Week Seven: Who Am I? Part III: Earth The Godai, the Five Great Elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, together explains and connects the nature of all of things, from our inner being to our outer world. In Japanese design, the earth element is the first block and the base layer of the Gorintou, the three-dimensional structural representation of the Five Great Elements concept. The significance of the first layer is to provide a strong rootedness in order for all other elements in the structure to balance together as one.  The role earth plays to create a structural foundation is also necessary in our martial arts training and lives. In our training, the Kihon, are the basics, the fundamentals techniques and foundation of martial arts. Strong Kihon comes with practicing repeatedly with the goal of perfection or efficiency – depending on if you are studying under the Chinese or Japanese philosophy.  When we connect the energy of the earth to our correct kihon, then good kata and kumite are able to follow. In our lives, whether it is the start of a new year, an excitable moment, or setting the platform to defend yourself, taking a moment to root ourselves with a grounded stance and accept the earth’s energy can mean the difference between success or defeat. When we are grounded, it allows us to become present and connect to our inner strengths, and to feel the energy flowing upwards throughout our entire being. Being grounded does not mean to be stuck, rather the opposite, it is the alignment of mind, body and energetic connection between what is in us to the energy of what is outside of us. We open ourselves up to exchange the energy from the earth and let it rise up, expanding and invigorating our energetic vibration. Below is a moving meditation exercise you can do alone or with the entire family. EARTH MEDITATION  To start, everyone can stand up, feet at shoulder distance apart, close your eyes, standing up tall, breathe in through the nose filling the stomach and out through the mouth, slowing down your breathing and clearing your mind. Now take yourself away to a quiet private natural setting, imagine you are in your very special place. A place that brings you joy.  Your place is unique to you.  Now with your very special place in mind, imagine a body of water. Be the earth what is beneath your feet, grass, dirt, sand, rocks, feel it on the bottom of your feet, walk around on it.  As you walk around your space be intentional as you kiss the earth with the bottom of your feet.  Now feel yourself root into the ground, open your toes up and put the energy into every toe, your feet, your knees, hips, feel your digestive system open up and feel the flow of energy you are receiving through your body.     Breathe in through the nose and visualize the earth’s energy rising up from the ground, through your root chakra, up towards the heart, and spiralling the energy throughout your entire body.  As you exhale, breathe out into your grounded stance. Feel your strong body, your calm balanced mind. Now with power, intention and mindfulness move about with the stability and security of the earth below you.  Feel your balance back in your rootedness. Remind yourself of your core strengths, connect with your energy, balance the mind, body and spirit, feel the interconnectedness of what is within you and around you.  Bring yourself back and breathe in and exhale out and take your connected balance earth energy into your day.  By Kohai Dianne Hadad 3rd Degree Black Belt, Renge Dojo Certified Professional Coach, SHINE, Family Wellness Club SHINE Family Wellness Club creates a space for all members of the family to interconnect, grow and share with like-minded spirited people seeking to elevate the family’s consciousness, build confidence and resilience so they can enjoy a harmonious and vibrant life journey together.  Kids/Juniors and teen workshops, parent group coaching, and one-on-one coaching available. Want to learn more, book a 30 minute complimentary discover call now at 647-203-4882 or reach out at dianne.hadad@gmail.com.