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The System is my whole-life practice for balancing health, work, passions, connections...internal and external life...the things I want to do vs. the things I need to do

in order to be my best self and enjoy my life.


It begins at EARTH and progresses clockwise.

Each Element builds upon the foundation of the ones before.

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The next circle graphs will make much more sense if you've gone through Dancing the Elements with me and especially if you've explored the individual Elements via their portals from the Homepage.

In the expansion below, the satellite positions of Body (Earth), Energy (Air), Emotion (Fire), Creed/Mental Focus (Water), and Modality (Metal) orbit around each Element in the same circular, cyclical pattern.

For example:

  • "Flesh & Bone" is in the Earth/Body position of the Earth Element.

  • "Breath & Energy/Chi/Aura" is in the Earth/Body position of the Air Element.

  • The Fire/Emotional component of the Water Element is "Grief/Joy." 

  • The Creed (Water Position) of the Metal Element is "Protect Connect Value" whereas its Emotion (Fire Position) is Anger/Bravery. In other words, Anger which shows me where my boundaries are being crossed, and the Bravery to do something about it.

Obviously you can assign different emotions or creeds to any element you like. Some people even prefer to think of Fire as Mind and Water as Emotion. Once you start playing with it, it's your System. Not mine. This is just what works best for me. 

Sometimes I do quick scans and checkups of certain aspects. Sometimes I do in-depth immersion into one element, or one aspect. Sometimes that immersion takes up part of an afternoon. Sometimes I focus on one element for a whole week, then move onto the next. It just really depends on how much time I have and what I need most.

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See why I named it "The System?" It has always reminded me of a little elemental solar system with five planets and a gazillion moons, all revolving around Alchemy.

Below in the Tools & Toys cycle, I start working actively with the System. Here the satellites correspond to each of the Elemental Domains: 

  • Body

  • Spirit

  • Heart

  • Mind

  • Persona and the external aspects of my life, interacting with the rest of the world


So again, I begin in the EARTH position and work clockwise through each Element.


For example:

  • "Stable Strong Body" is the Earth/Body position of the Earth Element. In other words--exercise, ergonomics, PT, etc.

  • "Rest Listen Sleep" is in the Air/Spirit position of the Earth Element - so making sure I get enough rest and sleep, and truly listening to what my body is telling me.

  • "Ask Breathe Feel" - In the Air/Spirit position of Fire, I ask "Yes or No?" or "What do I desire?" Then I breathe to unlock the chest and emotions, I listen and feel for the answer. Moving into the Fire position - the Emotional position - I FULLY feel what I feel, whatever it is. 

  • Whereas the Water/Mind position of the Fire Element is "Choose What You Feel" - the practice of exerting mental control over the emotions instead of letting them run amok. It's the application of that old adage: Nobody can MAKE you feel anything. Not even ourselves. We can always choose, just like we can always choose how we express what we do feel. And then in the Metal/Persona position, I ensure that my emotional expression is a healthy one for the situation and environment I'm in, because here I am valuing and protecting myself, and I am also connected to other people so I value and protect them at the same time.

  • Continuing around the Fire Element, we come back to the Earth/Body position - as I'm deciding which emotions to feel and how I'm going to express that to others, I'm doing a quick scan of my Body Language and Tone. I ask, "Is this really how I want to be expressing myself right now?" And I feel "Yes or No?" Then I decide...

✨ Cyclical. ✨

(This is totally the kicker with TBI. Losing the capacity to choose emotional expression or repression from damage to the brain SUUUUUUCKS and is one of the major reasons I developed this System. To attack that deficiency from a gazillion different directions with as many different tools and toys as possible. I can now--usually--control my emotional reactions and the words that come out of my mouth again. But it took a long time, and it costs me many Spoons to do so.)


Instead of cycling through one Element, it can also be fun to cycle through each Body position of the 5 Elements, then next time to cycle through each Spirit position, etc. Or heck, ping and pong to whatever calls to you. 

I do. 



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