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The Choice is Ours

Deep Bow to Aries season – though we are still in Spring – and have since shifted into Taurus season, Aries is all about fire and from what I can sense - we've all been feeling it's flames.

Anyone else been feeling faced by some shadowy aspects of self these past 4-6 weeks? Actions, moods, attitudes, ways of being that feel like layers you thought you’d already shed?

If this is the case, you are not alone. These past weeks have been intense.

In the world of growth and evolution, fire is the element of transmutation; the act of changing one thing into a whole other form. Aries, the astrological sign that was governing from approximately March 21-April 19th is exactly that, a fire sign. This year it seems to have arrived with a rather special invitation for each of us to look into our individual mirrors so that we may take a closer look at the patterns we hold in interrelationship. This view inviting us to closely consider our options; determining just how committed we are to owning our process by fully embodying the change.

For many, including me, these weeks have offered experiences that have stimulated heightened thought and emotion, which have acted as a mirror. Attempting to allow us to see our options with greater clarity:

  • Option A: Slip back into the patterns and habits of past times.

  • Option B: Step forward, into updated actions, rooted in todays beliefs that are likely a more accurately aligned fit.

Do we have the stamina to brave the heat, withstanding the draw to reactive patterns of the past, giving ourselves permission to grow and change?

Can we stand strong in our evolving skin, choosing to say yes to ways of being that require patience and response? Perhaps feel unfamiliar, yet more aligned?

As I have been called to answer these questions, coming face to face with awarenesses reflective flames, I was reminded of the words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer in her truly powerful poem, The Invitation, “I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.” And so I ask...

As I reread the poem a couple weeks ago, I felt she was directly speaking to me.

When invitations of this intensity cross our paths, moments of palpable friction understandably trigger our stress responses, which activate autopilot patterns of fight, flight, fawn or freeze. This mode increases our tendency to engage patterns of the past - even when we have already determined that they are no longer serving us and therefore are not aligned. When we practice engaging our moments with a mindful attention, we build the skill of detecting the urge to shift into the stress response, aka reactivity, while simultaneously increasing our capacity responding, which allows us to tuning-in to a deeper, internal knowing. From this sense of knowing we are able to recognize alternative options, and know – this pattern, this habit I am feeling the pull toward – it is no longer mine.

This awareness itself is key to unlocking the door to our yes. To accepting the invitation to stand steady, shedding, time and time again, the patterns of the past. From here, our truest version of self begins to show through.

That is what Oriah is saying to us. Her words mirroring the intensity of the call as we engage the dance between the old and the new, the shedding and the growth, the known and the unknown. Can we stand in the fire – the flames of awareness, of shifting tides, changing ways – and not shrink back – not fall into the patterns that no longer fit, repression, reaction, numbing, avoidance, escape.

This work is not for the faint of heart, yet everyone receives an invitation. The intensity will to ebb and flow with time but the option to recognize it and engage conscious choice, this option we face every day.

For those who do say yes, I see you, standing firm in the heat of the flames.

I honor you. As you open, making space for the old to transform into the new. I am you. Welcome to transmutation. A process that requires steady, conscious engagement. It is the path of building tolerance.

I assure you; it is so worth it my friends.

Welcome to freedom, welcome to courage. To embracing the phrases: not mine AND in the past.

Whether you’ve ever trusted it before... Where have these past weeks shown you that you can take the heat!?

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