Mind-Body Health

How to Restore Trust & Build Resilience with the Five Elements

A close up of plants at sunset

To help you navigate life’s challenges and build resilience, look to the five elements of nature—earth, air, fire, water, and space—for inspiration. Read how these elements can help you adapt to change.

Resilience is a muscle that is strengthened every time you let yourself adapt to change. By virtue of being alive, you’re vulnerable to change and hardship. In a flash, upheaval in your external circumstance can leave you feeling unsettled. However, your mind and spirit have the ability to create a feeling of safety, grounding, and trust. On some days, you may choose this without much thought or effort but on other days, you have to actively reach for these feelings.

With changing external landscapes, it may be helpful to draw inspiration from nature. The elements can teach you how to ground yourself, move, flow, and just be. Earth, air, fire, water, and space can remind you of your own deeper truth so that you too can find your harmony. The more you trust in the qualities of nature, the more you will trust your own rhythm and design.

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Earth: Trusting in Stillness

In times of overwhelming change, it can be soothing to connect with plants, crystals, trees, and sand. They can teach you to grow strong roots that may be hidden but are the backbone of life. These roots can represent relationships, hobbies, or a purpose that keeps you anchored. When you feel uprooted from your safety due to the loss of a job, health, or a loved one, the earth element can show you how to draw the life force from these support systems to keep connected.

Earth energy mentors you on how to be still, grounded, and present. It teaches you seasonality and how to be patient, for all things are moving even when they are seemingly still. The next time you feel stuck or blocked, consider:

  • Do plants force themselves to bloom?
  • Do they expect themselves to be in bloom all year?

The density of the earth, especially crystals and other forms of rocks, anchors the mind into stillness. It mirrors your ability to be strong and resilient. Rocks may weather with water, but they are polished in the process. Similarly, diamonds may be under high pressure but it’s exactly that which creates its sparkle. Trust that you are in your divine process that is chipping away all the rough edges and leaving you with a new and evolved version of you.

Air: Trusting in Movement

Air can inspire you to enjoy a little bit of change. Air can remind you that life will move in different directions in every moment, and that can be refreshing. Be assured that little challenges along the way can keep you excited, motivated, and engaged with your vision. You are resilient enough to move with the wind without losing yourself. While too much wind energy can feel overwhelming, it can also teach you to surrender. It can show you how to let down your guard and trust in something greater than yourself.

The element of air also can remind you that difficulties not only move you but transport you to where you need to be. They carry you to the karmic lessons that you may have previously avoided in order to help you awaken. If you’re struggling in any or multiple areas of life, see if you can pay attention to where the “wind” is wanting to carry you. You may wish to consider:

  • What growth is being presented to me?
  • What is being revealed to me?

Fire: Trusting in Light

When you meditate on the element of fire, it can help you remember your spark, power, and passion. It teaches you to dance like the flame but burn steadily.

Although it can be destructive, fire also transforms and ignites the soul. When you’re in the midst of uncomfortable challenges, it reminds you of your light that may dim but never extinguish. You may experience physical, mental, and emotional illness, but the soul is always burning bright. It’s eternally alive and healthy. It’s guiding you in the direction of your highest well-being, even when you may be full of doubt. When meditating on the element of fire, you may wish to ask yourself:

  • What is eternal within me?
  • How am I being the light in the dimmest of situations?

Water: Trusting in Effortless Being

Small bodies of water—a lake, bath, or pool—can feel immediately relaxing. Your body can glide, and muscle tension dissipates as soon as you trust the element enough to float. Water reminds you that you can adapt to the container—your environment. It gives you permission to be fluid and effortlessly adjust to your surroundings. It mirrors your ability to be free of resistance.

Water also teaches you to be vulnerable enough to be 100 percent transparent. From that, you can express yourself, communicate, and live without judgment, fear, and unrealistic expectations. Difficulties are often exacerbated by desires to morph a situation into something that it’s not. You may want to sugarcoat a challenge, hide the issue, or reason your way out of it. However, water reminds you to simply be so that your being can be witnessed with clarity and authenticity. The next time you’re in a body of water, consider:

  • How can I be free of resistance?
  • Where can I bring more clarity and authenticity in my life?

Space: Trusting in Limitless Possibilities

Ether is the space that you can create by letting go and allowing the cycle of destruction and rebirth. This creates a void for new and fresh opportunities to come into being. Space is a reminder that not all voids are losses. They can be the ground on which new things come into fruition.

Ether also reflects your ability to be formless and free. Your mind and consciousness can expand to all possibilities, similar to how space cannot be contained. It inspires you to think and act in new ways, which allows for the formation of new neural pathways in the brain. When you’re feeling stagnant or blocked, you may wish to consider:

  • How can I create space for my desires? What must I let go of?
  • What restrictions must I release to be formless and free?

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, presented that “Change is the only constant.” Whether your ego feels ready or not, change will arise. However, when you see yourself as a part of nature, you see how you are equipped to face the unknown. The elements of earth, air, fire, water, and space help you to trust in the multifaceted qualities that make you incredibly resilient. Contemplating the five elements supports you in revolutionizing at each step of the journey.