Stoking the embers: an ode to growth

Inspiration is often fleeting.

Sometimes it floats in on a bright morning breath, trickles down the spine like wildfire, ignites to the very core. It gets hot, burns through doubts and worries, elates the soul, energizes the body.

But then that heat starts to fade. It’s too hot to handle, we need it to cool. And as it cools, our spirits fade too and we open the doors once again to doubt, worry, fear. The hows, the whys, weigh heavy as they climb each vertebrae, shrinking stealthily over the shoulders, and pulling down the collarbones, curling the head to hover over the heart in protection. And before we know it, we’re clawing our fingernails against the earth, longing for change but immobilized by fear of it.

We go through this process time and time again- sometimes the cycle is complete in a few hours or days, sometimes longer. The higher we get, the deeper the lull appears. We sabotage the high in fear and dread of the lull. Worst yet, we get stuck in the cycles spinning round and round until we lose orientation and start digging down when we mean to go up, losing ourselves in the pit. Our experience in the pit is a powerful one, and those embers of inspiration have trouble catching fire when smothered by the weight of a heavy heart. Subsequent experiences begin to grow their vines around the heart and the lungs, gently and consistently tightening their hold on our creativity, our air, our life. Each strand stronger than the last, we give in, allow them to victimize us, pushing us deeper into the pit- so deep that the flight of inspiration, of freedom, appears to be available only to other beings, and we watch them too. We watch through the peephole of our pit, gazing up, allowing the elations of others to increase the space between us.  We watch the waves of inspiration passing us over time and time again on the winds of change that no longer graze the surface of our skin. We watch ourselves settle, again stuck in the intensity of a craving and filling it with tastes that don’t satiate the palate. Tastes that are ‘safe.’ Tastes like job security. Tastes like a mortgage payment. Tastes like routine, and chores. We continue filling our plate with these monotonous, bland tastes, becoming a slave to them, replacing them with more bland, monotonous tastes the moment we finish so as not to leave any blank space, any inkling of a home for something ostentatious and sweet like creativity or spontaneity, though on some level we are aware that we ache for it.

Fear not the pit, because the deeper we dig down into the earth of the soul, the more fertile the soil for even the smallest seeds. The deeper the darkness, the brighter our smallest ember of inspiration can shine, grabbing our attention and commanding our focus. If we have a breath left beneath the weight on the chest, we have enough oxygen to fan our small embers to flames. These flames are flames of transformation, transmuting that which no longer serves. The fire revolves in the darkness, evolving the dormant edges of the body, asking us to move, to go, to do. Our task is to be open to these flames of initiation, our work is to allow it to move us. It matters little what we do with it; what matters is simply that we do. We follow the illumination of the flame to see through the darkness. We go. We Allow. We accept the cycles and seasons of our spirit and know that the dark is not a place to be ashamed of, it is a place to visit frequently for a humble reminder of the grounds of our soul, those spaces waiting patiently for the light. Each time we visit, a new evolution can begin, setting the next cycle into motion as we break outdated agreements and burn down the walls of restrictions, deepening our roots and expanding through our flaming branches. When we go through the painful, cracking, messy process with patience, peace, and love in our heart, we are growth embodied. Fear not the pit. Fear not the process. Stoke the embers and watch your innate, awesome power move. 

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