This is your life and nobody is going to teach you, no book, no guru.
Learn from yourself, not from books.
It is an endless thing, it is a fascinating thing, and when you learn about yourself from yourself, out of that learning wisdom comes.
~ Krishnamurti, A Bag of Jewels
Sitting in the Fire is about embracing the depth and breadth of your inner world and harnessing the energy generated for transformation.
When life is intense, when external circumstances create discomfort and pressure, we have two choices:
1. Avoid and resist the changes through addictions and escapism; or
2. Use the energy as fuel to shift perspective, to explore new parts of self, to open doorways to new possibilities and the possibility of freedom within.
Fire is alchemical, it’s the possibility of turning lead into gold, it’s the possibility of turning your fear and discomfort into love, spaciousness and freedom. However, in order to harness this potential, we need to learn to sit with the feelings of intensity and burning from within. Any attempt to run, to avoid, to pretend it’s not happening, will keep the embers burning inside so that they can be easily fanned and set alight by the next major or minor hurdle that comes your way.
When we learn to sit with the feelings, we have the opportunity to see that even the most uncomfortable sensations within can create space within us. And space allows for change, space allows for the choice to do things differently, rather than feeling controlled by the external.
The feelings we most want to run from will be the ones that are the greatest keys for transformation, such as anger, fear, jealousy, shame and guilt. Avoiding these experiences means they have power over us. As we take space to feel the depth and intensity of the sensations generated inside, the level of inner control can be transmuted. We can become more porous and flexible with life, rather than being rigid and controlling with the feelings which arise.
With flexibility and openness to life, we can find a new level of peace within. Not the fluffy, rainbow-coloured version of peace, but the type that says yes to life, the type that is sustainable because fighting against the external, fighting the sensations that happen inside is no longer an option. Saying yes to the inner allows for grace to support us.
When our personal fire is burning strongly, it can take a big commitment to stay with the experience, to hold ourselves deeply in the experience. When transformation is happening and life is guiding us to new places and new experiences within, the desire to escape can arise strongly.
This is where having a witness to our process can be of support, a witness can support us to sit in the discomfort. A witness can be the friend who holds our hand so that we have some gentleness in the fire. A witness to our processes allows us to go deeper, for the transformation to be more sustainable.
It’s important to choose witnesses who are available within themselves, those who are discerning, and know how to hold and support you without agenda.