Tending the Inner Fire
Imagine someone with a healthy inner fire. They stand tall and move forward to action in their lives deliberately and intentionally. They have boundaries and say no to things that are not in alignment with them and say yes to opportunities that are resonant with their soul. This is one way they manage their energy through the Solar Plexus Chakra.
Individuals with a healthy inner fire have discernment over where their fire is going to burn. They rest when they need to, allowing the fire to flicker close to the ground at times and find balance. In other moments they can harness this fire and breathe life into it so that they can move forward boldly and courageously burning away obstacles in their path. We are all fire keepers. We all have the ability to harness this power (ability to create change) in our lives and we just need to remember to use it.
Let’s look at what can dampen the flames. Are you familiar with the inner critic? It is that part of us that is designed to keep us safe. It does this by adopting the beliefs and standards that we grew up with through our parents and society. Those beliefs and standards program what the inner critic says.
By adopting these standards we feel safe from rejection and abandonment and this programming seems to help us be accepted and loved. That strategy is necessary when we are children but as we grow up those outdated standards don’t seem to evolve in the way our soul guides us to. The inner critic may have different material based on our circumstances but gives us the same messages. The same tapes are playing over and over.
Think about what your inner critic tells you and see if it traces back to what you learned in childhood. Chances are it will. This is an unconscious process and we may even believe that what it says is true.
Here are some examples of what an inner critic might say, “you aren’t good enough/talented enough to do that job. You are terrible at art, you should just quit. You don’t look good enough to wear that outfit. Did you see how that person looked at you, they clearly don’t like you".…and much much worse. It may help to take an inventory of your own inner critic dialogue, so that you can bring it to consciousness.
The inner critic can throw a wet blanket over our inner fire through the shame we feel by what it tells us. The shame causes us to doubt our abilities and lose courage when we are moving toward something beyond our comfort zone, growth. Notice where this might be showing up in your life.
I have this experience a lot when I write something (such as this article) or teach a class that is outside what is “normal.” That inner critic wants me to be safe and tries to talk me out of it. And honestly in the past there are many of times when I have listened to it. And when I allow it to be the voice that guides me I feel stuck, congested energy that doesn’t have anyplace to go. That is one way I know what part of me is in the drivers seat.
When I (my authentic Self) am the one in charge I can hear that voice, thank it for trying to keep me safe and keep going anyway. In these moments I may feel scared and very nervous because I am stepping outside of my comfort zone. And this is growth. It doesn’t always feel amazing at first but it feels like the energy is moving toward something, something that I am guided to pursue by my authentic Self.
So...speaking of stepping outside of your comfort zone, this week I will be facilitating Ecstatic Dance. This is one of those things for me that is outside of my comfort zone because it isn’t mainstream, not everyone is doing it and in fact a lot of people are scared of it. So for me, to offer it takes working with my fire to keep going. To burn through insecurities and wanting to “fit in” and move toward what I am called to do.
I offer these experiences because they are transformative (which by nature means outside of the comfort zone). Ecstatic Dance can help us move through the voice of the inner critic and access the voice of our authentic Self. Dancing moves energy and when we listen to our bodies and how it wants to dance we may find some new pockets of inspiration, creativity and expansion. We can process emotions that may be stuck in our bodies, freeing us from repeating patterns and giving us wisdom and insight along our path.
In this week's dance we will be connecting with our power through the Solar Plexus Chakra. And we will be trying something new this week! We will be holding a mini drum circle at the beginning to move our energy through sound, as well as play with and direct our energy in a strong and intentional way. We will access ways to harness our inner fire.
We will then dance and let the fire burn through obstacles and old stories that might hold us back. We will step/dance/drum into our power.
If something inside of you is calling you toward this experience (even if you are scared) please join us. This is a safe environment that supports growth through holding space and compassion. You have agency to move as you wish. **No dance or drum experience necessary!
We will gather together to connect with our internal flame. To step out of the comfort zone and into the field of growth. And we will all support each other in this process.
Ecstatic Dance Fairhope
Location: The Yoga Hive Studio, 1901 Main Street, Daphne AL
Time: Sunday, 9/11 6-7:30pm
Wear comfortable clothes and bring a drum if you have one (we will have some extras)
Photo Credit: Brock Larsen