April 8, 2021 Our Relationship with a Temporary Environment
Today’s blog is the fourth and final post in a series devoted to understanding how each elemental personality will likely relate to different environments and, more importantly, what can be done if we find ourselves stuck in a not very compatible place. Three weeks ago, we focused on how different climates and geographical locations relate to each of the five elemental personalities based on the Five Element model. Two weeks ago, we focused on how we relate to our home environment and looked at issues like decorating style, colors, energy flow, and furnishings. Last week’s post addressed how we relate to our work environment, especially if we have little control over the people with whom we work.
This week we’re going to discuss how we relate to those temporary environments we might find ourselves in like stores, doctor’s offices, friend’s houses, and even in the not-too-distant future, places like restaurants, movie theatres, and hotels as we open up from the pandemic. And while some of the same issues we’ve covered in our previous three posts will definitely be relevant, the most important aspect of the temporary environment is that we usually have very little say regarding what we encounter there.
What Does Temporary Mean?
For the purpose of this post, a temporary environment is one that we have chosen to enter for a purpose, but one over which we have almost no control. This means the colors, people, scents, sounds, etc. are not ours to manage; we are basically stuck with what we find. Hopefully, in most cases we will have chosen wisely regarding where we place ourselves, especially if we know ourselves well. But we’ve all had times when we either ended up somewhere we hadn’t planned to be or the place where we’d planned to be unexpectedly turned out to be very different than we’d expected. When this happens, if leaving immediately isn’t an option, the adjustments necessary to make it a comfortable environment for us will usually have to come from us. And they don’t have to be major overhauls of the space. There are deceptively simple techniques we can use to make almost any relatively uncomfortable environment temporarily more manageable, and that’s what we’re going to cover today.
What Makes Us Uncomfortable?
How we react to individual environments is usually a sensory response, but a sensory response that often goes beyond the five basic senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell). Certainly, if a room is painted a hideous color (I leave it to you to decide what that color might be), is full of unpleasantly loud music (again, individual choice), or smells like rotten eggs (almost everyone responds negatively to this), then we usually know how to address it. But if we find ourselves feeling uncomfortable in a space for no apparent reason, that unapparent reason is probably the fact that the energy in the space and our personal energies aren’t compatible. And since, as wise Mr. Einstein pointed out, everything is basically energy (E=MC²), almost everything in an environment can be processed by us as either a good, neutral, or bad match.
So how do we know the way an environment is affecting us? At the risk of becoming the Patron Saint of the Obvious, a good environmental match will usually make us feel good (optimistic, centered, joyful, contented, kindly, etc.) and a bad environmental match will usually make us feel bad (hopeless, frustrated, overwhelmed, needy, critical, etc.), all for no apparent reason. But of course, there is a reason, and that reason is that something in the environment is either a good or bad match for our personal energies. It really can be that straightforward.
Managing a Temporary Energetic Mismatch
When we find ourselves in a space that isn’t having a good effect on us, we have choices. First and foremost, we can leave. And very often, this is our best course of action. If we don’t like the people around us, we can leave. If we don’t like how we feel in a specific store, we can choose a different store. There are numerous cases where we have (and should exercise) the choice to leave, especially if part of what feels bad is that we don’t feel safe. We should always pay attention to our inner voices if they speak of safety. Yet what if we just feel critical or frustrated in a space, but really need to be there? For example, the waiting room of a doctor’s office? There are many ways to address this and of course, they all deal with the Five Elements!
As stated, when we feel good in a space, it usually indicates an energetic compatibility between the energy of the room and our personal energies. When we feel uncomfortable, it usually indicates some kind of energetic (or sensory) mismatch between us and the room. When this happens, the sensory aspects should be pretty easy to address and can include speaking up about the volume of the music, moving away from the chatty person near us, adjusting the light, etc. These are easy fixes.
However, many of the energetic mismatches can be just as easy for us to address if we understand what is happening and are prepared. That’s because the biggest clue we have that our energies are responding negatively to something in a particular space is how we feel in that space. Our feelings become not only a barometer but also an excellent indicator of what we can do to fix things if leaving the space isn’t an option. The reason for this is that specific emotions are connected to specific segments of our elemental personalities.
Five Elements to the Rescue
Remember that while we each have a primary and secondary elemental personality, we all have all five of the elements in our personality make-up. Also, each element has a balanced and unbalanced emotional expression. This means that addressing our response to a particular temporary environment can be as easy as balancing the energy that is upset by the environment, even if we don’t know exactly why. All we really need to know is our emotional response to the environment. That tells us which of our elemental energies are happy and which are unhappy with where we are. Once we know what’s out of balance, we can take quick steps to address the imbalance within ourselves. And all we need to have with us to help is a rock, an essential oil, or a paint chip. Here’s how it works, regardless of our primary elemental personality.
If we find that we feel fearful or hopeless in a specific environment, it usually indicates that our Water energy is deficient. We can either clutch a piece of lapis lazuli or aquamarine in our hand, dab some frankincense (or myrrh) oil behind our ears, or pull out the beautiful blue paint chip we got for free at our local paint store and stare at it for a minute or two. This will help build back our Water energy.
If we find that we feel frustrated or indecisive in a specific environment, it usually indicates that our Wood energy is deficient. We can either clutch a piece of malachite or green aventurine in our hand, dab some peppermint oil behind our ears, or pull out the beautiful green paint chip we got for free at our local paint store and stare at it for a minute or two. This will help build back our Wood energy.
If we find that we feel scattered or overwhelmed in a specific environment, it usually indicates that our Fire energy is deficient. We can either clutch a piece of fluorite or garnet in our hand, dab some rosemary oil behind our ears, or pull out the beautiful rose red paint chip we got for free at our local paint store and stare at it for a minute or two. This will help build back our Fire energy.
If we find that we feel needy or clingy in a specific environment, it usually indicates that our Earth energy is deficient. We can either clutch a piece of rose quartz or tiger’s eye in our hand, dab some lemon balm oil behind our ears, or pull out the beautiful pale yellow paint chip we got for free at our local paint store and stare at it for a minute or two. This will help build back our Earth energy.
And if we find that we feel critical or confused in a specific environment, it usually indicates that our Metal energy is deficient. We can either clutch a piece of hematite or snowflake obsidian in our hand, dab some eucalyptus oil behind our ears, or pull out the beautiful white or gray paint chip we got for free at our local paint store and stare at it for a minute or two. This will help build back our Metal energy.
The good news is that we rarely have to spend a lot of time in temporary locations and the suggestions above will help make whatever time we are there easier to manage. The even better news is that we can usually leave a temporary location if we really don’t feel right (and we should leave if things feel persistently off). Overall, the bottom line is that with a little preparation, we can carry with us five little rocks, oils, or paint chips that will help us balance ourselves to whatever environment we temporarily find ourselves in. And then all will be well.