Friday, May 02, 2008


The fire we carry within doesn’t thrive without attentiveness. You must tend it. Tending means adding fuel, providing plenty of oxygen, occasional stirring and always honoring it.

My own view is that as we age many things distract us from adding fuel. Fuel might be a night or a full day alone. It might be taking two hours or so at a bookstore to browse, take notes, learn. This is part of my routine at least two times a month.

Alone time for some might be a weekend camping or renting a cabin in the mountains. No booze, no family, just you, your notebook, and a few good books. Hiking helps.

Other distractions are television, overeating, busywork, conversations with people who do not honor what you bring or who you are. Pay attention to your own natural genius and your dreams – write about it, think on it, meditate.

To give oxygen to your fire you’ll need to take risks, do something outlandish, be bold, throw the dice. Love someone you find unloveable, tell your spouse something you usually avoid talking about, take a child to church. To church?

Children are spiritually alive and are available to mentor us if we allow them to.

Go to see a play or movie that isn’t so much entertaining as mind blowing. Take a walk in a non suburban environment. Roller skate in a park.

The fire, your fire, needs your attentiveness and your love. Embrace it.

I invite your thoughts on tending the fire within.

1 comment:

Kathlene said...

This is great advice.

My pastor said once that hating someone isn't the worst thing you can do to hurt someone you care about, ignoring them is.

The world is full of distractions and it is easy to forget about tending to your relationships, but that is the quickest way to ruin them.