Do you know what guards the truth?
Yesterday my friend Michael shared something that put all the pieces together inside of my head.
In Taoist temples there are two dog-lions guarding the door to truth. One is paradox, the other is confusion.
Paradox and confusion, two things most of us avoid in favor of the familiar known.
Getting to truth takes immense courage to see things as they are, not as we wish them to be. We must step beyond the guardian of confusion, and pass through the portal of paradox. Confusion and paradox are not the enemy, they are guideposts that you are stepping out of the known and into new territory.
To walk into a new paradigm of being, as individuals and a collective, we need to cultivate an inner reservoir of available energy.
Energy is our inner fire. When our inner fire, or energy, is dampened or scattered, we will tend to go towards what is familiar. We perpetuate the status quo because it is what we know. It feels safe in the short term, but in the long term our inner fire dims and leaves us feeling apathetic, apologetic, and hopeless.
If you are feeling burnt out, stagnant, overwhelmed, or confused you likely do need more available energy to help get you through these times.
When our inner fire burns brightly we are creative, courageous, and can be out of our comfort zone in a big way.
We must do the work to keep our inner fire strong so we can see beyond known horizons. When our inner energetic lantern is glowing strongly we grow in our capacity to be uncomfortable, and feel confident to venture into new lands and new ways of perceiving, so we can dismantle the old systems.
Energy allows us to be challenged in the short term, because we know we are in for the long term.
I believe at this time it is more important than ever for us to learn to both blaze brightly and bank our coals so we are sustainable for the long haul. All change, inner and outer, takes both fiery action and patient strategizing, educating, and transformation over time.
Here are five steps to building your inner fire:
1. Learn to use your emotions as fuel
For many of us our emotions cause us to lose energy and vitality, instead of gain it. When you are not properly tending to your emotions they squash your inner fire with the weight of the past. But released of the old heaviness you will find your emotions are a great ally to transformation.
2. Cultivate your witness self
Stagnant emotions can cause us to be bogged down in our thoughts: fragmented sentences, heavy stories, and even full-blown dramatic novels in our head. When we believe everything our mind tells us it is like using soggy, wet newspapers to attempt to start a fire. Our inner words are powerful sources of heat and spark, but unchecked they can easily dampen our spirit or keep us hostage in murky waters.
3. Fall in love with the truth
The truth will set you free. But how to know what is truth and what is lies? The first step is to choose to ally with the truth and question your thoughts and stories. Your body knows what is true, but you must be willing to challenge what you learned and what think you know.
4. Know your intent
To change old patterns and beliefs, you must have a focus, or a North Star to keep your attention fixed on as you create new ways of being. Your intent is one word that guides your actions going forward. What one quality are you most wanting to integrate into your life right now? That is a good place to start. Then ask: how do I bring my intent into all my actions?
5. Integrate and repeat
Once you are clear with your intent, you can explore how to take action based in truth and clarity. This is not something you do once, but a way of being where you look towards long-term sustainability and deep, lasting transformation. At times it is graceful, at times messy. Keep going.
Remember, dear ones. One step at a time. Look at the ways you dampen, scatter, or leak your inner fire. Dedicate yourself to being a torch of possibility. Ask yourself, what would love, true fierce, unconditional love, do here? Be a love revolutionary. We are in for the long haul, together.