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Throughout the world — and across many spiritual traditions — a candle is a symbol of hope, love, faith and prayer. It represents the flame of our spirituality, the spark that connects us to Spirit, to the Divine, and to our intuition.

We tend that fire with our spiritual or physical practices, so that we can also keep our Inner Fire alive and burning.

How do you tend your Inner Fire?

For me there are simple steps and rituals we can practise daily to tend that flame using the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water to support us.

It is important to keep our elements in balance as they also interact with each other, and support each other, much like our chakra system. For instance, Water extinguishes Fire, which in turn warms the Earth and can dry the Water. Earth is aerated by Air and fed by Water.

As we flow through the seasons, we can also entrain with the Elements as each takes dominance — Earth in winter, Air in spring, Fire in summer and Water in autumn. You may need to finely adjust your foods, physical activities or daily practice to maintain your balances.

In many ways, this is the basis of Earth Medicine: finding harmony with the world around us.

We can also work with the elements outside of their seasonal influences, as all are present within us at any time and each brings in its own qualities:

  • Earth is the building block of the physical world and connection to our physical self, providing grounding and a foundation
  • Air is the breath of life, the source of inspiration (metaphorically and physically), and connects to our creativity
  • Fire represents the quality of transformation, passion and compassion, and connects to our personal power and strength
  • Water represents our inner world of emotion and intuition. It can also exist in different forms — liquid, solid, gas (i.e. water vapour) — reminding us we too can be agile and flow as needed.

Raising awareness to our Inner Earth

The Earth element is the foundation for our body, and is aligned with the Root (first) Chakra. If our Earth Element — or Root Chakra — is out of balance, we may not be connecting with the world around us as effectively as possible. Our Inner Fire may be lit, but we are not accessing its brilliance or our ability to be strong and grounded.

This is where a practice of mindfulness and awareness can support you. Take a few moments to try this Mind Body Awareness “virtual scan”. You can do this exercise in any position, either alone or with a partner to guide you through the exercise and to note your responses. 

woman in red shirt sitting on couch meditating
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist on

Begin this exercise / mediation by exploring what is comfortable for you for optimizing the effectiveness of the scan: sitting, standing or lying down. 

  • Once in your preferred position, use all your senses to connect with your body and the space around you.  What do you hear? See? Smell? Taste? Do you feel hot? Cold? Do you feel the energy of the chair or floor beneath you? Are any senses more heightened? Underused?
  • Relax your breathing. Start to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly in your own rhythm (e.g. breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and so on). Focus on your breathing until you feel the tension ebb from your body. 
  • Once you are comfortable and relaxed as you can be, imagine you have the ability to do a “mental body scan” of your body, slowing scanning your physical body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Then, scan slowly through your body from head to foot, noting which areas feel “good” and which areas show signs of imbalance such as pain, discomfort, tightness, or heat.

TIP: Sometimes we hold an imbalance for so long that it feels normal. After doing this exercise repeatedly, you may notice more and more as your awareness increases. For instance, some people habitually have one shoulder raised or one leg stretched longer creating a whole body imbalance. They may sense this only after other imbalances are corrected.

As you work slowly through this process, ask yourself these questions whenever you sense something out of balance or not “normal” for you: 

What am I sensing? Describe the physical sensation(s) but do not interpret these feelings as emotion at this point, just simply describe the physical sensation — tightness, tension, lightness, etc. It may be that anger or frustration feels a certain way to you, but the goal here is to be aware of the sensations present, not the emotions you normally associate with them. Some folks like to note the intensity of the feeling, using a scale of 1-10 or 1-5. Noting the calibration can also help you assess changes if you do this scan habitually.

What am I feeling? At this point, you may associate the sensations you feel with emotions. For instance, tightness in the jaw may appear when you are angry or frustrated. Constrictions in the larynx may appear when you are frustrated. If you recognize the emotion, note it. Consider why you are feeling that emotion now. What happened to prompt the feeling? How long have you felt it? How long does it take to go away?

What am I thinking? Note the thoughts that come to you when focusing on each of the imbalances or emotions you have identified. When your body is in tension or out of balance, don’t be surprised if these thoughts are rooted in your fears, your self-limiting beliefs or thwarted expectations/values. 

Relax again. Breathe deeply and be fully present to your sensations and thoughts. Now, in that silence, ask your Wise Inner Self for guidance. Using your notepad, journal or other device, consider asking (or have your exercise partner) your Inner Self / Wise Self one or more of the following questions (and do consider creating your own questions): 

  • What part(s) of my body is habitually out of balance? 
  • What type of expression of energy is being exhibited – is it contracted, excessive, balanced? What other words describe the energy? 
  • If imbalanced, is this imbalance habitual? For how long? What are the occasions that have allowed imbalance to appear? What’s the commonality in these occasions? 
  • Is the imbalance associated with thoughts or emotions from the four main quadrants of being: Physical? Emotional? Mental? Spiritual? OR Is the imbalance focused on a particular chakra or chakras? Which one(s)? 
  • What do I need to do or let go in order to restore balance? 
  • What do I need to believe in order to restore balance? 
  • What can I do to start finding balance, to move away from the negative emotions or beliefs and into a positive, intentional state? 
  • What have I learned now? What new awareness is now present?


Try this exercise at different times of the day such as upon awakening,or before going to sleep. Are there any differences? Has anything shifted? Are there any patterns day-to-day?

As your practice deepens, you might consider bringing in your non-physical senses, your “clair” intuitive senses such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.

Keep a journal of your observations and what changes you see.

I invite you to share your thoughts and comments below.

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