I feel it in my shoulders first. It starts with stress and tension in my muscles that drips through my whole body like a thick, dark cloud. My emotional state become frazzled, like static scrambling on the radio.

This world is busy and life moves so fast. There is pain in people’s eyes. There is my own pain, too.

After a long day of constantly going and doing, I’m dragging myself by the end. My bones are tired. When I finally get home, my space feels heavy, too, not like the calm, cozy sanctuary I crave.

Negative energy has slipped into my life again.

When this happens, I feel frustrated at first. I long for peace and lightness, to taste the zesty flames of my spirit. I long to recall that this negativity—it’s not who I am.

But the thing is, we don’t have to fear the negative.

We can walk through it. We can transform it. And we don’t have to hold it all ourselves.

What can we do?

Connect with the four elements to support you in some epic cleansing magic.

First, there is fire.

Light a candle, watch it sparkle, and create something. Write a story from the thoughts swirling in your mind, pen the flickering flames of your feelings, dance around your kitchen, paint, or draw. It doesn’t have to look good or be perfect. Let it be freeing, an experiment written in curiosity. Let it remind you of your inner spark—and your ability to melt negativity into creativity. Yes, your ability to find joy and inner peace through it all.

After dancing with fire, perhaps your lungs long to expand with air.

Burn a spicy bundle of sage. Exhale all the way. Inhale to take the biggest breath you’ve taken all day. Let oxygen and the scent of sage spill inside you, like sweet relief. Savor the fragrant curls of smoke as they climb up toward the sky, taking your pain and worries with them.

Be mindful to areas of your body and home that feel especially stagnant and heavy, and see the heaviness lift, little by little.

As the smoke clears, the earth calls, can you hear her? She says: slow down. Slow way down.

Go outside, find the forest, and be brought back to the bones of the earth. Notice the steady pulse of nature beneath your toes. Drink in the emerald grass, the colors of the sky, and the swaying leaves. As you walk past tall trees that groan gently in the wind, you can give your burdens bravely back to mother earth. For she knows how to recycle negative energy, making it into something beautiful again, like the fresh, pink bud of a lily in the spring.

The forest gets thirsty, and water whispers like a welcome rainfall trickling onto thirsty plants, so drink a big glass of it.

Then, lovingly slip those sore muscles into a calming salt bath or a long, succulent shower. Stay there as long as you can. Let each drop absorb negativity, and in each splash, be born anew. Water, just like your tears—it cleanses. It renews. It reminds you that you know exactly how to let go.

Enjoy these ideas, forged from the four elements, as weekly or daily self-care rituals, and as enchanting adventures to explore.

In cleansing the stickiness of negative energy from your life, there is so much to discover. To learn. To feel.

And within this cleansing, there is a call to cultivate compassion for the negativity in this world, compassion that takes you deeper into this mindful practice. Because there is light and there is dark, and your cleansing practice can include an appreciation of this. It can include care for the ones who hurt, the world that exhausts itself, and your own stress or anxiety.

True peace is found, not in avoiding negativity, but in learning how to work with it and through it.

In this, there is wisdom.

There is strength that’s solid because it’s rooted in the fierce love of your glorious, beating heart.