I have begun a new book, Awaken Your Inner Fire, by Heatherash Amara, subtitled, Ignite Your Inner Passion, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life That You Love. This title speaks to me of an intrinsic aspect of Flametending, which is not only tending a divine flame of a divinity to keep Her essence alight in the world, but to also seek the tending of our inner soul flames, our inner fires, to cultivate peace, wisdom, inspiration, and illumination. I feel Brìde’s call when I see a title like this, and feel sure it has something valuable to offer me towards enriching my flametending practice.
To begin the work, along with the introductory reading, readers are asked to ponder a handful of questions and journal the responses, to be reviewed and possibly revised later in the book, after working through its lessons. Below I will engage this journaling practice, for a record of my thoughts at the beginning of this book’s process and journey.
- What is stillness?
Stillness immediately speaks to me of The Mountain, which I wrote about last week. Its presence, majesty, groundedness, and stability all resonate with me as the essence of stillness. Its immovability. It’s timelessness and sense of the eternal. Even while I envision Loowit, which has undergone drastic events in recent history, its sense of permanence still fills me. In addition, another aspect of that image came to me– a lake at the foot of the mountain, reflecting its peak in its still waters. I imagine keeping my inner fire steady is much like, and would result in, that lake staying glassy calm, perfectly mirroring the silent mountain. Calm and silence are part of stillness, and I like the reflective qualities of the lake in this image. Reflection feels still to me, as it cannot be done when in motion. Stillness is a perfectly reflecting lake beneath a stately mountain.
- What is faith?
I thing I feel quite unfamiliar with. Or maybe overly familiar, to the point it is invisible. Maybe I am more familiar with blind faith. Or is all faith blind by nature? I used to have faith all would turn out well in our family, or by my sheer will of wanting it so. Will is not faith though. I just thought or trusted things would work out, that they had to. They didn’t. It was meant to fall apart, and eventually did. Now I am living with the pieces. I suppose faith means believing all will be well, all is as it is meant to me, all is going to work out. Anxiety might be the opposite of faith– it tells me nothing will ever be alright again, and it never actually was, so how can it ever be, and anyway, nothing is right now, and I cannot see its end, or fathom the way out of it. Anxiety traps me. I have heard anxiety lies. That is probably true, but I haven’t found the faith yet to believe it will all work out while in its throes. I get it intellectually, but the parts of my brain that process fear and overwhelm are not getting intellectual messages. Maybe faith is that the message will get there eventually. Belief without evidence, is what I think of as faith. How is that different from trust? I struggle with it, or both, I think.
I like the idea of faith as a promise or a pact, as in, keeping faith with someone. I keep faith with Brìde by praying to her daily. I keep faith with the Shining Ones by offering to Them quarterly at each holy day, to honor their gifts and return thanks, as instructed in the ancestral tale to do. I find this form of faith grounding and centering and an act which creates and reinforces bonds of belonging. I trust that in return guidance and blessings will be given, as they have been before, as they evermore shall be. Keeping this faith gives me faith.
- What is healing?
Healing is coming into Wholeness; healing is whole-ing, to become whole is to heal. To remember our wholeness is healing. I think of soul retrieval performed by shamen, and how we can, in moments of stillness, and if we have faith (ah-ha, seeing a progression of ideas here!) in ourselves and the Universe, remember who we are, that we are children of Cosmos, made up of the Wholeness that is Cosmos, and so always carry it in our cells, but only we sometimes forget, and then feel disconnected and fragmented. When we re-member, we re-call the fragments our minds broke off, and see how they are all here, all enlivening us, all connecting us to All That Is, to Cosmos, and that Cosmos is Cosmic Truth, Fírinne, and hence– so are we. We both are, and walk in Fírinne when we re-call, as it re-members, bringing us to Wholeness.
- What is sacred?
Sacred, as defined, is that which is separate from the profane, the daily; it is set-aside, like the church, the temple, the inner sanctum, to not profane it with the mundanity of the every day slog through life. The duality of this definition makes me uncomfortable. It belies the Cosmic Truth of Wholeness. If all the parts make Wholeness, and Wholeness is evident in every part, as the cosmic dust of the universe is evident in all things, then there cannot be anything set apart. There is only What Is. So, either nothing is sacred, or everything is. If nothing is, there is no concept to discuss. If everything is, then it becomes ubiquitous, and we overlook it, because it becomes invisible in its ubiquity. But if it is actually here, and we make ourselves still, have faith it is present, and re-call to re-member Wholeness, then it manifests before us, begins to shine and glow, not as something newly present, but something emerging from the pattern which was there all along. The Sacred is the Pulse of Life running through and enlivening Cosmos, showing us that none of it is inert matter, but is materialized consciousness, moving with intent, thrumming with meaning, full of essence.
- What is gratitude?
Gratitude then, to follow this progression which has manifested before me, is the recognition and honoring of Cosmos, which we have divined through stillness, kept faith with, healed by, and have come to know to be sacred. Gratitude is knowing our place within Cosmos, our belonging to Cosmos, our connections to All That Is within Cosmos, to understand what we receive from Cosmos, and how we return thanks to Cosmos, to replenish the Well from which all is born and is nourished.
I will be reading the rest of the book with even more interest now, as it is opening into each of these areas, so see if they are indeed linked as a progression as they have spoken to me here. I am intrigued to see if I have divined its direction!
One thing the author spoke of initially is finding life purpose, through naming a key word of an aspect wished to be cultivated in oneself and the world. She notes that the purpose is not the thing we do in life, but *how we do* ALL the things in our life. I am pondering this concept. I like that is is not about attaining a single thing, as that is so goal-oriented and can easily lead to failure. I like how instead it indicates our way of being in the world, which we can sometimes miss our mark on, but can always begin again, in any moment, with each sunrise, at each next breath. It is built on the success of every breath is was carried out; as breath builds on breath, so success builds on success. My purpose presently is Peace, so I am going to spend the week focusing on doing all things peacefully, to see how it feels. Just the concept helps alleviate some of the anxious knots in my stomach, so I am taking that as a good omen that this is a useful road for me and will be beneficial as I proceed.
To that end, I wish you all peace, Dear Readers. Be Well.