Ask Vicki: Relationship Advice Using the Five Elements

Resolving to Change

Dear Readers,

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. 

I encourage you to review each elemental personality below and note which ones you tend to embody in balanced ways and which ones seem to manifest as perhaps less-than-balanced expressions. And remember that, as you go through this process, if you find yourself aware of a specific personality that doesn’t seem to manifest strongly enough (or manifests too strongly) as you express yourself, that is easy to fix. For years in this blog we’ve discussed ways to increase (or decrease) the expression of each elemental personality, which means there’s lots of information in previous posts to assist you. Plus, you can always write me at Ask Vicki for individual help. 

So, let’s take a closer look at the balanced (and unbalanced) expression of each elemental personality as well as their tendency to embrace (or not) the idea of resolving to change. 

Water Personality: Water people tend to focus on exploring inner wisdom and philosophy. When balanced, they are the most philosophic, imaginative, and creative of the elemental personalities. Out of balance, they can withdraw and become almost reclusive. As big picture thinkers, Water people usually love pondering big questions and dreaming about new ways of looking at and doing things. However, practicality usually isn’t a big concern for Water people which means they aren’t likely to create particularly reasonable resolutions. Action and productivity usually aren’t important for Water people either, so their resolutions usually end up more like guidelines. The most important part of resolutions for Water People is usually their ability to provide fodder for imagination and lively discussions.

Wood Personality: Wood people tend to focus on success and accomplishment in the physical world. When balanced, they can manifest almost anything they set their minds to. Out of balance, they can become angry and abusive. Wood people focus on the future, so are the planners of the Five Elements personalities. This means they usually love the idea of making resolutions and will probably stick with them for some time. Wood people have access to the motive power of manifestation, too, which carries them a long way toward a goal. They also have a great deal of structure, which helps them stay focused and on task. How successful Wood personalities are at keeping their resolutions will usually depend on how reasonable their goals were in the first place. 

Fire Personality: Fire people tend to focus on enjoying and celebrating life. When balanced, they are joyful, enthusiastic, and fun to be around. Out of balance, they can become panicked and hysterical. Because they live in the now, if the people around them are making resolutions, Fire people usually make them, too. But while Fire people will approach their resolutions with the best of intentions, their lack of structure often makes it difficult for them to keep resolutions. Also, the enthusiasm Fire people feel for a fun opportunity will usually bring forth a big “Yes!” to almost anything, which can undermine some of their resolutions. And honestly, by the time something new rolls around, many Fire personalities have forgotten their resolutions, anyway.

Earth Personality: Earth people tend to focus on deep relationships with home, family, and friends. When balanced, they are fantastic at making others feel loved and comfortable. Out of balance, they can become codependent and timid. Earth people usually care deeply about causes and want to help others in any way they can. Because of this, they are likely to keep resolutions longer than the other elemental personalities, especially if the resolutions make a difference for others. If the resolution helps them personally, they are less likely to stick to it, especially if it involves dieting. Earth people love food and sharing food with others. Anything that curtails that can be a downer for an Earth personality and usually won’t last very long.

Metal Personality:  Metal people tend to focus on acquiring and sharing wisdom. When balanced, they are wise, kind, and helpful people. Out of balance, they can become erudite and dismissive. Because Metal people tend to focus on understanding and using wisdom from the past, planning and forward thinking usually aren’t their thing. This means making and keeping resolutions usually isn’t a great fit. However, the following question will often help a Metal person think about the future by viewing it as the past: “A year from now, what would you like to have accomplished?” This requires them to ponder the past they’d like to create. Another way to help Metal people embrace some form of resolution is to embed it in a ceremony, which Metal people usually appreciate.

I hope this helps you ease into 2021 with ideas of what you want to keep this year, what you may want to change, and ways that might work for you to do that. To get started, remember the wisdom of the famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu (probably a primary Water personality): “Each journey begins with a single step.”  To me (not a primary Water personality), that just means take it one day at a time.

And for those of us in the United States, embracing more of whatever it is we think our country needs now—bringing more of that to our own personality expression—can be an excellent way to help. Blessings to us all! May 2021 be a transformative year of health, healing, peace, and prosperity for all.

Vicki

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