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Excerpt from "The Missing Element"

by Debra Silverman


In this excerpt from her book THE MISSING ELEMENT: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition, author Debra Silverman explains what she is asking of the reader as they embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth.

Your Elemental Mission

I want to enroll you as an agent of change – and you’ll need two things. One is to become acquainted with the Four Elements as they exist inside you. The other is to cultivate the Observer’s position so that you can stand back and make change by altering the way you see and live your own story.

The Four Elements

•WATER: For nine months we surrendered to the awesome feminine power of a womb filled with fluid. Herein lies the wisdom of silence and trust.

• AIR: Air is everywhere – the universal source of breath and language. No one can live without breathing or communicating. Herein lies the wisdom of wonder and consciousness.

• EARTH: The patience of a mountain, the generosity of a tree. Earth is the immovable rock, tirelessly waiting for our respect. Will we care for her? If we don’t, don’t worry: she will survive. We may not. Herein lies the wisdom of respect and balance.

• FIRE: The heat of your heart and the fire of the sun drive your destiny each day. We cannot live without either. Herein lies the wisdom of accepting your mission with full conviction.

Learning to Change
Modern life is stalking us to change. With so many books being written about it spirituality has never been as popular and commonplace. As individuals and as a species we are growing. It’s an unfortunate truth that we learn the most through mistakes.

It is easy to judge humanity, our neighbors, our human nature, and our own idiosyncrasies. We have danced with evil, played with guns, tried to control and scare the Feminine into submission, and nearly destroyed the Earth. Evolution occurs by learning through our mistakes, and we have a long history of making mistakes: nuclear bombs, the holocaust, 9/11, countless wars, to mention only a few examples. Can we forgive human nature, the species, and its long path down evolution lane? Would I love to change the way we learn our lessons? You bet I would. Would I love to assist people to learn the easy way? Sure.

As a parent I want to offer a positive future to my kids. My work is meant to share what I have found that holds wisdom and hope. What I’m calling the Missing Element is twofold: 1) it is the Observer inside you – the part of you that can stand outside of judgment and see yourself with a more wise and compassionate approach – much like our elders did. And 2) the Missing Element also refers to the Elements that make up your personality and more specifically, the element, which is your weakest. Allow me to help you to see through the eyes of love. All is well, and we are exactly where the prophets of old predicted we would be – that we would reach a time when we had to get on our knees and return to basics. Water is wet, fire is hot, earth is heavy, and air is everywhere.

The Good News: You have the personal power to make a difference. The power to create change resides inside you. It’s so much simpler than you know. And it starts with you.


Debra Silverman works on an individual basis as well as in workshops to impart emotional wisdom through a simplified language that describes the qualities of Water, Air, Earth and Fire. She received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She trained at York University and studied Dance Therapy at Harvard.

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