Keeping your flame burning brightly takes special care and attention. Act wisely and purposefully as you nurture the fire that drives your success.
Today I gave a talk at my daughter’s school. I was invited to share something inspiring with the parent body, and chose the metaphor of fire, quoting one of my favorite poems.
Our core vitality is like a fire.
At times, we enjoy the dynamic warmth and energy of a robust fire. At other times, our flames may dwindle, hopefully leaving glowing embers that we can resuscitate. I’m sure you’ve experienced wild days where your flames seem to surge, out of control; a powerful mix of exuberance and chaos, sometimes dangerous. And with our last earthly breath, our flames are extinguished – leaving fading images that dance in the memories of our loved ones.
So, the careful oversight of our vital energy can be compared with the delicate, nuanced supervision we employ in nurturing a real fire – whether for aesthetic or functional purposes.
Each of us is responsible for tending to our own fire.
Parents also have to nurture the flames of our offspring.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have people in your own life both personally and professionally who invite you to help in nurturing their fires.
As a spouse or partner, you have the unique privilege of helping to guard and nourish the others flame.
Many of us, in enthusiasm and love rush around looking for wood to heap on the flames. For some reason, we are especially enthusiastic in piling logs onto our childrens’ fires.
Our fervent desire to see massive, roaring flames has us heaping on more wood at every opportunity, with significant negative consequences.
I invite you to read and remember this beautiful little poem, written by Judy Brown, an educational leader, author and poet. I carry it with me each day in my binder, a simple reminder that sometimes doing less is more, especially as a parent.
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
simply because the space is there,
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.
Dr. Roddy Carter is an internationally recognized Executive Coach and Performance Expert. Through his proprietary Neurocentric Coaching Method, he guides his clients to Personal Mastery … an evolved state in which we are able to harness the immense power of our brains to achieve the success we deserve.