Fighting Fire with Fire
Since last writing I have had an overwhelming need to rest… and I’ve actually listened to it. During Covid times, I’ve had a few naps but not the extended amounts of sleeping many discuss on social media (mostly posts made by friends who do not yet have children). I have yet to embark on the days spent lounging in bed reading books and learning new languages (sounds amazing!!). However, over the course of last week I squeezed in a little down time. If I’m honest, my brain and body actually refused to work. I am well-versed in the importance of rest, and do my best to relay this information in yoga classes with the kiddos – reminding everyone that yoga is a practice of balancing opposites, and energy/rest are one of those dichotomies. It is also my nature to have many projects going on at the same time, and many additional ideas brewing in my head. I’m working to understand if my need for “doing" is rooted in meeting outside expectations or is one of my innate traits. Likely, it’s a little bit of both. All that to say, I took heed at my own advice and rested when it was time to rest. Over the course of the week, I considered writing about many topics. As life moments arise, I seem to constantly attach meaning, and often see ways that everything connects, overlaps, and weaves together in this grand tapestry of life. This is not done in judgement (hopefully), but more so in observation – allowing the lesson to rise up. Sometimes these are huge over-the-head moments; most are subtle. I will attempt explaining one now.
My boys are off & on with certain shows, completely obsessing and watching all the episodes available, which seeps into their topics of play and conversation. Recently we re-discovered The Lion Guard. For those who are not familiar, it is the continuation of the Lion King story, with Simba as king and his son Kion running The Lion Guard, or the protectors of the Pride Lands. I’m a fan of the storylines and messages that carry through. At the start of the newest series Kion is facing his uncle Scar, who has essentially come back from the dead, and is present within the flames of the lava in the Outlands. Kion has a powerful roar that he uses to defeat enemies when all other methods have failed, and at a climatic point in the story Scar is hoping for the roar because Kion’s anger contained within will cause Scar to get stronger. Instead of falling for the setup, Kion pauses and realizes that using his roar will only be fighting fire with fire; instead, he blows gently and with forgiveness. Scar’s power completely dissolves. This was a potent message for me at the moment we watched this episode. How often do we think we need to raise our voices to be heard? How many times in the past week have you read comments with name-calling and sharp words in response to someone else spitting fire? It is so easy to react instead of pausing and thoughtfully responding, but the reminder that one can’t fight with fire spoke deeply to me. Micah and Anothen continue mentioning it as well, bringing up that episode and offering their own observations about the significance of the moment. I can’t say that tensions are any less around here, but I am aware of how our consistent conversation around the topic is creating thoughtfulness within all of us. We might over react in any one moment, but we also offer opportunities for reconciliation and forgiveness. What an amazing gift, and so different from the environment I grew up in. In so much of this work we do as parents, it is as much for ourselves as it is for our children. When I feel hot lava within me, what do I need? Either a space to safely explode or to completely cool off (images of Te Fiti in Moana come to mind). Our kids are no different, and are in fact needing guidance in either direction. I see all of this internal discomfort spilling over to online forums as well; and there is so much to be angry about! And astrology alignments are not helping any of us…. aside from assisting in gathering lessons to aid in our growth. While I am continually aware of all the injustices in this world, I am doing my best to find useful and beneficial outlets for my anger…. and transmuting it to passion instead of rage. This is a practice within yoga – finding our “tapas” which is like the internal flame required to take intention forward to action, but aiming to to be “right action” and not blind rage. The times we are in leave us all in some state of stress; I believe it is important how we move through it, but to also not beat ourselves up when things get tough and we don’t feel our best. Continually finding that middle path of rest and action, of being and doing. So, what lights you up? All I can suggest is to do more of that, as long as it is not harmful to yourself or to another.