We live our lives surrounded by the element of space, but hardly ever did I connect with this formless substance – ether, or space. In my last blog post, I shared how I had begun looking at my own life as a personal microclimate.
When I looked into what creates healthy and vibrant environments for my life, I felt that the elements played a pretty important role. After all, our food, our bodies, the things we surround ourselves with and everything in nature is made up of different combinations of the five elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
Ether or space is the first element and the others follow. Being the first, it makes sense that it is exactly what it is – emptiness. From emptiness, all things follow. Ether, even though seemingly empty, hold all creative potential. It works like a transmitter of potent, creative energy, holding the power to create the unmanifested and give it form. That sounds promising and makes me want to play with it! Ether is where everything happens, before anything happens. Pure potential. Ether is boundless and unmanifest, but like a ripe seed ready to burst it responds to a creative impulse, a thought, a new idea, or a solution to a problem.
By its natural quality, ether has no biases or preferences. It moulds itself to what calls it. It’s free, flexible and infinite without restriction. It’s everywhere and nowhere. We could do with an extra dose of ether on this planet! Imagine if we consciously put out for what we really desire this beautiful planet can be for all of us – and ether responded! Well, apparently that’s how it works.
The more I get acquainted with space, I also see where there is a lack of space. I can feel restricted in myself, my body or in my expressions. I have to consciously take a deep breath then and let space expand me. When I find myself getting impatient, I remind myself that Ether is the space that holds everything before it happens, and I can relax and just allow things to unfold. It’s a practice, some days are easier than others…
I can imagine space around me when I begin to feel stressed and a bit overwhelmed by things. Its feels soothing and soft to my nervous system. I realise I don’t have to cling to anything or anyone and not be too attached to an outcome, instead of giving it space.
Emptying the mind in meditation is a real challenge for my active mind. I have begun to use the lure of ether to draw me into that gateway of empty, potent stillness and silent space. To sit in emptiness and silence is less of an effort and more blissful now. From just being an agitated meditator, I have progressed to using meditation as a practice (that’s probably why it’s called meditation practice!) of finding the gateway and building up my ability to rest there once I am on the other side of it.
I have come to see how much of an ether person I am. I love my own space and a lack of space makes me cranky and difficult. I dislike feeling pressured and confined. Too much space can make me feel dreamy and spaced out. I can get back to earth by drinking more water and cook grounding and warm food.
I can stand barefoot on the earth. Sleep helps too. On headstrong and inflexible days, I can bring more space in to lighten things up, like going for a walk or look out over the horizon.
I can be creative with space – watching the gap and silence in a conversation and not feeling the neurotic need to mindlessly fill the gap with anything particular.
I can free space, create space and fill space. One example here is my lungs, my stomach and my mouth, all Ether organs according to Ayurveda. Do I fill my stomach space with foods full of pesticides or with luscious wholesome foods? Do I breathe polluted air or fresh air into my lung space? Do I fill my personal space with things I don’t really like, or do I infuse it with beauty, like fresh flowers and things I feel connected to and helps my heart sing?
Do I fill my space with quarrels and resentment or laugher and acceptance? How do I deal with my feelings of emptiness? Can I just sit in the empty space and wait for an impulse? One thing is for sure, the spaces in my life and my body are better taken care of now.
What if we all became more aware of space and more creative with space? How would things be different, for you, for those around you, for your community and the larger world?
Below is a very yummy, frothy drink you might want to try! Not only is Dandelion Root of the Ether element, it is also high in fibre and especially a prebiotic fibre called inulin that feed the good bacteria in the gut. Turmeric is an Ether element source as well and a potent anti-inflammatory. Ginger stimulates the digestion and adds a dash of Fire!
Dandelion Root Latte with Turmeric and Ginger
2 cups water
1 tbsp fresh ginger root thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh turmeric root thinly sliced or 1 tsp high quality, organic Turmeric powder.
1 tbsp roasted Dandelion root chunks (you can roast your own or find roasted roots in health food stores or herbal stores) or 2 heaped tsp Dandelion root powder
¼ cup milk or milk alternative
Pinch of Black Pepper to enhance the medicinal benefits of turmeric.
Sprinkle of ground Cinnamon
Optional – 1 tsp Honey or Maple syrup
Boil ginger, Turmeric, and dandelion root in water for 30 minutes. If using ground turmeric or dandelion root, add this at the end. The powdered turmeric really adds the wonderful orange to this drink.
Strain, discard, save liquid. Heat the liquid with the milk/milk alternative and the honey/maple syrup. To make this a beautifully frothy drink, blend in a highspeed blender and sprinkle cinnamon and a dash of black pepper on top.
In many cultures, the elements are honoured. For some of the Native Americans, the Raven is the messenger who brings magic from the great void, the Ether. Some traditions call Ether the Sacred Sound that is the playground where the other four elements dance together in. Ether is considered the Mother of the Other Elements. The Sanskrit word for Ether is Akasha, the all-pervading field in which all knowledge and records are kept. The Spiral is one of the symbols for Ether and is found in all cultures around the globe, its outward circles potentially continuing forever.
I would love to hear from you – how can you honour and connect with Ether in your own personal way? Where are you at with space?