See below for an extended excerpt from the book!

Air | Fire | Water | Earth


The four primordial elements not only inform our physical lives, but they are also potent symbols for aspects of our inner selves. When we learn to harness their power correctly, they can lead us toward radical personal transformation, or what best-selling author HeatherAsh Amara refers to as Big Freedom.

Drawing on her extensive background in European and Toltec shamanism, Amara deftly explores each of the four elements and explains how they relate to your inner world:

  • Air: The art of seeing yourself and the world with clarity
  • Fire: The art of cleansing what no longer serves you
  • Water: The art of being open and creating space for change
  • Earth: The art of nourishment and self-care

Packed with exercises and meditations at the end of each chapter, this book offers a clear path to finding your own Big Freedom, one that involves tearing down any inner walls made of fear, judgment, or regret, and building a profound friendship with your truest self.

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An excerpt from

A Little Book on Big Freedom, Discover the Four Elements of Transformation

By HeatherAsh Amara


The word has an inspiring ring to it, one that promises release from bondage and stirs pure possibility. Its Old English and Germanic origins point to something even deeper, linking it to the word friend through a shared root that means “to love.”

Sometimes we use freedom to mean the ability to move around unfettered in the world and express ourselves openly. We can live where we want, associate with whom we want, and read books like this one in ways we mustn’t ever take for granted. This type of external freedom is incredibly important. But the subject of this book goes even deeper.

This book is about another kind of freedom—one which can only come from the inside. This is the freedom from inner negativity, harmful self-judgment, self-limiting beliefs, and emotional pain from past experiences. It’s the freedom that grows from a profound friendship with our truest self, in which our beliefs and actions come from a place of love rather than fear. This is the freedom that blasts open your heart, pumps courage into your veins, and brings the knowledge that while you may not have a choice in what happens in the world, you always have a choice in how you respond.

This is what I call Big Freedom.

In my view, each of us is born with Big Freedom. You can see this in the eyes of a newborn baby, which reflect not an ounce of judgment or self-criticism, but rather a sense of wonder, awe, gratitude, and curiosity.

Yet as we grow up, things begin to change. We start to build walls around ourselves based on fears, beliefs, and traumatic experiences. Looking back, we see that some of these walls were necessary at the time; they likely protected us and kept us safe. But without us realizing it, these protective walls can become a prison, and separate us not only from potential danger but also joy and connectedness.

One of the benefits of being an adult is that you get to break free of these confinements and choose how you want to live. You get to build the home of your dreams and live in Big Freedom—right now…

My own journey to Big Freedom began more than thirty years ago. Over the course of many years of shamanic apprenticeship, inner work, spiritual breakthroughs, and in finally becoming a teacher myself, I noticed an interesting pattern in my life: my emotional breakthroughs or healing aha moments were often followed by intense periods of depression, fear, and self-doubt. I realized that despite my conscious evolution, the underlying structure of my old self was still alive and resistant to transformation. I wondered if other people had similar experiences, and if there was a way to facilitate a lasting change in the core of my being.

Shortly after this realization, I dedicated six months to intensely watching this reluctance in myself and my students. While much had changed for the better in my life, a few deeply rooted issues kept me out of balance. Two of my biggest issues were a need to look outside myself for answers, and a desire to control other people’s behavior in order to make myself feel safe. Despite my awareness of these old behaviors, I struggled to break free of them. During this time, I kept asking myself: How do I step out of these limitations? What is the key to total personal transformation?

Luckily, I was committed to bringing curiosity, patience, and openness to these questions, which allowed answers to arrive from unexpected places. My biggest answer came in a dream that crystallized years of work with many different teachers, healers, and spiritual traditions. This dream showed me a pathway to living a balanced life in the midst of great inner change, and was based on the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth. As a result of this dream, I realized that the four elements are symbols for transformation, and the gifts they offer us can be powerful tools for change in every area of one’s life.

I’ll share the details of that dream with you in the following pages.

In this book, we’ll embark on a path to living an open, balanced life—something that seems more important now in our uncertain times than in any time in recent history. This path is based on the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth—essential elements that, when harnessed, can be powerful tools for transformation. I hope you will join me on this new path.

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About the Author

HEATHERASH AMARA is the founder of Toci—the Toltec Center of Creative Intent, based in Austin, TX, which fosters local and global community that supports authenticity, awareness, and awakening. She is dedicated to inspiring depth, creativity, and joy by sharing the most potent tools from a variety of world traditions. HeatherAsh studied and taught extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and continues to teach with the Ruiz family. She brings this openhearted, inclusive worldview to her writings and teachings, which are a rich blend of Toltec wisdom, European shamanism, Buddhism, and Native American ceremony. She is the author of the bestselling  Warrior Goddess Training series, The Toltec Path of Transformation and No Mistakes: How You Can Change Adversity into Abundance.

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