Earth
Earth

Earth

Trigram
Chinese
English
Kūn
Yin/Yang
Element
Physical
Low energy in the afternoon or after meals cravings for sweet foods bloating diarrhoea oedema feeling heavy sluggish foggy headed appetite mouth ulcers haemorrhoids prolapse
Motivators
Care nurture satisfaction neediness truth meaning and purpose selfishness oversensitivity sympathy protection
Associations
receptivity support passiveness submissiveness yielding nourishment quiet evenness patience humility kindness resourcefulness femininity openness in relationships yin mother later summer Southwest black.
In disharmony
over-thinking worry protective only happy when close friends and family are happy disconnected from their own emotions overly connected to other peoples emotions
In disease
Diseases of the digestive system spleen pancreas stomach menstruation feet and legs chronic slow moving diseases depression despair melancholy
Key Issue
Internal sensitivity and receptivity. Whether we live true for ourselves or live for others
Table of contents

Behaviour

Earth types are oversensitive to others. As a result they feel other people’s feelings as if they are their own. They feel drained when others are hurt or sad or negative. There is a compulsion to give, help, or advise people in order to ensure they are happy.

Earth types focus on others in order to ensure they are happy. They find it difficult to receive, feeling that they need to pay any support back with interest. Their focus on others drives them to over-think and worry. They are often protective and try to shield them from hurt.

This overthinking is part of their primary imbalance. They focus on what's outside themselves and lose track of what’s inside themselves. They feel others feelings but not so much their own. They are more used to mental knots and think through everything. In essence they live in their head and forget their own heart.

They like to be needed and generally base their relationships around meeting others needs. Not all earth types are this way. Some earth types are the opposite: they are needy and constantly look to others to meet their needs.

They struggle with the concept of selfishness. Its almost as if its evil to be selfish. This then makes it difficult to put themselves first and they end up consistently putting others first.

So earth is a lot about priorities. Since I can’t give to everyone I need to prioritise. Usually that comes down to a list of most important people to least important. Commonly Kids come first, partner second, extended family third and so on. Last on the list is themselves.

They are usually blind to what drives this list of priorities. What they don't recognise is that by neglecting their own needs (and focussing on everyone else’s needs) they end up with unmet emotional needs. They are actually needy. Their need for others to be happy is a ‘need’. It's a requirement for them to be happy. This means they have a need for others to behave a certain way – in particular they need them to be positive, have a good ‘energy’, be uplifting and so on.

When others don't follow their advice and remain unhappy they feel drained and blame them for how they are feeling. This can lead to frustration. While this frustration is projected onto the other person, what lies at the heart of it is their own inability to prioritise their own truth. Because they focus on everyone else they are unable to be true to their inner self.

Often they even go as far as to say their purpose in life is to live for others. Living through others places a great deal of pressure on others, particularly their sons and daughters.

The big delusion of earth is that they are responsible for other peoples’ feelings. The flipside of that is that they feel that others have power over their own feelings. That conception of the world is extremely disempowering and means that they must devote themselves to managing other people’s feelings in order to guard their own.

They don't realise that feelings are internally generated. Feelings reflect the meaning we assign to external events, in terms of how we feel about ourselves. If someone calls you a ‘monkey’ whether you respond to that or not, depends on what meaning you ascribe to it. If it means nothing to you then you don't respond. If however you see it as a reflection of how you already feel, eg your issues around being hairy, or stupid or animalistic etc, then you will get upset and respond emotionally.

Solutions

So the solution is to become responsible for our own feelings. Recognising each feeling says something about our relationship with ourselves.

Its very useful to explore with them how they feel about the people they are bonded with. For example their kids. Do they recognise something unique about them that is beautiful and true? Yes. Do they want their kids to bring out this truth in their life or do they expect their kids to devote their life to looking after their needs and other people’s needs? They always answer that they want them to bring out their own truth and beauty. Once they acknowledge this it is important for them to think about why it feels different for themselves.

The key is to prioritise their own truth. In effect recognising the beauty of their inner child and the importance of them being able to mother their own inner child. This enables them to embrace the key truth: that our primary responsibility in life is to nurture our own inner child so that we can be authentic and true to ourselves.

Pattern

The trigram for Earth is composed of three yin lines which is symbolic of the receptiveness, passivity, yielding and mother. This style of energy can be powerful in that it encompasses open heartedness which is a very powerful tool for forming relationships and building community.

However in disharmony they crave care and support from others and become oversensitive to their environment. They may feel other people’s feelings as if they are their own. If someone else is unhappy they feel unhappy. As a result they start to analyse and think about trying to make others happy. This drives them away from being open- hearted towards being an excess (primarily analytical) thinker.

This excess thinking leads to them being shut-off from their own emotions. They often remain open to other peoples feelings but have difficultly connecting to their own. Their life then revolves around how other people are feeling, trying to help their close friends and family to be happy so that they can be happy.

In an effort to have a positive influence on others they try to be positive and avoid negativity. This leads them to negate any feelings that they feel are not positive. This reinforces the shut-down of internal feelings. Instead of resolving internal issues they analyse, negate and cope. As a result internal balances tend to get worse and worse, leading to internal frustration and gradually declining health.

This focus on helping and caring for others makes them uncomfortable with receiving. They feel drained when they give and assume others will be drained if they give. They don't realise that the drain from giving comes because they are looking for something back—they are trying to make others happy. They don’t recognise that they have a need for those around them to be happy and positive.

They find putting their own needs first repulsive. Selfishness is abhorrent. Their focus is on others and feel their purpose is to help and give.

The primary issue here is that they neglect their own needs by focussing on others. They block receiving from others because they are uncomfortable with receiving. They often feel unsupported, but don’t realise that they are blocking receiving that support.

The other consequence of focussing on others is that they are not true to themselves. Truth is very important to them but often they don’t realise that their neglect of their internal self, their shut-down of their own feelings, their focus on positivity, and their focus on others needs collectively leads them to not be an authentic expression of what is inside of them.

Authenticity requires open-heartedness – a sharing of all that I am. Sharing is a two way door – involving giving and receiving equally.

Lesson

The lesson for earth types is to be true to what is inside of them. Its about mothering their own inner child, acknowledging and meeting their own inner needs. By addressing and taking responsibility for their own needs they take the pressure off others around them – allowing them to be authentic. In this space it does not matter whether others are happy or positive or not. This more open-hearted approach enables their relationships to deepen, moving from supporting to sharing authentically.

This provides a platform for them to express their truth being truly receptive to what is inside them and able to live that in their lives.

It is often very difficult for earth types to break out of their predominant analytical thinking patterns and face some of their internal truths. To help with that it is good to have them focus on someone they have bonded with – such as their child – and ask them:

  • Is it their uniqueness and internal beauty that they really appreciate and love in their child? [YES].
  • Would they like their child to live for others or authentically express that unique beauty into the world? [YES]
  • Why is it different for yourself? [moment of recognition]

Earth Points

Di Cang – Gathering of the earthly harvest (St-4)

Located: Lateral to corner of mouth.

This point is symbolic of the gathering of the harvest. It provides energy and nourishment for our body’s movement and structure. It relates also to inner nourishment and nurture.