Your Inner Fire is the vital energy within you, the unseen force that gives life to your being. Perhaps because this energy can't be measured in a lab, many people live without any idea of its existence, or the importance of tending to it.
In this groundbreaking book, best-selling author HeatherAsh Amara introduces you to the fundamentals of your Inner Fire, and explains how the four major aspects of your being--the mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical--all interact with this powerful energy.
Amara teaches that when you view these four aspects through the lens of your Inner Fire, you can radically change how you think, feel, and live in the world. In these pages, you'll find practices, meditations, and explorations to put the concepts to work in your life.
By tending to your Inner Fire, you will learn how to:
- Find your true work in the world, regardless of any job you do or role you play.
- Use your Inner Fire as your own personal North Star, allowing it to guide you when making important decisions.
- Move beyond busyness, stress, and overwhelm and live in joyous creation
- Implement a new daily practice to live in balance no matter what life brings.
Learning how to tend your Inner Fire in a world that is constantly trying to hook your attention is a challenge--but this book invites you to take new perspective on who you are and how you relate to the world.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
HeatherAsh Amara is the founder of the Toltec Center of Creative Intent, based in Austin, TX. She studied and taught extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and continues to teach with the Ruiz family. She is the author of The Toltec Path of Transformation. Her website is www.toci.org.
Read an Excerpt
- LESSON 1-
What Is Your Inner Fire?
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.
— Albert Einstein
Most of us are familiar with computers; they seem to run everything nowadays from our washing machines to the International Space Station. A computer is made up primarily of two things: hardware (the physical components such as the monitor, the keyboard, etc.), and the software (the nonphysical programs such as Microsoft Windows, Excel, etc.)
In a sense, a computer is roughly analogous to a human being: the hardware represents the body, and the software represents the mind. But there is something missing in this analogy, because until you plug your computer into the wall — that is, until you supply it with energy — both the hardware and the software are useless.
Similarly to the computer, neither your body nor mind would function without the energy that powers them.
This energy is what I affectionately refer to as your inner fire.
Your inner fire is the vital energy within you, the unseen force that gives life to your being. When you take a moment to stop, get quiet, and feel deep within yourself, on a level deeper than thought, you will find this energy waiting and powering you through every moment in your life.
Perhaps because our inner fire can't be measured in a lab, many people live without any idea of this inner energy or the importance of tending to it. Because this inner energy isn't talked about much in the modern world, many of us don't give it too much thought, if we think of it at all.
The good news is that scientists are now proving what shamanic cultures have been teaching for centuries: that while we appear to be physical beings, it's more accurate to say that we are energetic beings interwoven through physical forms. Although we still have much to learn about this energy from both a scientific and shamanic perspective, we do know that at an atomic level, every single thing in the universe is made up of energy.
I find it interesting that there is so much discussion in our world about attuning to our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, but very few talk about tending to the energy that makes all of these things possible. This energy is the source of all forms of our well-being and needs to be solicitously cared for in order to give us a solid foundation for tending to all facets of our health.
One thing has become clear to me as I have studied my own inner energy over the past several years. I have found that our thoughts, feelings, and actions can all affect our inner energy, and other people's energy can also have an influence. It can be very difficult for us to keep our inner fire alight with so much pressure. One simple litmus test to see if what you're pursuing is helping or hindering your inner fire is to evaluate how you feel when you're in the process of doing something, thinking, or on the receiving end of any particular action. What you will find is that when you are doing things that resonate with your inner energy, the result will be that you feel good. When you neglect your inner fire energy, or otherwise do something that doesn't resonate with it, you feel, well ... not so good.
Some of the biggest drains on our energy are stress, fear, anxiety, and getting overwhelmed, as well as the underlying "not enough" monster. Conversely, through the experience of joy, faith, peace, love, passion, and, most importantly, the realization that you are enough, you raise your inner energy. The tools in this book are designed to guide you to experience the latter — and they will show you how to do so by seeing everything (yes, everything!) in your life as your teacher and guide.
Seeing life experiences as a teacher and guide isn't just reserved for the big world-altering moments, but also for the small obstacles that arise. One of the ways we learn to harness our energy to face all circumstances is by witnessing firsthand how raising our inner energy can help us to overcome whatever challenging situations might come up.
For example, I am a certified firewalk teacher. I have led thousands of people around the world through an empowering ceremony that culminates in them walking over 1,300-degree hot coals. Fire-walking is an ancient shamanic transformation ritual that Western science can't fully explain. But that's not the case for the !Kung people. This native southern African tribe offers a unique perspective on how the seemingly impossible is made possible.
The !Kung believe that to walk on the fire without being burned, we have to raise what they call our num. There is no direct English translation for num, but the closest word we have is "energy."
