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How does it feel to be in your element?

In his book, The Courage to Create, the psychologist Rollo May observes that a crucial aspect of creativity is ‘the freedom of artists to give all the elements within themselves free play.’

Patti Miller’s memoir The Joy of High Places details her brother’s recovery from a paragliding accident. When Patti asks her brother if he will fly again, he says that being in the air is his element, so he must return to it. The element of air seems to call to her as well – and she finds it through hiking, often high in the mountains.

At my local beach almost every weekend there are scores of kite surfers flipping and soaring above the water. Although I love to watch them, I’m never really drawn to trying it. It’s the water that is my element. When I’m in or on the water, I feel reset.

The writer Sarah Sentilles speaks of holding rocks in her hands to ground her when she writes. 

Remember the elements – the replenishment from water, the refreshing power of air. Call on the grounding power of the earth, and the burning energy of fire, a reminder of creative power.

These elements – water, air, earth, fire – are part of our physical lives, and we are made of them. As the poet Rumi says: “Do not feel lonely – the entire universe is inside you.” So, I wonder if you could get out of your head today and connect with those elements which truly animate you?

Dive into some water. Sit on a hilltop or in a breezeway, feeling the air and wind on your face, lie with your back and your hands on the earth, or stand still and allow the fire of the sun to warm you. We are physical beings, and our creativity is lit by the body as well as by the mind.

Allow yourself today to restore and refresh your physicality by letting the elements in, and by letting yourself rest in their power.


Today’s prompt:

High above the hills….