Five Discerning Questions for Listening to the Fire

Listening to our inner fires keeps us connected with our senses of purpose, direction and values. Sometimes the message on what to do next is clear. Other times, it's confusing. The questions below can helpful in discerning if and how to move forward:

What do you yearn for? Ask yourself what it really is that is being called for. What do you really want? Often our motivation comes from a feeling that needs to become thoughts and words. (Writing it down helps!) Then we can reflect on it, define it and choose consciously.

Whose voice is this? Our thoughts and beliefs are a mix of what we've learned and what has seeped in over our lifetimes-- most if it is below the level of our conscious awareness. Is the voice looking for approval? Is it staying small to be safe? Is it brash and defensive? Or is it consistently and clearly calling you towards something?

Does it feel like liberation or imprisonment? Does it feel exciting and alive or like a heavy, energy-sucking weight? While there is often much work to be done, following the fire leads us towards things that make us feel alive and motivated to do the work.

Is it scary-exciting or scary-dangerous? All growth requires risk, but there are different kinds of risk. The inner fire points us in the direction of facing fears that will ultimately grow us, but not gravely endanger us.

Is it kind? We want to choose actions that align with our values. Make no mistake, though. Kindness can be both gentle and strong. It is different from being a neutral nice. Kindness makes appropriate use of voice and action.