We can not receive nourishment without acceptance of our task at hand. Partaking with some sense of openness we may transform our duty into something of personal value. This ability to transform is a central focus of the earth element in oriental medicine. Sometimes the foreign experience we must digest does not resemble something conferring nourishment, but rather a pile of rocks; something difficult and unwanted that we are faced with. The spirit of sharing sympathy, an emotional attribute of the earth element, can be very helpful to one in the process of facing a daunting experience. The sweetness of sympathy can serve to remind us of what our transformation is ultimately for so we then have a little more stomach to digest and make good from the challenge that has been presented to us.