Today the sun is an orange glow through the smoke filled sky here in Ashland, Oregon. The earth is raging with her fires in the forests and cities of California and Oregon for over three weeks now.
There is a feeling of fear that crests daily as the fires leap from one mountain to the next. I can’t help but recognize this call to awaken to what is priority.
It’s nothing new that the earth purges, destroys and regenerates. But it is fairly new that we’ve woken up from our long collective deep sleep to the revelation that the outer world is simply a reflection of our inner one. We have become so separated, isolated and controlled in our environments over time that we have forgotten our role as children of this earth and that she’s a reflection of deep healing work.
If I zone out while playing with my 2.5 year old son, he will turn to me and say loudly, “WAKE UP!”. In that moment, I laugh and snap back into presence. It feels as if our Mother Earth is asking the same of us. To get present, pay attention and go within.
We are a microcosm of the macrocosm. The whole Universe rests within us.
Can we look at the smoke as a reflection of the cloudiness that rests within us at this time in our collective?
Can we see the fires representing the powerful agni energy within and the tapas, or the heat, that is needed to purify ourselves?
Can we see the fires as energy that transforms and dismantles the old structures and ways of our past?
Can we see the force of Shiva, the destroyer, as the energy of momentum offering rebirth and new beginnings?
Does it feel like things in your life are in chaos and you can’t see a way out?
Let go. As things disintegrate, its a ripe time for creation, prioritizing what’s important and growth.
As a survivor of a fire that burned down my apartment in 2006 and left me with pretty much the shirt on my back, I certainly didn’t understand the beauty in it for a good solid month. At the time when it happened, I was not present in my life. Then, the smoke cleared when I went to the place that is famous for burning down things just built – Burning Man. It was there and then that I was able to see the absolute gift and magic of my fire, and the ways that my life would shift as a result of that experience.
I was humbled to my knees in a new found understanding of presence and priorities. Only months later I knew that I had received enormous gifts.
Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, I received a brand new life and opportunities that my Higher Self was begging for, yet my lower self was stuck in conditioned behavior. What I received was a greater sense of health, community, love, support, and a deeper connection to my yoga practice. It also created space for one of my most significant relationships to come into my life.
In the end, it was a true blessing and a total wake up call that needed to happen for me.
And this is not to discount those that have been affected and devastated by the fires. I send you and offer you love and support through an extremely challenging time often fraught with pain and suffering. Yet to help direct you to the larger plan that’s at work, what are you creating space for?
Today I invoke the fires (anger, rage, fear) within to be transmuted and released so that I can create. Today I dream awake the destruction of the limits that I place around my heart so I can love more fully. Today I establish a deeper connection with you, my Earth Mother, by asking for forgiveness for the ways that I’ve taken advantage of you or have been mistreating you. Today I clear the smoke in my own being, as I trust myself and my purpose even more. Today, I ask for great purging and healing for the planet and the collective, so that we may live in more peace and harmony. Today, I imagine dropping deeper into the Great Mystery.
How are you being called by the fires of awakening?
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.