How to stoke your inner FIRE!
Let me stand...next to your FIRE! - Jimi Hendrix
Have you ever felt fired up? Know the feeling of firing on all cylinders, or even following your passion?
On the other hand, your pilot light may have gone out and you've lost your mojo. Less dramatically, that the big fire in your belly may be more a small candle that spluttering to stay alight.
Either way, what we are talking about is inner fire. It is the passion, the energy, the power, the spirit that flows through you and enables you to feel either more or less engaged with life. In short, stoking your inner fire is not only about getting stuff done but about engaging with life in bigger and better ways.
If your inner fire is in need of tending, either to reignite the spark or the fan the flames and get a decent burn, here are some tips for you.
What is dampening your fire?
The first thing to figure out is what is actually causing your fire to burn low. There can be all kinds of physical, mental, or emotional things that can steal the fuel from your fire or suffocate it and make it go out.
If you have been burning the candle at both ends, have loads going or are physically exhausted then the chances are that you have been burning through your fire's fuel.
The same can be true mentally, with too much stuff in your head, the voice of the inner critic chewing you out or the internal saboteur keeping you small to keep you safe.
Either way, this is either stealing the fuel or is not giving enough space in your life for your fire to breathe. After all every fire needs oxygen to burn brighter.
The key is to take some action to remove or mitigate against the things that are dampening your fire.
Connect to the why behind the what
Often, we know where we want to head but things are getting in the way. When this happens, we can get disheartened and can lose our way.
Knowing WHY you want the outcome you are after connects you to your emotional brain - the centre of fuel and passion. That is the very thing that stokes the passion and can get you moving back into the flow again.
If you are stuck and your inner fire isn't burning bright, write down a list of reasons why you want to achieve your outcome. That should be enough to at least spark the flame.
Use your body
Your physical state may be the very key to stoking the fire.
Too often when the fire is burning low we are sedentary, laid flat out or in a physical stance that doesn't help us.
The key here is to change your physical state. This might be a simple as standing up if you're sitting, or getting up and walking around. Even the physical act of standing up straight makes it harder to feel bad and actually fuels the fire.
Exercise is a great antidote for self-doubt and barely glowing embers. Exercise gets the blood pumping and the oxygen moving. As we said before, more oxygen means more fire.
The other thing that it does though is it burns up excess fire. Yes, you heard that correct! It is possible for there to be too much fire. Getting moving lets oxygen to flow more consistently and therefore your inner fire to burn more consistently.
Shake your booty!
Sometimes the only thing to do is to shake your body about and dance! This might sound crazy but there is an old saying that you should dance as if no one is watching.
Sometimes, I put on my headphones, crank the music up and dance like a five year old. At the end of the song I'm always ready to get moving and shaking.
You can also use your breath to stoke the fire. Breathing deeply can stop nerves burning up the fuel for your fire too quickly.
Picking up the pace of your breath gets more oxygen into your body and is like using a bellows to breathe life into the fire. There is even a yoga practice called the fire breath which stokes up the inner moxie.
Use your head
You can actually think your way to building your fire as well.
Visualisation is a great way to stoke the fire, either:
- visualising the outcome of the goal that you're trying to achieve; or,
- visualising yourself as powerful, motivated and the fire is burning hot.
Visualisation engages the imagination and our nervous system cannot tell the difference between real and imagined life. So, you engage the emotional parts of your brain without having to go through the actual physical experience. You can actually think yourself hotter!
If you are in the grip of your inner critic, you can use reasoning to question it and loosen its grip. Too often thoughts such as “you're not good enough” or “you’re stupid” pour water onto the flames.
However, you can use logic and analysis to question these criticisms from your critic. Is actually true that you're too stupid or not good enough? How do you know for sure that it is? Even better, can you think up some examples where you categorically are good enough or clever enough or whatever enough.
A final tip of using your mind is from motivational speaker Jack Black. Whenever you find yourself thinking thoughts that steals your energy, say to yourself in a very firm tone "STOP! Delete that program!".
Immediately after, choose a more positive thought or say more positive things yourself that will fuel your fire. You're creating a pattern interrupt in the flow of negative thoughts that can actually still your energy.
Jack Black goes further and visualises a glass bell jar coming down over him that deflects all negativity, while theme from Thunderbirds or other powerful music is playing. This helps him to feel super positive and fired up.
When you get nervous, focus on service
This is a saying from spiritual teacher Doreen Virtue who says that whenever we get in our own way, we are usually too focused on ourselves. Shifting focus to someone else and their needs can bring the greater part of us tends to come into place and fire up our spirit.
This principle of generosity is at play here. Simply put, when we are generous and feel generous, we are more alive.
You can put this to work in simple ways - call a friend out the blue to, check how they're doing. Giving a helping hand to homeless person or someone on the street who need some help or even helping out a colleague or loved one will help get you back in the flow.
Now that the engine is burning...
These five tips will definitely help you to get your mojo going, to stoke your inner moxie and to fuel your inner fire. When that happens, you become more and more unstoppable.
More than that though, you give other people permission to burn brighter as well. When that happens, it is the best feeling in the world.