During my journey to heal, I’ve found it paramount to really go by my own experience first, rather than just trying to follow a theory. Instead, I’ve wanted to explore and discover my own experiences and later find either my own explanations or others’, who also have walked the same path as I have. The latest contribution to my understanding is Karla McLaren’s book “The Language of Emotions”. I came across it, while I was detained in Honolulu on an immigration violation 2011-12, but never got to read all of it, so I am finally doing this now. Most resonates with me deeply, such as seeing our emotions as fluid and responding to movement, and how the natural elements can be understood as aspects within, that also other traditions, such as Hawaiian, Native American and Chinese Medicine, do. The question for me has been to feel which element represents which aspect within and to synthesize this. Of course, they all intertwine too, but still, sometimes it’s nice to get a clear view on life, with the help of both metaphors and mystique.
McLaren explains the natural elements in comparison to our different realms like this:
Earth – Our physical world, body and needs of rest, nutrition and exercise
Air – Our mental and intellectual world, in need of study and ponder
Fire – Our visionary and spiritual world, where we need to dream, meditate and be by the sea
Water – Our emotional and artistic world, where we need things like poetry and dance by nature
Wood – Our integrated self, soul, ego and personality, who holds the knowledge of the other elements and these realms
In Chinese Medicine, McLaren’s definition of Air is referred to as Metal and in the African cosmology, Wood is Ether. The point is to use these to create a better balance, which is at the heart of my plan for Telluselle Living Center.
My own journey started with a perceived discrepancy between my intellect and my emotions, a gap between the level of expression, where I had undertaken the role of my Parental self most often in my relationships, starting at an early age through my parents’ divorce. Healing this gap, has been my primary focus the last decade, when I’ve become able to feel completely centred and present, in short glimpses,
Something that might differentiate my experience and understanding a bit differently, is that McLaren uses the words Ego, Self, Personality and Soul, as if they were synonyms, which I don’t think they are. To me, the ego is our shell, our social conditioned self in dialogue with others, while the soul is connected through spirit and sits in a deeper seat, that connects us with others on a plane mostly non-tangible.
The freedom we seek, is what we can give to ourselves, by choosing perspectives and incorporate these worlds. Can you feel these different realms and see how they show up in your life?
You can find more about Klara McLaren’s book here.