It's winter here in New Zealand, which is where I spend a lot of my time when I'm not traveling to explore or give lectures and workshops. The weather is a little cool, and although not strictly necessary, sometimes I light a fire in the wood stove here and meditate, moving with the flow of the energy I feel. For, in lighting the flames, I learn and feel many things.
For instance, kindling the fire is easy to do with some degree of training, but maintaining the flames rising from the logs requires putting a new log on the fire at a set time. It requires ongoing care and attention. If the fire goes out, using the remaining embers to rekindle the flame is also important work. Rolling up a newspaper and sticking it into the fire, blowing on the embers, reviving them, and adding more kindling seems to be enough.
But there are times when, looking back, you'll find that the kindling has burned up and the fire has gone out. It hadn't ignited completely. You have to keep checking until the kindling is fully alight, until the flames burn, rising high above the wood. And once every two hours, you have to check on it, putting another log on the fire, confirming that it's still burning. Only then will warm temperatures be maintained all night long.
The process of keeping a fire alive is the same as that of working toward a goal. To achieve a goal, you have to give it energy. You have to keep watch over it, checking your progress. You also have to take action for it regularly and consistently, or else any momentum you have for achieving it will dissipate. If it looks like you're not making any progress, you need to work harder to revive it.
In the same way, you can maintain the passion you feel for your goal, as well as the physical strength you need to achieve it. Regularly and mindfully exercising your body and mind is necessary. I normally do one minute of exercise every hour while focusing on my body, especially my breath. In one minute, I am able to recharge my energy and send more oxygen to my brain, feeding the physical flames of my body. Naturally the fiery passion in my heart renews as my pulse speeds up. I also reconnect with my spirit and revive the values and dreams that give my life meaning.
Just as I eat food at regular intervals, I also consistently feed myself positive messages through the words in my mind and the media I consume. Through positive and empowering information, I keep my mind light and bright. We all need to watch ourselves carefully and tend to our minds so that we don't get stuck in the darkness of victim consciousness and guilt, but instead change our energy and take every opportunity to break free of our habits.
An ignited fire soon goes out if left alone. A dead fire is hard to rekindle. Endless devotion and management are needed to rekindle the flame in your brain, to keep it burning until you achieve your goal. In other words, you need love—love for yourself, love for what you will create, love for all. With love and care, providence will manifest.
But this takes courage. You need courage to keep the fire burning and not give up hope, even when the fire burns out. Guard against selfishness, arrogance, laziness, fogginess, stagnation, egotism, and discrimination. Rather than being an obstacle to your goals and going against providence, choose to be the kindling for the blaze that will power your goals. Be someone who is bold and confident with a bright, shining soul, igniting the flames yourself, keeping them burning.
Though your body may suffer from the demands of the challenges you take on, your soul will grow lighter. Though your ego is in anguish, your soul will tremble, vibrating, shedding tears of joy. Live such a life. Live that way for your own sake.