This ancient culture understands the concept of inner energy and teaches that harnessing its power is the key to stepping over hot coals without being burned. Shamanic cultures around the globe echo this teaching and go further to say that raising our energy to overcome obstacles doesn't end with firewalking. Instead, the firewalk is a chance to experience the impossible becoming possible simply by heightening our energy. This sets an important precedent in our lives by showing what we are capable of when our energy is carefully tended. After all, if we can walk on fire without being burned, what else can we do? The lessons learned at a firewalk become key concepts that apply to every other area in our life.
We are all very aware that obstacles often arise in life, but to me, they are an invitation to us to raise our energy to match them. They are our own private firewalk. Obstacles are valuable teachers, presenting us with the chance to proverbially "rise to the occasion." They help us become warriors of the heart and sacred cultivators of our central flame.
I think of obstacles and energy as a jug half full of water, half full of oil. The oil represents the obstacles, and since it rises to the top, when we look down into the jug that is all we see. When we can only see oil, we become discouraged and may want to give up. We don't realize the life-giving energy of the water is just underneath it. In order to clear the oil, we need to add more water, or energy. As we pour fresh, clean water into the jug, the oil rises and spills out until all that is left is the clean water. Each time we find oil in our jug, in order to clear it we need to add more water. In the same way, when we find ourselves mired in obstacles, we can add more fresh energy into our lives until they are cleared. More obstacles will arise, without a doubt, but by knowing that we can add energy to transform those obstacles, we are already equipped with a powerful tool to create the lives we want to experience.
So from a shamanic perspective, if you want something in your life to change, you must have as much or more energy than the thing you want to transform. This raising of your inner energy is synonymous with what I call awakening your inner fire.
Your Physical Energy Level
This brings me to another important point about our inner fire. Please don't mistake your inner energy with what we commonly think of as your physical energy level. Your inner fire is much more than your physical energy level, and while they certainly may be related in some cases, they are not the same and will not always be affected in the same ways.
Chris, a dear friend of mine, contacted me recently after his uncle died from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a terminal, debilitating condition that causes certain muscle groups of the body to atrophy.
Chris explained how he watched his uncle's physical body deteriorate rapidly over a two-year period. First he lost his ability to speak, and finally he was left completely paralyzed, as his muscles no longer responded to cues from his brain.
What my friend wanted to share with me was the profound impact his uncle had left on him. During his regular visits, Chris never heard his uncle complain about his medical condition. In fact, his uncle regularly expressed his gratitude for life. His uncle always stayed focused on what he could do rather than what he couldn't, and other family members had the same experience with him and were all amazed. Chris, who attunes well to other people's energy, said, "You never felt like you were visiting a dying person, but instead someone who was truly alive." Despite not having physical energy, Chris's uncle is a wonderful example of someone whose inner energy burned brightly, even as his physical body deteriorated.
There are many other people who are living examples of a body that has low energy but with a vibrant inner fire, and it's likely you have met some throughout your own life. Likewise, most of us have encountered people on the opposite extreme: those with high physical energy but low inner fire. They may be very healthy and have active physical bodies, but are often angry, resentful, or feel victimized, etc. We find ourselves not wanting to be around these people, and we may even say things like, "I don't like their energy" or "I get bad vibes from them."
I recently witnessed one case of this firsthand. While browsing at a retail store, I made light small talk with the few employees who were working that day. They were all very nice and helpful. As I continued to look around, suddenly the owner made a surprise appearance and started berating his employees. I watched the tension in his body and saw the impact his words had on the others as they scurried about in fear, bustling to follow his demands. It wasn't just what he was saying that created the frenzy, it was his energy, which shifted the atmosphere and energy of his employees from calm and ease to high anxiety. I could see his unhappiness, and I felt sorry for him, because we all know that acting the way he was never feels good.
My point here is that your inner fire is different from what is commonly referred to as your physical energy level, and we will return to this topic later in the book.
The Power of Imagination
Since we can't actually see our inner fire, using our imagination can be helpful when we start consciously connecting with it.
I first learned about the power of imagination in working directly with my inner fire one summer when I lived in Hong Kong and was employed in the financial district. I was literally working twelve-hour days and commuting an hour both ways on the subway, packed shoulder to shoulder with other stressed-out people. I had previously lived in a small, quiet town in Northern California, so being thrown into this demanding environment was both invigorating and exhausting.
However, the exhaustion was beginning to get the better of me. On impulse one day I got quiet and gently asked myself, "What do you need to thrive here?" Suddenly I had a vision of myself wearing a floor-length cloak, and I intuitively realized that this was a symbol for what I should do next. By putting on an invisible cloak before I left for work each morning, I created a barrier between myself and other people's chaotic thoughts, emotions, and, most importantly, energy. Every day on the subway I visualized my imaginary cloak, which was my membrane to keep out energy that didn't serve me, while holding my own energy in.
