Healing from Within – Using the Elements to Decipher Your Personality
Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Dondi Dahlin
In Healing From Within your host Sheryl Glick author of Life is No Coincidence and my second book The Living Spirit and just concluding New Life Awaits…the three books discuss awakening, transformation and higher consciousness and finally transitioning to our purest form of soul life. Today I am delighted to welcome Dondi Dahlin author of The Five Elements who brings the wisdom of an ancient healing system to people who are interested in knowing themselves better and to understand the individual rhythms that go beyond the influence of our genetic structure and upbringing.
Dondi will share a greater understanding of the elements: water wood fire earth and metal, an important theme in ancient Chinese medicine
As listeners of Healing From Within know my guests and I share our experiences and ways to view life beyond merely the physical aspects of life to determine how energy and Universal Laws encourage our personal and collective life journey and also the role of duality in understanding ourselves, our families, and world for greater clarity and for creating our most healthy prosperous and purposeful life experience.
In today’s episode of Healing From Within we will attempt to answer…. “Why we do the things we do…”and how understanding the elements of our physical world help us stay balanced physically mentally spiritually and emotionally. Dondi is an internationally acclaimed dancer teacher and member of Screen Actors Guild. She is the co-author of The Little Book of Energy Medicine with her Mother Donna Eden and teaches at the OMEGA Institute in New York.
Dondi shares with us in her childhood she was observant and free to explore nature and energy and her wonderful mother and energy healer was open minded open hearted and allowed Dondi to find her own spiritual gifts and express her joy through dance.
When Dondi refers to The Five Elements,” she is describing an ancient health art and science. The Five Elements are both a personality type’ system and a health system and they are profound. This system has been used in China for over 2000 years and help people navigate their way through life and relationships. When someone discovers what their primary element is and what their friends and family are, a person will have less stress in interactions because they will have found a road map for all of their relationships.
Drawing from many psychological and spiritual systems to make sense of human differences the most ancient of them the Chinese Five Element theory is like having a pair of special glasses that allows you to peer into the deep workings of what you see on the surface, so when you witness people either flowing as a team, or fighting like enemies, you can gain a bit of understanding about what drives them. It is the intensity of their element or inner being more attuned to certain ways of relating to the world that makes them easier for some to get along with then others. It is like the law of attraction we are more comfortable with those more in tune with our values and ideas and indeed, energy resonance.
While each of us contains all 5 elements one or a combination will be dominate you and you will vibrate more easily with people environments and activities whose element matches your own. Two very different aspects of human experience are explained by the elements. First is your basic nature and second is that in the human life cycle we travel through periods or phases that are analogous to the elements of seasons of nature. For example the element of water corresponds with the season of winter, wood with spring, fire with summer, earth with the time of the solstice or equinox and metal with autumn.
Dondi shares detailed descriptions or characteristics of each of the different element signs… water, wood, fire earth and metal.
THE WATER PERSONALITY TYPE
The cafes in Paris and the urban coffee houses in America are magnets for them and the hookah lounges in the Middle East are packed…Waters love lounging with good friends and waxing about all that is right and wrong with the world. The deeper the conversation is the better. They are your most alluring poets, your wisest writers, your most hypnotizing musicians and your sagest philosophers. Life can look warped to a Water who tends to live deep within themselves where they feel secluded and alone. Imagine diving into a swimming pool and opening your eyes under water to look up. You can see the sides of the pool and even the people but everything seems distorted. This is how life can seem to a Water…With their unending thoughts they can be prone to depression and then everything can be exaggerated and look like a very different reality than the reality of others.
