Sitting in the fire, this is the theme that has been on my mind for weeks. It began with a desire to write a post about how to attend to depression and anxiety using a variety of alternative methods I had been exploring. This was when I still felt like I was gasping for air as I sat within the smoky flames of extreme, anxious emotion. I was relying on so much to help me breathe; crystals, essential oil, soothing music, meditation. It felt like a long, unending uphill hike with a summit I could not see.
Now I know that I can move around the flames, allowing the air that feeds the fire to feed me as well. Discomfort is still present, rising and falling like the flames themselves, changing form as they are fed through my very own breath. Can I sit within the fire of this discomfort, knowing that at any given moment it may intensity and become a large, roaring inferno? After 8 weeks off, soon I will return to work. After 8 weeks off, my 2 challenging boys will return to school. The demands will be great and the stress high. I know this! Yet I wish to soften it, breathe into it, let the fire that has felt suffocating become a source of primal energy and empowerment. Fire can be many things; it can end life and give it fuel to grow. It can destroy quickly and also restore vital energy through the heat that matches our own internal body signatures. What is left after fire is ash, recognized as protection in many shamanic and magical circles of life. I must sit in the fire of my discomfort and find nourishing, life-giving air. I must let the heat fuel me vs. run screaming in pain. I must find coherency as my body becomes attuned to the heat, becoming one with it, allowing the crystals of alignment within me to grow as flame grows with breath. I cannot just wish this. I must be this.
I have moved away from feeling victimized by this body and the emotions that have often left me feeling helpless and unable to cope, yet this is recent and I have not gone far. It feels terrifying as I walk head on into the flames that have once devoured me. Yet it is Persephone who goes down to the flames of the underworld each year, only to reemerge as Spring Herself, full of budding life and growth. I must have faith that as I consciously choose to sit within the heat of discomfort, that I will melt, change and transform. Let all that has not served burn away. Let the alchemy of fire change what has once been hard and painful, to soft, liquid Source. Let the heat become the medium that transmutes myself from caterpillar to the great winged butterfly that flew inside my soul some time ago, waiting to be birthed. May I stand within the flames that are my life with vigor, no matter the heat. May I be the Phoenix rising.
Diana Ray/April Aronoff
Photography By Diana Ray