Working with the Elements Series: Fire

sunset-472981_640The Elements are Vital Energetic Forces.

Earth. Air. Fire. Water. Spirit. The elements can seem like separate things, but they are always with us, everywhere. They are part of our bodies, our minds, our hearts and our spirits. They are what make up this Earth and the entire Cosmos. The elements are far more than what we might envision when we think of the physical entities that embody earth, air, fire, and water. They are the underlying energy that creates the movement, shape, and form of everything. You could think of them as the energy and aliveness of the Universe or the Divine. You could possibly see them as the soul and expression of the Divine Energy. I find them fascinating.

This is the first in a 5-part series on the elements and how we can invite them to connect with us and work with us more deeply in our lives. As soon as you begin to become aware of the all-pervading presence of the elements and connect with them in a sacred and prayerful way, you feel a powerful shift. It is as if the Divine whispers to you through the elements, saying, “Welcome home. I am so glad you remembered how to connect to me. Let’s work together.”

Fire is the element that generates the most fear and fascination. Many people shy away from the element of fire to some degree. It can seem as though fire can do nothing but cause harm or death. We learn to fear heat and fire as very young children. Each of the elements has the capacity to destroy, as destruction and death are only another way to bring in change and new life. Fire is no exception. It is wise to have respect for each of the elements. To work with them well is to use reverence and restraint. And yet, there is no reason to fear the elements. Without any of them, there would be no life.

Fire brings the creative and productive life force energy that generates life force itself. The act of creation begins with a burst of Fire energy and that energy propels forward until it is calmed or slowed by other elements blending and working with it to help that life take form. What an amazing thing this is! And yet no life–not even human life–can begin without some type of destruction or burning away. Something must change in order for the new to be brought through in each case. Seed to flower, egg to bird, acorn to tree, sperm and ova to human life.

Fire is present in warmth and heat, the sun, the stars, electricity, and flame. We also feel Fire in the sting of bees, wasps, and other insects, as well as some plants, such as stinging nettle. Fire is action, movement, motivation, determination, persistence. It is summer, excitement, and growth. It is the ability to discern and choose wisely. It is the spark behind our intentions that activates their manifestation. Fire is the energy of life, change, creation, and destruction. Fire is our life force and our will. It is what we can think of as our personal energy, that spark of the Divine that manifests as a unique being given its own life force energy to create with in the world.

Fire can certainly cause damage and it can be misused when it is not used wisely by humans. Interestingly, when I was searching for images for this article, most every image of fire that I came across reflected a human-controlled fire or fire that was destructive and out of control. It showed the fear that we have of the Fire element and the power that we try to exert over it. Yet, when I think of the element of Fire, I think of something much larger than us. I think of the Sun, or a sunset, heat that warms every living being on the planet with life.

Working with Fire well means to use wisdom and constraint, not to force our will and control over another. We often subconsciously mistake Fire energy for greed, abuse of power and taking what is not ours. That is an imbalance between Fire and the other elements. It is a misuse of our personal Fire energy and other energies as well. We all get out of balance at times.

To work with the elements well means to bring balance to the elements within our mind, body, heart, and our energy or spirit. It is consciously connecting with the elements in the Divine Field of Energy and in the Natural world around us. It is seeing the elements at work in others, without trying to change how they work within them. It is prayerful and sacred and it always comes back to remembering that your own soul is part of the elements and the Divine. Your own body expresses the elements in form.

The great balancer of Fire is Water. When we get overly caught in our will or determination, overly involved in our own busyness or creative expression of energy, it is often our love and emotions (Water) that can remind us that there are things need our softness and compassion. That whispering, slowness, and gentleness are best sometimes. Yet, even compassion requires Fire to be effective at times. And even Water can be destructive–as will see later in the series. No one element is more important than another. They all work together and temper each other.

Earth can also bring a stabilizing force to the energy of Fire. Of course, with physical fire, earth will extinguish or contain the flames. The element of Earth provides a calming, cooling, grounding force that quiets the energy of Fire. Much like physical soil, it roots it and contains it. This element brings the balance of wisdom, strength, and proper discernment to Fire’s action and creation.