THE WOOD PERSONALITY TYPE
Wood people often get the fuzzy end of the lollipop because they are often misunderstood as harsh or intimidating. They are actually funny and kind but they wield a lot of power and they are often honest to a fault. Woods are fearless. They are like the sudden expansive growth of spring after a long slow winter. Woods lead with determination and will that surpasses all limits. Wood people also see the bigger picture find solutions seek out the best in things and make changes. They are strong sturdy stable fearless logical reasonable bold independent and unapologetic. They are also fair minded and nothing upsets them more than injustices. This makes them powerful
THE FIRE PERSONALITY TYPE
Is there a person at work or among your friends who seems to always be happy joyful or excited all the time. You know: They walk into a room with a huge smile almost dancing as they walk. There is an uplifting lively rhythm to their existence and they seem to not get stuck in the muck that slows down the rest of us. Life is a party and living is a ball. Pleasure fun and anything that feels good is what Fires are drawn to, However Fires often abandon people or events that lack excitement passion romance and fun. They are loyal and dedicated until something doesn’t feel good and then they move on to the more pleasurable experience. They may end up being serial monogamists. It may also seem like a Fire Person loves everyone and their love isn’t special or sincere. They can appear to be everyone’s best friend. Fires are constantly chasing the next shiny object. When faced with displeasure from others a Fire’s joy can turn to panic.
THE EARTH PERSONALITY TYPE
Earth’s are the angels of compassion and caring. Earth people almost always have children but if they don’t they will pour their love into caring for animals or teaching children. They will also pour their love into their relationships. If you know an Earth Person you have probably received homemade bread, a pie some chicken soup or a hand stitched quilt..Their nurturing nature comes from deep within their heart and shows itself through generosity. They quilt sew garden cook or paint so they can give handmade gifts. They want to make you feel comfortable safe and to know you are loved. They want to give to the whole world. Deep inside they are hoping for love in return.
THE METAL PERSONALITY TYPE
The Metal way is a reverent way. The Metal person is a master at meeting life where it is at and rising above it. They are above the fray of it’s up and downs and never get too ruffled. Metals are spiritual seekers often looking to the next guru or to the next mind-body spirit connection. If the most spiritually elevated gurus are in India that is where the Metal will go. the next mind-body spirit connection. If the most spiritually elevated gurus are in India that is where the Metal will go. There is no argument no debate they will go quietly to find one on one connections with others who seem to also be on their path of higher consciousness. The Metal will say “farewell,” and move on to something and someone at the level they require. It can feel cold and detached but for the Metal it is a path of the highest respect for themselves and their journey.
Dondi goes on to tell us a bit about her background and how it lead to researching and writing about the ancient Chinese Personality system of The Five Elements. Dondi’s mother Donna Eden is a well known healer who works with the nine energy systems in the body. You can think of the energy systems much like the other systems: the endocrine system, the lymphatic system and the nervous system. All of these systems help the body and mind to stay healthy, well and vibrant. In growing up with these systems my sister and I gravitated and resonated with one that became our passion…Chinese medicine …The Five Elements. By the time I was in my 20’s the Five Elements system was helping me figure out my boyfriends and why I was attracting imbalanced Water Types.
Dondi wanted to write a book for laypeople about how practical and life-changing the Five Elements can be for all of us. Most people are a mixture of several elements, often being stronger in one or two…Some examples of celebrities Dondi offers are Barbara Streisand Wood, Simon Cowell Fire, Ellen De Generes Earth, Mister Rogers Metal.
There are some misconceptions about using this personality categorization For instance, what might be a reason people don’t identify with their primary element, but with their secondary element. The main misconception is that this system will box people in, categorize then and paint them as one dimensional. Actually it is just the opposite. The system opens the windows to all of the multi-dimensional layers that make up a person. When we don’t understand the inner workings of a person’s personality we make assumptions and draw ill-fated conclusions. I am a person who identifies with my secondary element. I am a WOOD/WATER. People see my wood aspects because I am often in the public eye and Wood is what I lead with when working under stress or handling life. But behind closed doors and with friends I am quite, like to stay home and get stuck on the couch. I like deep conversation and have to mentally over-prepare for public moments because I’m shy.
Another example of how one might compensate for having a certain element and rely on their secondary aspect is an EARTH MAN . They may hide it for if their father is stern, militaristic, strict and believes that boys should be boys. Then he will probably not be pleased with a gentle EARTH BOY. Boys who are primarily Earth often get their gentle personalities rough- housed or bullied out of them by the time they get to middle school.
