The Qualities of Fire
“Be Fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on Fire”. Rumi
Fire radiates warmth and light. Fire is strongly connected to the earth element beneath it and needs the balanced qualities of air to burn well. Fire depends on regular fuel in order to burn and is literally transformative, turning wood to ash, creating warmth and radiance. Fire is in all that generates heat and light. The sun itself is the Fire element embodied, and whilst fire in balance is essential to life, fire out of balance can be devastating, think of wildfires.
We are warm blooded, and our body is heat is part of what keeps us healthy and alive. Extremes of temperature can be destabilising for the body, think hypothermia and overheating and how devastating they can be. Within us we experience the transformative qualities of fire every day when we eat. Digestive hormones and enzymes literally break down food and turn it in to the nutrients which are the building blocks for the cells of the body. Keeping the diet balanced, and spacing our meals in order to fully digest (transform) food keeps the fire element in balance. The right foods help to keep this delicate balance too. When we experience hunger, this is our inner fire (Agni) speaking to us. Fuelling the fire at the right time can keep it burning brightly and vibrantly. Overfeeding the fire and put it out – think how sluggish it can feel to have overeaten. Underfeeding the fire will also put it out – think how tired and lethargic you might be without regular nutrition.
Anger, passion, willpower and drive can all be associated with the element of fire. We may experience these feelings in excess or not experience them enough. We may experience them positively and productively, or they may be out of balance. Balance is about experiencing what is, when the water element is in balance, we can freely experience the ebbs and flows of emotions. Being present enough to literally break down and transform what we’re experiencing is the fire element in action. For example, experiencing anger can be an uncomfortable feeling we prefer not to connect with, however unless we shine the light of awareness on it, and are present enough for its transformation to see it to its productive end, we simply suppress it and most likely experience it being triggered over and over again.
Our willpower is governed by the fire element. Our ability to see projects or ideas through to completion. In balance we experience staying power through challenge, out of balance we might experience feelings of powerlessness.
When we’re passionate about an idea or cause, its helps us to be motivated, when we connect to our passions we can nourish and stoke our inner fire.
Affirmations can be a useful way to awaken the energetic qualities of Fire
“I am present for what is” or “I am working towards being more present for myself every day”
“I am connected to my inner power” or “I am now ready to recall my power from external sources”
“I now give myself permission to explore and express my passions in life”
You can work with affirmations in various ways, what’s important is that the affirmation feels true and that can take time and work. It can take some negotiation and time to find the words that feel true. Start with something small if necessary, something that is already true for you and easily accessible, rather than expecting a universal affirmation to feel comfortable immediately. Try one of these exercises:
- Choose an affirmation and write it out 10 times in a diary or notebook.
- Look yourself in the eye, in the mirror and say the affirmation out loud 10 times
- Silently repeat the affirmation 10 times before you go to sleep, or 10 times as soon as you wake up.
Notice any objections that come up and address those separately. Address the objections with compassion, for example ‘I know how uncomfortable anger is, but could it be telling you something about your boundaries?’ or ‘I know you feel powerless in X situation, but could?’
Activities to connect you with the Fire Element:
- Discover your passions, what do you feel strongly about? What is truly important to you? Can you list three things which you could do this week which move your closer to connecting with those passions?
- Do you have a goal that you keep putting off? How could you begin to work towards that goal today? Can you write it down, small daily actions will lead you towards where you want to be?
- Do you have a to do list which you are procrastinating on? Tick one thing off the list today and notice how it makes you feel.
In Balance – We may feel passionately about our work and purpose and find the energy and inspiration to endure challenges, and even thrive on them. We have a good regular appetite for food. When we experience anger, we learn something about what we find acceptable and not acceptable, our boundaries allow us to act accordingly.
Out of Balance – we lack a sense of purpose or passion and have little motivation for action. Challenges can be overwhelming and make us feel even less enthusiastic about life. Appetite can be slow and sluggish. Anger can be displaced to passive aggression, resentment or lashing out.