Transmuting Fire

There’s been a fire within us all lately and It's so important to really feel this fire within, to sit with it, learn from it, and know when to let it go. When we feel this internal fire we can feel overwhelmed, discouraged, triggered, and upset. We need to feel it all to make the changes we need to within our own life, and the world around us. But how long can we withstand this internal fire before it begins to affect us? There will come a time where we will intuitively feel we must transmute it and begin to let it flow out of us like water.

“Anger is like flowing water; there's nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.”― C. JoyBell C.

Since I was a child I felt a deep fire within, at times overwhelming and it caused me much strife. As I got older I believed it was a side effect of living in a culture that is based so much in Yang energy. In my late teens I became very interested in Eastern Philosophy and after being influenced by Zen, Daoism, and Buddhism, I felt like I finally found a way to transmute my anger into flowing water. But that wasn't enough, I felt I needed to embrace the lifestyle as a whole, not just as words from my favorite literature.

I moved to China when I was 21, after a few years of acclimating to my new environment, I was able to tune more into the very apparent Yīn and Yáng balance that pervaded the whole culture. Men and women eloquently mirrored to one another both Yīn and Yáng qualities, anger was barely ever present. When it was, it was flowing like water. People didn't yell at each other, they listened to one another. They didn't threaten one another, they looked at each other intently with an open mind, and calmly waited to pick up any of their own broken pieces. When we let our fire become like stagnant water in our systems it can radically affect our health and well being, and every Chinese person I met knew this. It wasn't something they had to learn, it was their culture, their way of living, it was in their souls. Instead of losing control when they felt their fire, they instantly flowed like water, exhibiting a perfect balance of Yīn and Yáng energy.

Fire is a quality of 阳气 Yáng qì, or Yáng energy. The beauty of the character 阳Yáng is that it has the character日Rì in it, which means Sun. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that nature and the human body are one form of expression, because of this nature is seen in the body as different qualities such as fire, water, wind, moisture, and cold. Although fire is good in the body when it’s balanced, too much can create stagnation of the blood. Having too much fire in the body can result in actually feeling hot, your internal organs can overheat and this can surface as restlessness, anxiety, dry skin and lips, and so on. When in balance Fire in the body is seen as the fire of the heart, which restores the heart's spirit and provides the proper flow of blood and energy in the body.

Emotional or physical fire is important to balance because we want to maintain our overall health and wellbeing. Some ways to bring our Yīn and Yáng energy into balance and transmute our internal fire include energy practices such as Qìgōng, and yoga. We can also eat a balanced seasonal diet paying attention to hot and cold foods, and maybe even incorporate Chinese herbs into our meals. Meditation, Acupuncture, and Moxibustion are also great ways to restore the energetic balance and instill harmony in the body and mind. We can take small steps to explore our fire within and know we all feel this, and we all can learn from it and learn to transmute it into a still flame.