People often think these systems are mostly for romantic compatibility but Dondi explains it’s useful to understand and work more cooperatively with coworkers, family and especially parents and children’s relationships. An example of this is in regard to the parent- child experience begins with Dondi’s own story. She began to home school her son for many reasons. One of the reasons was Dondi didn’t do well with the strict time-lines, grading systems and rigidity of the schools she was in. When she was younger she was very strong in the WATER ELEMENT and couldn’t access her WOOD muscle so she withered in school. Dondi decided to home school her son and decided not to use grades…but at some point he wanted to know if his work was an A B C or D. HE WAS FLEXING HIS WOOD MUSCLE. WOOD kids actually do well with some rules, evaluations and guidelines as long as they still have choices. Other kids like EARTHS do not do so well with regulations, rules or even authority. It behooves us to know the rhythms of our kids and raise them as individual as are their rhythms.
Dondi tells us more about her primary and secondary elements and whether they were the same as her mother’s elements. Well the affect of my Wood element is that I like to talk about myself. My Wood/water elements are very balanced and it is an interesting combo making me at times feel like I have a split personality. My Wood is a go-getter and doer, but my water is a procrastinator and happy to lie back stay home and do very little. I am grateful for my Wood aspect because it keeps me on task and I am grateful for my water because it keeps me creative, while my wood element is fairly black and white. My third element is EARTH which keeps me in my heart so no matter how judgmental my wood personality is, my Earth brings compassion to the table. Self growth is never easy and understanding your elemental personality can be incredibly helpful for living a more aware and productive life. Sheryl shares with the audience that she is a wood/fire/water mixture and Dondi has a story of a Sheryl in her book whose description and attributes are very similar to her own. Sheryl even shared the description with her daughter and also purchased a copy of the book for her so she could explore the different elements and understand her children and clients in a realistic and authentic way.
Dondi would like readers to take away with them after reading The Five Elements that life is a complex mixture partially affected by our nature or personality, which is a form of our inner soul life and also our interactions with people the environment and culture. If we learn to understand that people can only react to life according to their perceptions, life experiences and elemental tendencies we can develop greater acceptance and compassion, have less fear or anger towards anyone who may be very different than us. Even if we are not a Metal person, we may at times, use their ability to go above the fray and remain composed and loving no matter what. We can respect our own needs and path without selfishness and with respect for others: for their passions, abilities and choices, even if they are different than ours…this is the way to harmony and peace within and in the world eventually.
In summarizing today’s episode of Healing From Within we have examined an ancient system, “The Five Elements” aimed at giving us a way to understand why we respond the way we do and how to be more comfortable with our personalities greatly dictated by the state of the elemental proclivities that are strongest in our energy. Knowing whether we are a fundamentally a Water Wood Fire Earth or Metal Element and learning that we are usually a combination of several does affect our interactions choices and interests. Knowing about this personality system can help you understand and improve your psychological emotional physical and spiritual balance. This system can also help parents to understand the way their children perceive the world and themselves and offers helpful tips for encouraging your children to develop their strengths according to their elemental aspects and needs so they may find harmony, balance and peace in their daily activities.
Once we allow accept and surrender to our internal heart based destinies and the way we function as a result of our inner landscape determined largely by the degree of either Water Wood Fire Earth or Metal elements that are at work within affecting our relationships we can fully engage life and any challenge in a more realistic and successful way. Isn’t that indeed what we were born to do. We must learn what makes us tick and why others respond as they do not only from events or conditions of the outside world, but from the essence of Being that comes from within and must be allowed to be expressed into the world through our actions and reactions.
Dondi and I would have you learn to appreciate the good in all the Five Element People who frequent your life and become aware of how you are learning to use your new found awareness of Self and others as we are simply expressing ourselves through the energy of soul being aligned to 1 or more of the elements. Since there is no good or bad just experiences we can learn to allow everyone to be themselves, without judging or blaming them. Then we can find a way for greater compassion and love which ultimately is the way we can live our best life .