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How To Find Your Personal Nature Element + Incorporate It Into Your Space

Erin Rachel Doppelt, M.A.
mbg Contributor By Erin Rachel Doppelt, M.A.
mbg Contributor
Erin Rachel Doppelt, M.A., is an international wellness consultant, spiritual teacher, and retreat leader. She earned a master's in clinical psychology and education from Columbia University and is a certified functional medicine health coach.
What to Bring into your home this spring based on your personal element

The five sacred elements of earth, fire, water, air, and ether are meaningful in both Eastern tradition and Western philosophy. In Ayurveda, elements have long been used to describe physical health and spiritual wellness, while thinkers like Aristotle applied them to complex time and space equations. Elements are carefully incorporated in all sorts of sacred temples to create a more serene, connected, and calm atmosphere. 

Natural elements clearly resonate with people around the world, likely because we see ourselves reflected in them. And when we take the time to consider which one(s) most appeal to us, we can incorporate them into our environment in powerful ways.

Here is a peek into each of these five elements and how you can introduce them into your living and/or workspace. Before read through each one, take a moment to consider the environment you're in right now: How does it make you feel? What's the lighting like, and does it inspire you? Is there any outside noise distracting you? What is the main feeling you're getting from the space? Keep this in mind as you go.


The earth element is all about grounding. Think back to a time when you felt swallowed by nature, perhaps during a hike or camping trip. If this imagery brings up a strong positive connection, you might be an earth person who craves more contact with the natural world in your home.


How to incorporate it at home:

Consider adding houseplants, crystals, shells, rocks, and other grounding relics to your workspace and home. Bringing more of nature into your home and workspace can help engage your senses and promote relaxation.

If you live near a park or have a yard, take time in between calls to walk barefoot on the earth. If you live in the city, you may want to consider investing in a grounding earthing mat to place below your desk and rest your feet on.


The fire element connects to inspiration, heat, and passion. Those of us who connect to this element may feel drawn to bonfires, candles, and other warming spaces.

How to incorporate it at home:

Who says candles are just a winter thing? Those who resonate with the fire element will want to light them all year round and focus on the dancing flame to return to a calm and focused headspace. Choose a clean-burning candle that embodies the warmth that you want to feel.

The flame can also symbolize the brightness you're bringing into your work. If you work in an office space where you can light a candle, do so at the beginning of the day to honor the shift from relaxing to actively being present with your work.  


The water element helps us go with the flow. In many religions, water symbolizes new life; it's all about purity and fresh starts. You know you are a water person when you receive epiphanies in the shower or bath and feel most at ease in the presence of an ocean view.


How to incorporate it at home:

Those who resonate with this element will benefit from keeping a bowl of water on hand at home, to use to dip their fingers into and tap their third-eye center, the sixth chakra that sits between your brows. This gentle practice invites us to wash off a negative thought or feeling-state and return to a more clear headspace. 

You can also incorporate water into your spiritual practice by being more intentional with showers and baths, using them as a time to wash off a bad day or negative thoughts and shift back into alignment.


The air element connects to freshness, gusto, and freedom. You know you are an air person if you love the feeling of a breeze and are known to stick your head out of windows and relish in the freshness. Though this is one elemental affinity that will look different depending on where you live: When I used to live in Mumbai, for example, the concept of opening up the car window while driving was frowned upon and air conditioning was the deepest route to connect to the air element.


How to incorporate it at home:

It's important for those who thrive near this element to maintain good indoor air quality at home as much as possible. They also might want to consider investing in an air purifier or at least situating a fan near their desk so air can circulate around them as they work. Aromatherapy diffusers filled with smell-good essential oils are also great for these folks.


The ether element usually describes the space between everything. It sits between air and fire, fire and water, etc. Those who love movement and are constantly reinventing and re-imagining their surroundings will resonate with this element.

Many creatives will go on a retreat to concentrate on their art or writing, and when they find a space that feels aligned to them, then they can complete their project. This is ether at work.


How to incorporate it at home:

When life feels a little chaotic, it is important for ether people to feel really comfortable in their own space. This may sound silly to some people, but ether folks work best when they can choose how far apart they sit from their computer, their desk, their coffee mug, etc. Since space is so important to them, they thrive when they feel like all facets of their surroundings are organized.

To bring more of the ether element into your space, spend a weekend shifting the location of larger objects like your desk or bed. The goal is to make sure you feel comfortable and connected to your tangible belongings.

The elements are free resources that can be used to deepen your connection to yourself and your space. Which ones could you use some more of right now?

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