Modern psychology and psychotherapy discuss ego defenses, coping mechanisms, personalities, aspects or parts of the self. I am formulating some thoughts about the parts of myself and the elements they may contain and how these elements interact so that one part may dominate in a certain situation rather than another for better or worse. In Ayurveda I am learning that the elements I learned about in shamanic healing (earth, water, fire, air and space/etheric) also form doshas or biological, psychological patterns of energy. They are woven throughout the body and the psyche. I am beginning to explore how I sense these doshas impact my choices and behavior.
For example, the last few years for a few reasons, I have watched a lot of netflix. I think of this as my kapha taking over, the part of me that tends to be more sedentary expressing primarily earth, but also some water. I have experienced a couple of major losses in the last couple of years which have created grieving and a need to be planted, in stillness and regroup. There is also an element of pitta or fire to the netflix watching as I have a passion for stories, which are healing as I have learned from Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona. My viewing time consists of about 70% cop shows and I am thrilled when they focus explicitly on issues of sexual violence, sometimes catching perpetrators, always acknowledging its "heinousness" as in Law and Order: SVU. These shows and their points of view did not exist when I was growing up, so I grew up very confused, with Lolita and Freud and other such pedophilia justifying or practicing rationalizations. So my fire of pitta drives me to watch (fueled by emotional water) as my kapha keeps me still to engage in this activity. (I really hadn't been watching any TV since I graduated from high school at 16.) So I heal in the part of me that needs this seemingly endless validation for what was endlessly invalidated as I was growing up, while I waste an enormous amount of time with respect to my other parts that are intellectually curious and want to spend time in rooms with real people.
I am left to ask what dosha would have to be activated to do this in moderation? Perhaps vata, air and space. I could breathe and see this in some perspective. I could receive the abundance I have taken in, deeper into my traumatized cells. I was abused for over ten years. I'd hate to think I need ten years of daily cop shows to heal it. This pursuit of understanding Ayurveda and integrating it is good because I read more, and am expanding my thinking. We all have parts that take over some times and this may provide insight into this dynamic and knowledge about how to help myself and others make healthy shifts into balance.