Fire at the Gate

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” 

– Mahatma Gandhi


|Photo by David Hogg||

Winter is certainly a time that can test our resolve in the Northeast.  This winter in particular feels like it has done that on many fronts, including the volatility of the weather and the seemingly exceptional virulence of multiple strains of viruses making their way through the region.  And this is to say nothing of the ongoing personal and social challenges with which many of us are wrestling.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see my friend Lori Hanau, who is a wise and gifted coach.  As I was reflecting on “what is up,” including an acute sense of uncertainty and strain, Lori remarked that many wisdom traditions talk about how, when we are on the threshold of a major transition, the heat is often most intense.

That certainly resonates on many levels, from the very personal to the larger systemic picture.  Many of us are hopeful that a new worldview will more fully take hold this year, and we feel the resistance of the old view clawing and hanging on.  That is part and parcel of the transition, as Gandhi once noted.

Lori’s next questions to me was a powerful one.

“How might you use this time to heal and strengthen?” 

“What is waiting to be healed and strengthened?”

In these questions was a reminder that while fire can certainly burn, it can also cleanse and make room for the new.  An answer came through clearly – what is waiting to be healed are patterns of doing and ways of being that do not fit the future I want.

And I’m wondering how others might benefit from sitting with this question.  What in this state of transition is waiting to be healed and strengthened?

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