Application gives us a true test of whether we’ve integrated knowledge. Understanding something can give us intellectual pleasure, while taking a concept and putting it out “in the field” to work with life’s many scenarios provides us with deeper awareness. It’s a feedback mechanism that helps us improve on the idea or skill. Knowledge is what we learn. Application is how we learn.
You’ll notice I like to use examples. Scenarios take our concepts out of the theoretical zone and make them truly real as we test them, make mistakes or see them bring us success. The knowledge we gain will likely not follow the straight line we first learn it as, so it’s important for us to perceive the nuances of knowledge-made-tangible with heart intelligence.
Here I’m taking the five elements and testing them in the workplace: earth, fire, water, air and space/void on the job.
Five Elements on the Job?
These elements comprise the root foundations in nature, highlighted in indigenous knowledge throughout the world, often given attention in holistic healing methods from Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Korean Medicine and Ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) Science.
Why the workplace? Well if we have a full-time job or any occupation that we use to sustain our livelihood, it’s likely we invest just as much IF NOT MORE time in that space than in our private home. The elements are always in operation and we can benefit from understanding how they function at work.
It’s first important to understand the elemental associations. What’s the connection for a professional?
Fire is the active, assertive energy. The professional takes initiative, produces movement, speaks up.
Water is the intuitive energy. She knows how to observe the workplace and her inner state and take action accordingly.
Earth is the grounding energy. With it, she can focus on projects to completion, eliminating distractions and remain emotionally stable.
Air is the silent energy. She can listen her peers’ and supervisors’ communication, hearing what they’re truly saying, the messages hidden underneath the surface.
Space is pure potential energy. With this, she can manifest whatever element she needs on the job at the appropriate time.
These forces are at work, fluctuating at all times within you and throughout your environment. Some of your coworkers will be on heightened fire making sales calls while others need some time to collect themselves, settling emotions in earth. Of course it’s likely that they will not be thinking in these ways; you will be the one with the metaphysical eyes to discern these ebbs and flows. Just observing your work environment in this way will sharpen your perception of these transformations. This is real-time alchemy.
Now, let’s take you through a day at work and perceive how the elements shift within you.
You arrive at your desk in the morning. The first in the office so there’s silence. You already have a routine, going to the Keurig machine and making yourself a cup of coffee. There’s a dumbbell you keep at your desk and lift it 10 times with each hand. On your mind is how you’ll finish your presentation by the afternoon. You have to present it to your supervisor. What element is this? Your routine flow is water and your mind thinking about what you’ll create is space.
Some time passes, your coworkers are there and the place is noisy, as usual. A coworker just slammed the phone next to you and feels puffed up about the call. Apparently the customer wants a refund after 2 hours of a purchase and he’s pissed. He feels like going home and, for some strange reason you could see he’s so stressed out that some tears are dropping. Is this guy seriously crying? He’s about to, so you set your work down and talk to him for a moment. You’re calm, collected and help him back to focus. He feels better, thanks you and offers to buy your lunch later. What element did you manifest? Your stability was earth, listening was air and non-judgmental communication demonstrated water.
Time is ticking away and you have 1 hour before your presentation, so you allow no other distractions to enter your space. Boundaries are set; you place a funny Do Not Disturb sign on the back of your chair to let people know, and you give the glare to peers who playfully try to ignore it. With time running out, you plow through your presentation and finish. What element is this? Your strong activity and focus to the end was a combination of fire and earth.
Presentation time. You feel nervous enough already, but once in front of your supervisor the words just flow. You touch on all the important points. Your graphics look great and it turned out that she loved your work. What element is this? You exuded confidence and flair, words hit on points just right, you stayed focused and listened to questions your supervisor had during the presentation. You exuded fire, water, air and earth.
That stunning project earned you a promotion as well, which could be seen as a space element because it’s a manifestation resulting from your effort.
Five Elements in Real-Time
So as you can see, there are ample opportunities to isolate the elements in your day-to-day operations on the job. Observing these energy flows can help you recognize when one element would more useful or if one is being used to excess, with the ultimate goal of making you a more successful professional, who keeps metaphysical thinking as a secret technology in her back pocket.
Using work as just one example, this elemental self-regulation skill can transfer into all life areas.