I am the steward of this land but this land is my greatest teacher…my ‘guru’ in the most plainest sense.
Today, I prepared for a ‘controlled burn.
What is a Controlled Burn?
Wikipedia defines it as, “A controlled or prescribed burn, which can include hazard reduction burning, backfire, swailing or a burn-off, is a fire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, fire suppression, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement.”
A Lesson from the Land & the Controlled Burn
Our controlled burn included burning off junk trees, tree-killing vines that were wrapped around trees in the forest, and some weeds. These were not small piles. These piles were approximately 16 feet by 10 feet. Big piles.
I always start a controlled burn by first considering the weather. The wind is always a biggie because I don’t want the ash blowing back into the forest and risk starting a forest fire. Next, I consider the amount of rain that has fallen in last few days. It had rained a couple of times but not enough to assume the ground was wet enough to stop the spread.
Pretty cool that we’ve covered 3 of the 5 Earth elements so far: Earth, Air, and Water. Next, I spray the entire perimeter of the burn area with water, I mean – I saturate the perimeter including the surrounding trees, the grass – and I keep doing this until the fire stops burning. NOW, I flick my bick. Obviously, there’s much more to it than that but you know what I mean. Usually, I will just light a small and somewhat contained area. I do this to watch the direction (or directions) the smoke is carried on the wind. After observing this, I do an extra spray down of that area.
You might think I am overly cautious, and you are absolutely right. With fire, I have NO expectations. This goes pretty standard across the board when it comes to Mother Nature. Once you think you “know,” that’s when you get burned. The human ego is no match for the great Mother.
There is no resting yet. I always make sure I have my hose on and ready in case I need it.
Putting the Inner-Fire into Perspective
This land NEVER ceases to amaze me and I continue to be so entirely grateful for the lessons she tells me…I just have to be focused enough to listen.
Listening, really listening, has a great deal to do with respect. So I listen. Then I can hear, understand, and comprehend.
What I understood today had to do with what a ‘controlled burn’ means in comparison to me, to us, to the living, breathing, and contemplative human being.
Mother Nature appreciates a good fire for many reasons. The National Park Services says this, “Fire is part of a cycle in most ecosystems. It reduces dead vegetation, stimulates new growth, and improves habitat for wildlife, many of the details park visitors imagine when they think of a national park. With fire suppression, fire was removed from the cycle and ecosystems began to get out of balance.”
Two Types of Inner-Fire
We all have an inner fire and just like the forest, it can be very beneficial but only if we can conduct a ‘controlled burn.’ What do I mean by this? Prana is the fire of life, the energy that fuels us. There are a couple of different types of ‘inner fire.’ One type could be fueled by stress, anger, and fear. This is the type of ‘inner fire’ that could easily burn out of control, burn those around us, and invoke regret, guilt, and general destruction – if not controlled. The second type of ‘inner fire’ is the one that is activated when we no longer react to the outside world, the triggers, the other people, and our past fears, and misconceptions. When we learn to become aware of what we ‘let in,’ we can activate our own ‘inner fire’ and work with it. We can essentially become our OWN fuel to ignite our fire. We can control when, how, how much, and the direction it burns when we HARNESS our ‘inner fire.’
This is what I consider my own ‘controlled burn.’
How can we Learn to Harness our ‘Inner Fire’ and Use it to Stimulate our Higher Consciousness/Inner Awareness?
The first step is to become aware of what we are ‘bringing in.’ This includes our inner thoughts (otherwise known as the ego), the outside world/influences (co-workers, social media, the news, chatter from others), the old stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that have long since died away but we cling to due to habit, ect.
One way to do this is by starting a simple meditation practice and becoming aware of our thoughts. During meditation, we learn to become aware of our thoughts but instead of letting them marinate and grow in our thinking minds, we acknowledge them but let them go. We let them pass. It takes practice but eventually, you can literally start to reprogram your inner awareness. This isn’t some kind of overnight, get control of your ‘inner fire’ quick scheme, it takes practice. Start with only a couple of minutes and be kind to yourself. If you can’t seem to get a harness on your thoughts, just know that the more you practice – the easier it will become.
I promise you, you might not notice IMMEDIATE results, but it will happen. Most importantly, this is a very important part of your journey inward. Enjoy it because it could be the beginning of something truly life-transforming.
I always like to tell my kids – take the long way home. Don’t focus so much on the destination. Nothing life-transforming is simple. That’s the beauty of it. Learn to forgive yourself and forget about “wrong turns.” The wrong turns are sometimes the lessons or the pit-stops that are the most important for you to get lost for a while. Just don’t overstay. Check out the ‘wrong turns’ and really consider them. Then, maybe next time you’ll turn right.
Signs your ‘Inner Fire’ is Becoming a ‘Controlled Burn.’
- You slowly become aware of the unexpected sparks that can trigger a spontaneous fire and notice you have an inner bottle of water in which to dose the flames before this ‘uncontrolled’ fire starts to burn.
- You are somehow becoming more ‘unaffected’ by the old triggers that once fueled your flame.
- Your instincts become stronger and you just somehow know where the hidden fuels can be found and holders of emotional matches – and decide to take an alternate route.
- You become your own inner cozy fireplace and ONLY YOU hold the fuel, the matches, and WHEN you want it to burn.
Burn, baby burn. Become your own inner alchemist and let your inner fire set you ABLAZE!