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Refiner’s Fire: When a Modern-Day Mom Starts Musing About Blacksmiths

In my own life right now, I am really feeling the energy of what I call the Refiner’s Fire.  That sense that the HEAT is on, the fire is turned up, and everything non-essential is being burned away.  (Not my wordiness, of course.)  In the process I am shaping myself, my thoughts, my vibrational frequency into a new, more refined shape.  I have taken on new tasks and desires, and I need to fully emerge new parts of myself in order to manifest those desires.

At times it is freaking uncomfortable!  (Is “freaking” a bad word? Should I say bloody uncomfortable instead?)

But the funny thing about this process is that since the Refiner’s Fire is so very completely what is up for me right now, the way to stay comfortable is to stay in it!  The “blood” and the “freak-outs” come only if I dither, fill myself with fearful excuses and throw all my effort into resistance. With the heat on full blast, the steel is malleable, soft, easy to shape and mold; and I experience what I imagine is the thrill of any master craftsman seeing a work of art emerge from the (creative) flames.

To keep the heat on, I have to find the sweet spot.  I have to find the place where I am hyper-aware of my thoughts and feelings and energy patterns, so that I notice whether what I am choosing right this second is feeding my “Awesome” or my “much-less-than-awesome.” (I love them both!  Right NOW, however, I am finding I just don’t have time to indulge much-less-than-awesome.)  But if that hyper-aware becomes judgemental, self-critical, watch out!  The brakes slam on, the fear slams up, and I have to patiently start the fire burning all over again.

To keep the heat on, I have to keep ACTING.  I have to move out of the imagination phase and into the action phase.  I know I’m mixing metaphors here, but I keep thinking of an archetypal Blacksmith.  He must be strong, tolerant of the heat.  He must have the vision he wants for the sword (mythology, remember? ;))  He must pound it, but just so — just what is needed and no more, just enough or it breaks.  He must be patient, and he must have endurance.  Once the work is started, he can’t just up and stop because he got distracted or got hot.  He has to keep the focus, keep the heat, and see the process through.  And then, only when the metal is fully cooled will he be able to appreciate the full magnificence of the refining fire, to know whether the creation is strong or flawed.  So there is this incredible dance between the surrender to the necessities of the process, and this active, effort-full determination.

This process has been spiraling through me for a while now, and what has me amazed and excited today is that it’s getting easier.  Not, exactly, more comfortable. Like feeling the sands are shifting beneath your feet, or launching yourself into the unknown, or keeping yourself close to the bellows for as long as it takes, it’s not a process that invites comfortable. But, grrrr, it’s powerful.  And as I refine away the excuses, the resistance, I can let the powerful flow in.  I can let it flow at a new expanded level and feel secure that it’s not going to wash me away.  As I practice self-patience, I learn the “ropes” of this new energy that’s coming in. I get experience and I learn which new actions, which new energetic offerings, keep the heat hot and my raw material malleable.  And it gets easier. And I get stronger.

So that’s my message for today.  When the heat is on, sometimes the answer is to step fully into the fire.  Have you experienced this in your life?

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