Lately, with all the devastating wildfires in California, I've been thinking a lot about fire. I've been evacuated three times from these California fires—once this year, and twice in the past five years. I've been fortunate each time to return unharmed to a safe, unscathed home. Others have not been so fortunate. Their homes burned down, and for some, their loss was far greater; they lost their lives and those of their beloved pets. My compassion and thoughts for healing goes out to everyone affected by these tragedies.
What Does Fire Teach Us?
So I started meditating about fire. What can this chemical process of combustion teach us? Fire reminds me about balance. On one hand, fire provides warmth and heat for food. On the other hand, fire can burn. It does not discriminate. It will burn us all the same. It can and will kill us if we don't respect it.
Respecting our health and healing process is the same. If we don't respect our bodies, our health, our minds, our spirits, than we will get burned. And the burns can become so severe that we may die.
How do I know? Because it almost happened to me. When I was young, I believed I was invincible. I was living life in such a fast and frenetic way that my body was often getting "burned." Time and again my body was on fire with symptoms and I would ignore them and push forward. Ultimately, I was so out of balance that I almost died. Of course, there were many reasons for my plummet to poor health. Looking back now, I see that the lack of balance was at the forefront.
What Can We Do to Change?
The first step is awareness. Taking inventory and noticing what parts of our lives are not in balance is the best thing we can do to begin on a path of healing. I noticed several aspects of my life that were unbalanced, and I worked to change my behaviors and thoughts until I achieved a feeling of ease. I still check in every day, in fact, in every moment when I can, and ask myself, "Am I balanced?"
It is my sincerest hope that you and your loved ones are safe from the raging fires and are feeling balance and peace in all aspects of your life. If not, think of fire, identify where it is in your life, and what you can do to calm the flames and regain a sense of peace. You may be surprised on what you find.
Wishing you a balanced and peaceful holiday season,