To work with Fire in your own life, begin with an aspect of Fire energy that feels comfortable and familiar to you.

  • You might wish to choose 2 or 3 aspects, if that feels good to you, so that you can approach it from different parts of life. For example, the warmth of your shower in the morning, the heat of the sun and your own body heat.
  • Explore what these aspects of Fire mean to you. Express your gratitude for them in your life.
  • As you contemplate these aspects of Fire, think about other ways that you can see the energy of Fire moving in your life and in your actions. How do you work with your personal energy? How do you see the energy of Fire in your choices and in your creativity? Do you see it expressed in your anger? How about in your wise compassion or discernment?
  • Where would you like to bring more balance to the ways you work with Fire? Invite it to guide you to work with it wisely and well. Feel the Fire in your belly and nourish it. Know that it is your life force, given from the Divine.

Join me for the next four weeks for the rest of this free mini-class on working with the elements! If you are not subscribed and want to follow the series, please follow this link to sign up. If you have a friend who would enjoy this series, please share this with them so they can sign up too! Everyone is welcome!

Peace, Joy and Many Blessings,
Angie
https://angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com/


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How I Learned Forgiveness and Release Through Meditation

meditation

I have always known that forgiveness is important. Forgiving and being able to allow something to be in the past is important for being able to be in the present. Not being able to forgive can destroy relationships.

Carrying the burden of anger and hate makes us toxic to be around and depletes our energy. Most importantly, it destroys our relationship with ourselves. We lose our inner peace.

Knowing you need to learn forgiveness is a lot easier that actually doing it. The person we tend to be the most unforgiving towards is ourselves. We all have a mean spirited inner voice that criticizes us for not being even more perfect than we expect others to be. It relentlessly terrorizes our thoughts.

So maybe forgiveness starts within ourselves. When we can let ourselves be human and flawed, we are more ready to offer that same compassion to others.

When I began meditating, I realized that I maliciously attacked myself every time I attempted it. I beat myself up because thoughts and emotions kept coming up. I told myself I wasn’t a good meditator and I believed I would never get it “right”.

I have since learned that I am completely normal. There is no “right” and my mind will never completely stop having new thoughts arise.

Now I use the practice of meditation to acknowledge my grasping at perfection and my human inability to achieve it. This is what meditation is. It is forgiving oneself over and over each time a new thought arises. In doing this, the thought releases and floats gently away.

Of course, new thoughts do arise. And then I get to practice being forgiving and loving with myself again. I have learned to release a thought without the condition that it not return.

When I decide to cling to the outcome by having conditions, I almost guarantee the thought will return. Instead, I lovingly understand that my mind is doing what minds do. It is not the enemy. I am not trying to defeat it, only to work with it.

Of course there are those particularly important thoughts. The “what ifs” that some part of me feels must be solved, the item on my to-do list I have neglected three days in a row or that amazing new revelation that I am afraid to let go of lest I lose it completely.

The truth is sometimes I give in to them. Especially to the amazing revelations! But most of the time it is more constructive to allow that the thought may have merit and promise to give it more attention at another time. And I stick to that, sometimes making mental appointments with myself to focus on that issue for a few minutes at a later time.

By doing this, I have learned to be patient with myself, allowing myself to have what I need and to be what I am. I am practicing forgiveness, releasing myself from the domineering voice of shame.

In recognizing my own humanness and imperfection, I have been able to be more easily in the flow of understanding the imperfection of others. Not only that, I am learning to appreciate it.

But it is a practice and as such, I must keep doing it. Sometimes we don’t practice to “make perfect” but for the sake of the practice itself. Someone dear to me once told me that life is about “progression, not perfection”. With forgiveness and meditation, this is certainly true.

As I experience human frailty in myself, I am able to understand that we are all doing the best we can with what we know at that given moment. Forgiving allows for more progress rather than demanding perfection. Meditation has taught me the importance of continuing to forgive as a constant practice, with the recognition that we are all learning our own lessons, at our own pace.