WHAT MAKES A FIRE BURN?
by Hayne Steen
"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 requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood." –by Judy Brown
If you observed my life over the last couple months, you would quickly discover that I've been living with too many logs on the fire for far too long. I've desperately needed, as the poet suggests, a breathing space.
During a typical week, if you looked at my iPhone around 5:00pm, you would notice that my phone has been on "Airplane Mode" for most of the day in order to be fully present with clients. The second I take my phone off of silent mode, a digital flurry begins. My phone screen lights up with an overwhelming number of of buzzes and dings which signify incoming texts, emails, and voicemails. My body simultaneously registers each and every digital message as extremely urgent.
My automatic thoughts? Too many people are attempting to get my undivided attention, asking me for too many things, too fast, too soon. It can sometimes overwhelm my nervous system. When I can remember to take a breath, I can investigate my own pile of logs and begin to slowly dig my way out. Sometimes I am able to do that alone. More often it looks like having someone help me.
Do you need space to breath? Our counseling team at Elbow Tree would love to help you carve out space for slowing down and paying attention to your inner and outer life.
Psychotherapist, Phil Stutz, describes three distinct layers that need attending to. He calls these our "inner fire".
1. Take care of your body (sleep, eating, and exercise rhythms).
2. Take care of your relationships (with yourself, others and God).
3. Take time to allow the unconscious to become conscious (therapy, journaling, reading, listening to your life).
If you think you'd like to explore having a regular space like this where you can pay attention to places where the logs are packed in too tight, don't hesitate to reach out and set up your first session, You can call our live operator 24/7 at (904) 877-4750 and we will be in touch within 24 hours and get you scheduled for your first appointment within 7-10 days.
We look forward to helping you attend to your own inner fire!
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Reflections for Rescuers