Hello and welcome to the second blog post of Empowering Life Changes, LLC. Our company, exist to provide life coaching skills that allow our clients to experience the success of positive decision making, and to empower our clients to learn and maintain life-long healthy habits.
Life Change 1: Understanding a fire
Recently, I was blessed with the ability to take a trip to a forest area near Houston, TX. My partner planned the trip as a way for us to getaway and reconnect with one another. I never imagined that lighting a fire outside would give me such a prolific thought. Lighting a fire is simple. You need something that will burn, an ignitor, and a lighter. Well, not in the woods. In the woods you have to be certain that the fire will last. Thus, the foundation has to be built right. A good fire is planned, you have to make sure the area is safe for a fire to be established, have you cleared away any debris that could lead the fire to spread to unintended sections, is the fire pit established in a way that the fire will last for the length of time needed, and will you be able to monitor the fire. As I was making breakfast on the open fire pit it really hit me that I had created something. If I took my attention from it too long then it would start to die, but if I provided for it, and nurtured it properly then it would last me for hours (the needed time to cook a meal or enjoy the warmth).
The tinder or the easiest burning materials help to get a fire going. Usually wood shavings, waded paper, or strips of cardboard. If we think of this in the terms of relationships, friendships, or the vision that we have for our own purpose these would be the initial compliments. “You are very handsome”, “You’re very intellectual”, “You handle yourself well”, these initial starters help to get us going. Next would be the kindling, these are usually twigs or small branches that help the fire to sustain itself. Again, going back to the example above, “you are a very empathetic person, I enjoy seeing you help your family and friends”, “you are so inspirational, you inspire me to be a better person”. Firewood is the crown or the jewel of the fire (rightfully so). It provides the warmth of the required heat to cook the meal. Firewood is the love or the action within the relationship. On its own it cannot sustain itself, but with help along the way it can do wonders. Lastly, you’ll need a Firestarter. Back in the day we would use a knife or rock and strike them until a spark ignited. But with all things that advance, now we have lighter fluid and other things to help get the fire going.
Life Change 2: Building the fire
Once we have what we need to make the fire, then we have to build the fire. The base of the fire truly determines how long we anticipate the fire to burn. This is true for so many things in our lives. When we set out to be start a business, start a relationship, or to work on ourselves, we have to first determine how long do we want this thing to last. By establishing a timeframe, we give ourselves an internal clock to work towards our goals, but also to align our behaviors with our expectations. In this blog we won’t get too deep into self-sabotaging behavior, but we do need to understand that what we think and speak to ourselves, will become evident in our day-to-day actions. Therefore, it is so important that we speak positively and truthfully to our inner self. Be authentic with yourself. One thing about fire is that it will burn, or it won’t. Fire needs certain things to sustain itself. For instance, fire cannot burn without oxygen. If you are not speaking life into yourself then how do you expect to be your most productive and authentic self? Build the fire of your life with the intention that whatever you are setting your mind will burn for an eternity. With this in mind, you’ll build from the base of being present for as long as life allows, and then, someone else will come along to pick up where you left off.
Life Change 3: Watching over the fire
Many will get started and fail. It so important to monitor the fire as it burns. A campfire requires you to move the wood/coals around from time to time, to ensure even burning and longevity. Every so often you might have to blow on the fire to re-invigorate the flames. Just as with our own dreams and visons, we must constantly blow life back into them to keep us moving in the right direction. Life comes with unavoidable suffering, and unimaginable grief. But we must be steadfast in the things that are moving us forward. At the campsite, I watched as the fire began to die down after I got it started but didn’t continue to tend to it, once I began to tend to it the fire reignited, this process continued over and over. For me, it was a revelation into the need for us to truly continue to press on and remain committed to our talents and purpose. Watch over your fire as if your life depends on it, in fact, it most certainly may.
Life Change 4: Learning when to put the fire out
At a some point it will be our responsibility to put a fire out. It may look like ending a relationship, ending a friendship, ending a job/career path, or ending our desire for a certain outcome. When this time comes, we must be aware of the delicate nature required. When putting out a campfire you cannot saturate the fire in water as the steam can burn you, and by doing so the firepit could become unusable for some time. It’s best to enter this stage with a plan, purpose, and intention. Sometimes we must let old things go, other times it will serve us best to pass our plans onto others as me move to the next assignment. As you begin to determine the things that best serve you, release the things that drain you, and move deeper into your purpose, remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Life Change 5: Training the untrained mind
This concludes the blog on what I learned from a log fire. Constructive feedback is always welcomed and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave a note here so that we can all chime in together. A practice that has served me well over the last several years is called the “After Action Debrief”. In the debrief we go over what went well, what went bad, and where we can improve. This is a tool that my squad and I used during my time in Louisville. Try to find at least 3 things in each category. Be mindful that we can always improve, that we are always making mistakes, and that we are always capable of doing our best. As you explore the fires you are creating, ask yourself, “How are my fire building habits good? How are my fire building habits bad? How can my fire building habits improve?”. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Live with intention and purpose.