The result was that I thrived — by which I mean I stayed full energetically. While my physical body did get tired from the long hours and my mind was often blank at the end of the day from staring at numbers on the computer, my energy felt good. I was solid. Other people's energy didn't drain me, and my inner fire stayed bright.
I think it's important to point out that I envisioned a cloak and not a suit of armor around myself. To me, a suit of armor is impenetrable by any force, while a cloak represents a power to choose who and what I wanted to present myself to. This distinction is important because you don't actually want to block out all energy; you do want to allow energy that is beneficial to you, like love and compassion and sparkly inspiration, to come in and nourish you. With the cloak imagery, I had the power to pick which energies I allowed in. You too can use the power of your imagination to create a semipermeable energetic containerto filter out heavier energies from the environment around you (like fear, negativity, and stress) and let in refined, supportive energy (like a child's enthusiasm, love from a friend, or even the constant calm of trees.)
Using your imagination to create a container around you is a lot like protecting a fire from the wind or rain. When we first light a fire, we need to shield it from the outer elements in order for it to have a chance to kindle from the inside. Once the fire grows stronger, it burns brightly and very little affects it.
What I have found is that as you build your awareness of your inner fire, you'll start to be more sensitive to the tiniest messages arising from this field around you. If you notice negative energy coming into your space, you'll immediately be able to put up a barrier. And if you notice love or joy, you will have the awareness to open yourself up to more of that specific feeling rather than taking on all the energies around you. As you become more experienced with accessing your inner fire, you will learn to keep it balanced rather than allowing it to go into extreme states of stress or excitement. As a result, you will stay more balanced, connected, and peaceful in your daily life.
The power of our imagination doesn't stop here either! One of the first steps in our process of connecting with our inner fire uses our imagination as a tool for discovering our true purpose, or what I also call our true work. Your imagination is both a tool and guide, and it will keep you in tune with both your inner fire and your true work, as we will explore in the next lesson.
INNER FIRE EXPLORATION
Feel Your Own Inner Energy
Find a quiet place to sit and start by breathing into your belly. Really soften and expand your belly on the inhale, and draw your belly back toward your spine on the exhale.
Now let go of how you are breathing and let your focus rest softly on your entire being. Ask yourself: "How does my energy feel?" Keep scanning different parts of your body, lightly touching yourself with your awareness and presence. Be open to the tiniest expressions of your energy: subtle images, sensations of feelings, a sense of space or tightness, buzziness or stillness. How do you sense your energy? Don't try to change anything; simply witness what is going on. At first you might not notice anything. But as you stay with this practice of sensing your energy, you'll begin to feel how your energy ebbs and flows.
- LESSON 2 -
Discover Your True Work
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
— Martha Graham
My friend Day calls himself an impermanent earth artist. Each morning he goes out, basket in hand, to collect seedpods, flowers, leaves, and whatever other bits of beauty nature offers him that day. Then he goes down by the creek near his house and clears off the remains of yesterday's creation from the ground, using his hand to brush away the old art in order to create a new blank canvas of dirt. Painstakingly, lovingly, tenderly, he lays out a colorful design of hues and shapes and forms from his gathered items. The art he creates is very similar to the mandalas constructed by some Buddhist monks.
The results of his labor are so breathtaking, so beautifully crafted, that I often cry or exclaim out loud in awe when I see pictures of his Morning Altars.
Like my friend Day, who goes out every morning to create a new work of art, you too are an artist — whether you realize it or not. Your canvas is your life itself. Your art is how you choose to express yourself — purposefully and passionately — no matter what you are doing. When we live our life from this perspective, we make room for inspiration, flow, connection, synchronicity, and magic, and doing so raises the vibration of our inner energy like nothing else can.
Living your life as an artist is an idea contrary to the predominant paradigm of the Western world, which advocates using our logical minds and our sheer will to "conquer" obstacles in our path, control the outcome of every situation, and achieve or "win" the game of life. The quest for "more" is the backdrop of this way of life. With our society becoming increasingly faster and more technologically based in this so-called information age, we drive ourselves into a frantic pace in order to keep up, often wanting more information at our fingertips, more Facebook friends or Instagram likes, and more ways to keep our minds busy.
Excerpted from "Awaken Your Inner Fire"
Copyright © 2017 HeatherAsh Amara.
Excerpted by permission of Hierophant Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 What Is Your Inner Fire? 1
Lesson 2 Discover Your True Work 15
Lesson 3 Clear Your Mind 31
Lesson 4 Find Your Faith 53
Lesson 5 Embrace Your Emotions 67
Lesson 6 Make the Bodily Connection 89
Lesson 7 Gratitude: The Energy Igniter 109
Lesson 8 The Inner Fire Prayer: A Daily Practice for Bringing It All Together 129