Nourish Your Fire With Care
Our core vitality is like a fire.
At times, we enjoy the dynamic warmth and energy of a robust blaze within us. I’m sure you’ve experienced wild days where your internal fire seems to surge, out of control, a powerful mix of exuberance and chaos.
At other times, our flames may dwindle, leaving only glowing cinders that we can hopefully resuscitate. Perhaps right now, after this long season of upheaval we have all experienced in one way or another, you feel you have nothing left but embers, needing to be carefully brought back to a full flame.
Each of us is responsible for tending to our own fire. This careful oversight of our vital energy is just like the delicate, nuanced supervision we employ in nurturing a real fire.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have people in your life 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 other’s flame.
Parents also have to nurture the flames of our offspring.
Many of us, in enthusiasm and love, rush around looking for wood to pile onto our own and each other’s fires. For some reason, we are especially enthusiastic about piling logs onto our children’s fires.
Our fervent desire to see a massive, roaring bonfire has us heaping on more wood at every opportunity, with significant negative consequences.
Instead of blindly feeding the fire, 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 always, 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.
Keeping your flame burning brightly takes special care and attention. Act wisely and purposefully—and sometimes act less—as you nurture the fire that drives your own success.
Dr. Roddy Carter, MD, has over 30 years of experience working across a range of medical disciplines and corporate settings.
At the height of his successful career, Roddy experienced a personal health and happiness awakening. During this profoundly transformative time, he began applying his deep knowledge of performance neuroscience to his everyday life. He discovered that, in moments of stress, the brain develops intricate psycho-protective adaptations to ensure our short-term survival; however, these adaptations often impose substantial residual limitations, create profound (and often hidden) distress, and prevent us from reaching our innate potential.
Today, Roddy is an executive coach and author dedicated to helping others unlock their full potential throughout their lives by applying compassionate neuroscience and sharing his unique approach to Personal Mastery™.