Earth

"Summers with Jim have been a dream; I feel free, funny, and in love with everything. But when school starts, I throw myself into teaching and our relationship takes a 180-degree turn. I do love him and want it to work between us for a long time, but why do I stop loving him every Fall?"...

"I’m familiar with the Five Elements model and how the elements keep each other in balance by either giving energy or taking it away. And in the model, that makes sense. But when that gets applied to people, I don’t understand how controlling someone can ever be good."...

“I’m writing about my older sister. We always did things together, but ever since she married a few years ago, she doesn’t have time for me. We still live in the same town, but now she’s “too busy” to go to the park or even meet for coffee outdoors.”...

"My mother passed away last winter, but we waited until this summer so we could have her memorial service and sharing outside. It was a beautiful service, but I was fascinated by the fact that my younger sister Jessica had very different perceptions of my mother than I did. I’m upset that I never had the mom my sister did and now it’s too late."...

"Dear Vicki: I know these are difficult times for many people, but the chaos became personal for me last month when the art gallery where I’ve worked for 20 years was sold. As an artist and homemaker, I so appreciated that the previous owner was a kind, gentle soul who ran a gallery that allowed for the joy of discovering art to steal over his patrons in a quiet way. But he retired and the new owner, Mr. Miller, is a bombastic man who thinks he needs to hit people over the head with ads, promotions, and events to increase attendance. The chaos he creates on a daily basis terrifies me. What can I do?"...

"Dear Vicki: One of my employees constantly gives me trouble. He’s impossible to keep in line. Whenever we have a plan in place, without asking he will change it on the fly. Without permission, he comes dressed in a clown costume to entertain the seniors we serve. I have reminded him of our guidelines dozens of times, and he seems surprised and contrite, but nothing changes."...

"Dear Vicki: My sister and I have been pretty close most of our lives. But we’ve taken very different paths. I went to college, then accepted a managerial position with a local bank. Genni worked as a nurse’s aide, which she loved. Several years ago, Genni married an accountant named John and it’s been a good marriage for her. Early on I realized that my brother-in-law was a controlling, opinionated person and have dealt with that for Genni’s sake. However, almost a year ago, John’s mother (another very opinionated person) became quite ill and moved in with Genni and John. Since then, Genni has really changed."...

"Sugar cravings sit in the Earth element of the Five Elements model. That’s where our grounding sits, too. With all that’s going on these days, it’s easy to feel stressed and ungrounded. For people with a lot of Earth energy, a little bit of sugar can sometimes help. But remember, too much sugar is never a good thing! It’s bad for us physically and can also heighten our panic response."...