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Understanding Yourself Can Help You Set Goals

When many of us think about making goals and keeping them, we think about external items, such as our bank accounts or our waistlines. But some experts believe that it’s best to turn inward when making positive changes.

“Your entire body, down to the tiniest part of you, is truly a bundle and expression of energy, expressed through digestion, thinking patterns, metabolism and lifestyle choices,” says Maria É Garre, a teacher and therapist of yoga and Ayurveda. “Understanding your energy type can help you set and maintain your goals.”

Garre says the first step toward understanding your life in a more connected way is to appreciate the qualities and functions of the elements and how they relate to body and mind. She recommends a simple energy quiz from Gaia, a streaming-media provider, offering guidance on living a more conscious life, found at www.gaia.com/quiz2016. The quiz is based on ancient Eastern teaching to help people discover which of the five basic elements—space, air, fire, water and earth—is most influential in them.

With those teachings in mind, Garre offers a bit of information about each of the elements and their energetic qualities:

• Space: Space represents freedom and healing. It is clear, subtle and vast. In our bodies it represents the space between our joints, organs, cranium, cavities and so forth. It is also the space between thoughts and cycles. Space brings mental freedom and possibility, but an overly spacey mind will easily forget and be up in the clouds.

• Air: All that moves in the body, from nerve impulses to the movement of eyes, lungs and digestive track, is air. Air also represents the movements of thoughts, ideas and inspiration. In the mind the air element brings creativity and ideas, but in excess, can have us thinking too much.

• Fire: All of our metabolic, enzymatic reactions and transformative processes in the body represent the fire element. In the mind, this fire mediates our ability to learn, comprehend and analyze. It is our passion for life. The fire of intelligence is rewarding, but too much can make us critical, impatient and irritable.

• Water: The water element brings moisture to the whole body, allows for smooth movement and circulation of nutrients. It offers softness, compassion and immunity. In the body, it is the lubrication of the joints, digestive track, and sinuses. Water holds emotion and hence we cry when we are emotional. Too much water element in the mind can make us overly emotional.

• Earth: Earth is the element we hold in the skin, muscles, bones, hair, teeth and nails. It is solid and firm and thus gives us density, stability, fortitude and strength. Earth helps the mind relax and be calm and steady. Excess of earth in the mind can leave us heavy, stuck or depressed.

More content, including streaming videos and blog posts, about conscientious living can be found at www.Gaia.com and www.MariaGarre.com.

“As you embark on new goals, start by looking at the basic elemental types to help you understand yourself,” says Garre.

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