One of my son’s favorite Wii games involves a lot of challenges and hidden bonus points. One of the things he has to hunt for are “Fire Souls,” little red glowing firey feather looking like things. I’m not sure what they do. In fact, I don’t even think he knows what they do — but he knows he wants to have them, he NEEDS to have them, and so, he hunts and gathers them and is always shouting, “I got a FIRE SOUL!”
I smile and laugh and say, “Way to go, buddy” all the while thinking, “Yes, little spirit man, yes, you DO have a fire soul.” We ALL have a FIRE SOUL, and like the game, the challenge is in finding it.
Fire Soul: Passion. Light. Inner drive. Delight. Inspiration. Wonder. Zest. FIRE!
I cannot tell anyone where to find their fire soul. I don’t always know where to find mine, but I know when it’s missing. I know when I need to go looking again. How do I know? My life starts feeling out of balance. I start getting grouchy. I don’t see the silver lining. I don’t have a desire to do anything. I settle. I don’t sleep well. I start to think, “This is it. Why go further?” I put food and drink into my body without thinking about it. I lose my mindfulness. I lose my light. I lose my connection to The Divine. I don’t want to practice Asana. I don’t want to reach out. I fade. My fire doesn’t even burn out, it just sort of fades away.
Many times, it’s easy for me to get that Fire Soul back. It might take hearing just the right song. It might only take reading a passage from an uplifting book. Returning to The Sutras of Patanjali always helps. Journaling is like an instant blast of heat. I will remind myself of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his declaration “Practice and All is Coming” and I will get on my mat even though I don’t feel driven to practice. Sure enough, as soon as I’ve done Surya Namaskar B, I’m feeling the flames.
Some times, however, even those things don’t do it. Sometimes it takes it all. And, interestingly enough, sometimes it takes nothing other than allowing myself to feel “burned out,” or “faded.” Meeting myself where I am, or as a friend says, “BE where your feet are and no where else.” Sometimes, like a Phoenix, we have to die out to be reborn!
I recently went through a week or two of feeling like there was no flame, barely even a spark. It was weighing me down. I was feeling lost and scared – scared that I’d never make it back to the near Utopia of connection with the Fire Soul, with Spirit, with the thread of life that runs through all beings who ever lived, who live now, and who are coming. In those moments, in that place of doubt, is where faith and surrender come into play. I worried and fretted and moaned and avoided and plugged my ears and said, “lalalalala, nope, I cannot hear you BIG OL’ VOID IN MY SPIRIT.” Ugh. Yeah, that didn’t help much. Finally, I had to fall to my proverbial knees and admit that I was without a spark and that I needed someone to came and stir the ashes.
And stir the ashes they did! I fessed up my situation to my beloved #yogadorks and within hours I was feeling loved, cared for, supported, and encouraged. I was reminded by my dear friends that this is a normal part of a yogi’s life. It happens. And it’s okay. In fact, it’s necessary. Like a farmer tills last year’s dead growth under to plant fresh, our souls occasionally need a good tilling to bring the deep dark soil to the surface and let that which has already served it’s purpose return to the earth to be born again. Have I got a great cyber shala or what?
So I gave myself permission to let the old stalks whither away and dry out. I gave myself permission to release what was to make room for what will be. And I gave myself permission to do it without judgment. Slowly but surely I started reading again. I started meditating more often. I found myself drawn back to Patanjali’s words. I slowly became aware and open to the teachings of my fellow yogis, my environment, my universe, my inner voice. Inspiration poured in from countless resources. My mat started to look like home again. My fingers couldn’t write fast enough in my journal. And soon, without knowing it or making it happen, I started to feel the heat, the flames, the Prana of the Fire Soul make it’s way back into my heart’s center, where it’s burning bright, strong, and radiant.
We all have Fire Souls. They may be hidden under the gray ashes of your yesterdays, buried under the new green leaves of today’s pruning, or maybe they are burning bright and just waiting to be captured and thus shared. What is the condition of your soul? Have you checked in lately? Is it hidden? Is it dwindling? How can you, TODAY, set your soul aflame?