Igniting the Fire Within

November 19, 2009

In lieu of racing to yet another appointment, my mother paused by the fire her husband was making and decided to cuddle her inner turtle instead. Drawn to the licking flames, she engaged in what best-selling author and lifestyle expert, Mary LoVerde, calls a pause ritual.

The Spanish have siestas. The British sip their tea. Heck, even the furiously industrious Germans have coffee and cake on Sundays.

What do we have? Well, it used to be called Sunday, but now it’s just like any other day. You shop, you eat out, you belch out activities day in, day out, without pause.

I have a power of slow opportunity you won’t want to miss. Fasten your seat belts. This one’s really good. It involves $5,000 and seven days of rest.

But first, have you ever noticed how we respond to the four elements?

Earth ~ a little digging in the dirt rests the soul.

Wind ~ sailing brightens the spirit.

Fire ~ sitting down to the warmth and comfort never felt so good.

Water ~ hearing the ocean slap the sand’s surface loosens our iron-clad grip as it lightens our load.

Mary LoVerde is partnering with Pine Mountain Firelogs to bring not only more light and warmth to people’s lives, but also more awareness for the basic human need for connection. They’re not talking about friending more people on Facebook. They are referring to the deeper stillness that comes from within when you take a moment to connect with what’s truly important to you. In this season of light, she’s concentrating on the element of fire.

In a phone interview, Mary stated that it is not our job to get it all done in an instant and yet that is exactly how we live. “We have filled just about every moment,” she says. “We have expectations we simply cannot meet.” Whether it is a pristine household while working a forty-hour job or maintaining the perfect figure while juggling five children’s schedules, we are straddling too many gaps in our own capacity to handle everything we’ve piled onto our plates.

“People do not give themselves permission to pause,” Mary claims. In her own work, she teaches people to design their own pause ritual to maintain their sanity. “In mathematics, if you keep adding and adding, you reach infinity. In life, if you do that, it’s called insanity!”

According to Mary, we spend a lot of time on what we will DO, but little or no time on the conversation of how we will take time to connect with what’s really important. So here’s your chance to lighten your load and lift your spirits.

In their Win the Ultimate Vacation at Home contest, Pine Mountain Firelogs is offering $5,000 worth of household services (chef, maid, landscaper, etc.) for seven full days while you rest by the fire, connect with those you love, and spend more time enjoying life while living the power of slow. Full rules and regulations are available here.  

In a survey conducted by Impulse Research with women ages 35-55 in April 2009, it was found that the top daily responsibilities women claim to cause the most stress include:

  • cleaning the house (66 percent),
  • working outside the home (45 percent); and
  • making dinner (39 percent).

If women today had an extra hour in their day, they would put their feet up and relax, (40 percent), spend time with friends and family (37 percent) or shut the bedroom door and take a nap (36 percent).

But why wait to change the number of hours in a day? Most likely, that won’t happen. I hate to break it to you folks, but the twenty-four hour day is based on the Earth’s movements on its own axis, not to mention around the sun. So! Accept the twenty-four hours. Love them. Live them. Breathe them ~ slowly and lovingly. Toss another log on the fire, if you have one. If not, burn a candle and say a prayer as you dance to your own pause ritual!

 

One Response to “Igniting the Fire Within”

  1. Maria Says:

    Mary,
    Seeing the photo of feet by the fire and the message to slow down, especially during the holidays, did make me pause and think about how I concentrate too much on my “To Do” list. I work a 40 hr. week and most nights don’t get home to my husband and 10 year old son until about 7 p.m. Often, it’s dinner, dishes, and then each of us retreating to a different TV to watch what we want before bedtime. Recently, while at work, my guys said they had a surprise waiting for me when I got home. To my delight they had the fireplace going in our living room. My husband said it was our son’s idea. I sat nearby the fire while my husband served me hot soup. The three of us reflected on what a nice cozy evening it was and how we wanted more of these moments this holiday season. Thanks for the reminder of slowing down and connecting.
    One Love,
    Maria


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