The power of fire often reminds me of new beginnings…a new cycle in life that removes what was and sets the stage for new growth and what will be. As we enter a fresh, new year, celebrating the ending of the full moon cycle that crested on Christmas Day, we have an opportunity to embrace the new moon and the new days ahead with clarity and purpose.
I often hold fire ceremonies to “burn for clarity.” The burn of a fire can represent two important attributes in our life – a deep yearning, passion and desire for what we hope to be and a just as crucial, burning away and removal of what was.
A funny thing happened to me the other day. A simple, trivial day-to-day occurrence that taught me an invaluable life lesson. My toaster oven caught on fire. How did it happen? Well, I knew it needed to be cleaned. It was smoking, smelled – I even went so far as to tell others around me that it needed a good cleaning. But we didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. And wouldn’t you know…one day I went to make my breakfast, popped some toast in there and returned moments later to a smoky oven in flames.
What did this toaster represent? For me, it was a reminder that I hadn’t even wanted it to begin with. It marked a period of my life where my voice was inactive, and was one in a series of circumstances where I catered to what someone else wanted instead of communicating what I wanted or needed. It made me wonder what else I was just tolerating in my life, unfinished projects or lingering, unnoticed details that needed to be cleaned up (literally in this case), burned away and tossed into the dumpster.
Do you have anything like this in your life? Anything lingering in your subconscious, in the back of your mind – hiding out in a safe territory that really could use another candid look? A deeper question…
What if you knew what you’re pretending NOT to know? What if you DID know, accepted and embraced the need to burn away those parts of you? Would it support you in being your biggest and highest self this year? Would it make room for the new to come about?
Did you know that some trees can only regenerate when their ancestors burn away? Certain trees whose beautiful seed pods will only crack in the heat of a brush fire? What else needs to fall away in your life? What else needs to die?
I was reminded of the beauty of burning away for clarity on a trip to Australia years and years ago. Powerful brush fires burned beautiful botanical gardens and parklands to a devastatingly bare and deadly charred wasteland. Except, it wasn’t a wasteland at all. The next time I passed through, beautifully shiny, new green growth had sprung. A contrast to what died, it was a stunning reminder of new beginnings. We’re so afraid of devastation that we often forget the beauty and blessing that comes on the other side of being burnt away.
Think about what happened in 2015. Or even in the years before. What is incomplete? What has plateaued in your life? Where do you need to release and burn off so that you can be open for the new year?
We must be mindful about clearing out space in our lives for that which is to come. We manage our own space, we should use it to our advantage. But we must be clear of how we want to use it or else we run the risk of something moving into that space that we don’t want or need.
Consider your space – your mind, your heart, your words, your ideas – What feels like it still belongs to you? What doesn’t resonate anymore? What doesn’t fit who you are anymore? Even a simple thing, like tossing that burnt up old toaster oven into the dumpster, made space in my life for me to be more me. It felt good. I like it.
Sit with a candle, at your fireplace, by a fire pit. Throw in a stick for each thing that you’re ready to be rid of, anything and everything that no longer serves you. Simple things are ok. Old feelings too. Feed the fire with the beautiful lessons and blessings, trials and tribulations that brought us to this place, upon the threshold of a beautiful, fresh new year.