Water, Earth, Wind and Fire.

mountain stream

No, not the 70s band–though they did put out some serious excellence. I’m talking the real elements.

Over the weekend, I was researching the Feng Shui charts to make sure a character had set up her camping site correctly (seriously, a complete benefit of being a pantster is that I never have any idea what in the world these characters are going to do next.)

As happens 95% of the time I’m anywhere near the internet, I fell down a rabbit hole and found out some amazing things about elements. I’ve always believed that my element was water, it grounds me, makes me more creative, and just gives me an overwhelming sense of peace. I’ll never forget the first time I stood on a boat headed out to sea. A calm settled over me and I felt like I’d finally come home.

Even though I’d always known that on a subconscious level, I had no idea that the Chinese believe that we are all born to a certain element. I wasn’t surprised to learn that mine is water, and then of course I followed the rabbit trail deeper and looked up my family’s. (Check back for a post on that, because holy cow did I have an aha moment or 12!)

Somehow, the confirmation that my element is water made me want to dive deeper into what that meant and as I’ve journaled about it this week looking for answers, I’ve gained some incredible insight.

Water must keep moving. To stop is to stagnate, pickup and transmit disease, mold, death. Water is powerful, capable of changing landscape, cutting rock, giving life. I started to wonder what it would mean if I embraced the element and stopped trying to grab it? Hold it?

For the last year, there’s been a Post-it note on my computer monitor with this saying:

By living in accordance with my heart and making peace with my vision, I stand tall and step fully into the life I was born to live.

Water is ever-changing. We do not penalize it for flowing, for changing course, for making a mark and moving on.

Yet within my own life, I’ve done just that. I’ve always felt “less than” because I’m always moving, shifting, changing. I can contain myself for only so long–like a reservoir behind a dam–but as the seasons change and the winter snow melts, the water rises until it topples over the dam and again flows to a new destination.

Once again, like that day on the ocean, I feel like I’ve finally come home. I feel like I’m stepping into that life I was born to live. It’s okay that I need new projects, that if I’m stuck on one too long I stagnate.

I get it!

So now my work is to discover how to make my projects and deadlines fit within my threshold for pooling. I get to test and discover how long I can stay on a project before I have to move on. Finding out that my element was water doesn’t give me a pass to not finish anything. It gives me parameters, borders, information. There’s a reason I work best on lots of stories, why I want to dive in head-first and go and go and go until I’m forced to come up for air instead of easing into a project and drawing out the completion. I’d rather hole up for a week and just finish it already than have to stop and start and stop and start.

I get it!

With the “Aha!” and validation that I am water, I’ve also realized why people flow in and out of my life, why sometimes I get really lucky and the important ones are boulders, anchored tightly, securely bound to the center of the earth and strong against my rushing movement. Immoveable.

Those people–those rare few–are my compass. My bearing. My heading.

I am water.

Giver of life. (to stories)



Shaping landscapes.


What are you?