The image I have used for this blog post is one I love – it’s beautiful! It reveals much about what I believe life to be about.
I believe it is an essential part of the process of personal growth for a human being to be ‘thrown into the fire’ by life. More importantly, how well we dance while we are in there will define how far we are able to climb up our spiritual ladder, or for the non-spiritual, how fully and wholeheartedly we will express our unique gifts and talents to the world.
When we dance in the fire we bring honour and fulfilment to the soul that resides within our body. When we stand still in the fire – stuck – we get burned. And so it is with life. We will be thrown into the fire, some of us many times, but we always have a choice as to whether we stand still, or whether we dance.
To dance when you are in the fire, that is to take positive action when times are tough, (please don’t take this literally and dance in a fire), even if it just means coping well in a crisis is to truly behave in a motivated and inspired manner. When we see someone dance in the fire we too, become motivated and inspired. It is in the fire that we learn most about ourselves, not when everything is going well. This is not to say that times have to be tough for us to experience personal growth – we grow in all conditions if we choose to – but sometimes lessons learned the hard way can be the best.
I was speaking at a school once and the briefing I was given was to ‘just talk about motivation and inspiration’. Okay, I thought! I’ll talk about motivation and inspiration.
As always, I was careful not to use all of the fabulous clichés out there in the world of motivation. I was also very careful not to use quotes from the mouths of others as if I had spoken those very words myself. They had asked me to talk about motivation and inspiration and I was going to honour that brief. No way was I going to quote one of the great minds, such as Albert Einstein. Imagine Tim Guthrie pretending to know what they knew. I’m Tim Guthrie! I am my own teacher and an expert on my own experiences.
What I did talk about was my feeling that inspiration and motivation (same can be said for other concepts such as loyalty) are only really brought to life in all their glory, during difficult times – or, for the purpose of this piece of writing, in the fire. I have coached many athletes and worked with teams that are motivated before a game, motivated while the score line is close…but as the other team creates a lopsided scoreboard, the motivation begins to fade. And finally, it and our final shreds of enthusiasm disappear altogether.
The key to dancing in the fire is cultivating motivation, inspiration and enthusiasm when things aren’t going so well.
One of the principles of phusion living is that every experience we have is our teacher. Understanding this principle fully can play a significant role in helping a person dance in the fire. When in the fire, if a person can find just a little space to ask and answer the following questions from a positive place, chances are they will find a way out.
‘Why did I end up in this situation?’
‘How is this situation my teacher?’ Or ‘What can I learn from this situation?’
‘What action can I take that will demonstrate I have learned these lessons?’
‘What are my options for action and which one of these would represent me as the higher version of myself?’ – See more herehttp://phusionliving.com/2015/03/10/a-tale-of-two/
‘Can I commit to this action with motivation and enthusiasm?’
Remember, we don’t always behave with integrity and pride when we are in the fire. We make mistakes and slip into old patterns. Forgive yourself – there will always be another fire to dance in! Herein lies the beauty of life. We are constantly given opportunities and challenging times with which we can create beautiful and original dance moves. These moves see us leap out of the fire a better person – ready for the flames of future growth to start licking at our heels. Ready to explore new opportunities with a fresh attitude. This is how we build a life, a life of which we can be proud.
Me personally? Many times I have chosen to stand still in the fire, rather than dance, and I have been burned. However the more I have come to view challenging times as an opportunity for me to learn and grow, the better I have been able to dance. I am blessed to write this post from bed as I recuperate from a third knee surgery. Blessed, because last time I didn’t cope so well and I have been gifted another opportunity to manage my injury with greater emotional strength. And blessed also, because I am reminded that many of you will be in fires that burn much more fiercely than mine – to you I wish the very best. You inspire me every day to be a better person.
Is there anywhere in your life now where you need to pull off a few dance moves? What would it look like if you did this with motivation, inspiration and enthusiasm?
I wonder…good luck!
Tim Guthrie is the author of ‘Saving our Sons: The Making of a Modern Man’ –
http://tinyurl.com/nqv9qr8 on Amazon