avoid many disappointments and energy losses.

The fire itself isn’t positive or negative, it is neutral or better to say natural force whose priority is to shine and warm. No good or evil inside. It is our will and experience which make the fire either a tool or a weapon. Trying to separate from the fire means the same like to separate from the life, dying alive. It is only fair to accept it, just as the fact that accidents happen.

Finally, I must say that having a lack of fire is just as dangerous as having it too much. Imagine how difficult is to keep living in desert, how much suffering it costs. So if you don’t balance the fire of your excitement and desire, your life may turn to desert. In my case, I tend to be too enthusiastic sometimes and forget to eat, drink and even go to toilet. The subject of my deep interest can claim the fire so urgently that simply switches other requirements off, including basic biological functions. So I know that I have to be careful because all kind of addictions work on the same principle.

What to do? If you have too much fire inside, find a way to let it out. It is better to diversify methods and make regular breaks across your activities. Never hold the fire back! You would create a volcano with uncertain date of explosion.

I will bring the fire topic throughout the other elements again, speaking about their mutual influence.

Looking forward to your questions and comments,

Ivana

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How to reach perfection?

Everybody knows that being perfect is an illusion, but each of us is trying to get as close as possible. The desire for improvement is natural, and because of this tendency we have a lot of good in our lives.

But there are people who are obsessed with perfection. They usually would not agree and immediately highlight all the imperfections they have and need to improve. As long as they live inside of their obsession and don’t bother others, it is dangerous only to them in terms of mental and later physical health.

What I consider to be a problem is a lot of people who are paralyzed by the obsession. They are standing at the life crossroads and wondering which way leads to perfection. They want to avoid mistakes so much that they prefer thinking instead of acting. These people are always waiting for some UNTIL. Until I get this and that I can’t start doing this or that. They often become collectors of certificates with zero practice.

I believe in the power of practicing. My drawings are best proof of it. People ask me how I blend the colors, if I have special pencils for it. No, I don’t. I have the most common and cheap pencils, but I patiently put on many light layers until the drawing gets rich in color.

And this is my conclusion for today. You can get close to perfection by unlimited range of imperfections. Being imperfect means that you are on the way. Keep doing!

With love, Ivana

Roots: The Safety Zone

There is snowing outside the window and I think about the roots. It freezes and we are looking for the safety zones, where to survive bad weather. People have shelters in their houses and trees in the roots.

Humans also have the roots, and on many levels. As an individual, as a member of the family, tribe, nation, continent and the entire Universe. Every part of our Self has its own safety zone, the roots. They are represented by our past – history, ancestors, relationships, successes and failures. We cannot erase them, but we can learn and change our perspective. Every new beginning includes our entire history. As if you replant the tree – you can find a better environment for it, but do not damage the roots during transport otherwise you damage the entire tree.

Does it mean that we have to store all even traumatic experiences in the roots? No, it doesn’t. Every experience can be used as a fuel for our inner fire. All sun and shadows are endless source of woods for our warmth and hospitality. We have to accept our history as a fact, and then we may not be traumatized by it. The worst thing is to preserve the pain because that part of roots is cold and lifeless. It is a risk factor for our future, frozen can be easily broken.

If the roots are working properly, they are open to receive nutrients and excrete waste products. Unlike trees, we don’t always recognize good nutrients from waste products. Sometimes it takes a long time to understand. Don’t give up! It helps if you understand where your roots on some of your levels are. Where are your safety zones? First, it should be your body and your home. These are places where you should feel free in all manifestations of the spirit. The basic safety zones for the life and growth.

Some people examine factors too deep in the past and don’t care enough about the present. They forget that life is not just the roots. The roots are shelter and source of life, but we cannot live a life locked inside. Like trees, we can hide the power in the roots for winter, but in the spring we have to go out and move forward.