The Fire of Vision

Reflection

“Many sacred texts, such as the Bible, Koran, and Torah, speak of fire as a symbol of the vital life force that can be called upon for transformation, revisioning, or the transmission of renewed meaning.
Reflect upon the four fires—the fire of vision, the fire of the heart, the creative fire, and the soul’s fire. What does fire reveal to you about your dreams, work, health, relationships, creativity, and soul’s desire at this time in your life?” Angeles Arrien
My visions of my life have guided me for many years. I have never had goals, but I recognized early that I could see myself in certain positions and situations and that seeing myself there often placed me there.
But, until recently, I haven’t paid much attention to my dreams.

On my trip to the retreat at Teotihuacan one of the morning exercises in the circle was the acting out of dreams. Someone in the group would volunteer to share their memory of a dream and one of the partitioners would help in illuminating its meaning.

I don’t have a spiritual teacher nor a friend experienced in dream analysis, but I have become aware. Once in a bit I look up some recurring theme on one of the many dream interpretation websites. The answers are a bit pat and don’t always tick the boxes – still, I get some ideas.

The interesting thing about my dreams is that they do guide me. I lie quietly in the morning to let the spirit of my dreams wash over me while I remember what details I can bring back. I pay attention when I dream repeatedly about looking for something or of being frantic to reach some destination. I revel in the beauty of some dreams and let those visions stay with me throughout the day – recalling the feelings. When I have dreams that include people I have never seen (to my knowledge) I try to figure out what or who they might represent. And when I dream of my loved ones, I make the contact – assuming that they appeared in my dreams for a reason that my subconscious realizes even when I don’t.

The fire of vision has probably always been vital in my life. Now I recognize that value.

The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, Reflections, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

Something New – Part 5

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *
When asked me two weeks ago how I would stretch myself this month, I replied that I was unsure. Even though I had already signed up for my big challenge. I just didn’t see it as that.
We are fortunate to have a hometown university. And like many universities, ours has a program for the great aging population. We are college seniors in a new way – attending classes on a plethora of subjects taught by local experts. Some teachers have retired from academia. Some are doctors. Some are artists and artisans. And some are just highly experienced in the fields in which they choose to share knowledge. Well, I digress…
For about six months I have had a notation on my calendar to remind me to dance. I love to dance. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy – just turn up the salsa or rock and roll and I will gyrate around the house on the way to the refrigerator or while making the bed. Somehow, though, I forget to turn on that music. Other than a rare 10 minutes after my exercise class when some of us boogie to Jerry Lee Lewis, I have neglected my dance intention.
Intention plants seeds, however, and this spring I signed up for a class in English Country Dance. I know – strange. But this is line dance and circle dance from two centuries past and I don’t need a partner.
Thursday, I wandered around an small industrial area to find The Dance Space. I walked into a large group of people doing some fairly intricate steps in a circle. When the music ended the teacher asked my name and invited me into the circle.
Immersion dancing!
By the end of the hour I was laughing at my own awkwardness, apologizing for messing up, and realizing that I had enjoyed every moment. I signed up for a workshop on Saturday and let my husband know that I have a new passion.
(By the end of the Saturday workshop I was exhausted, brain dead, and still determined to make room in my life for this exercise for mind and body.)
Five months of new beginnings and counting.
The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

Something New – Part 4

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *
It seems to me that if something has been on my calendar (moving forward month by month) for several years…it may be time. If not now, when?
And so…off to New York City for an Enneagram workshop. With fear (because I’m not sure if I know enough to even begin). With trepidation (because I am sure that of all the people attending the workshop I will be the least prepared).
With excitement (because I am attending a workshop on a study that fascinates me and has become a part of my life.).
The point is to  be doing new things that stretch me. Right?
Okay, then. I went going to New York alone for five days. That was a first.
The shuttle from the airport was a long wait so I decided to take the bus and the metro. There’s another new experience in NYC. It was a testimony to the kindness of people who helped me get off bus at the right stop in Harlem. And I was beyond grateful to the young man who carried my suitcase up the last flight of stairs from the metro.
I rented an Air B&B in an area that is familiar to me, but as I learned last month, the situation is always a bit of a crapshoot.  I could have stayed in my normal hotel but my digs were cheaper and included (I hoped) a real kitchen and room to lounge about in a homey setting. And as it turned out, it was lovely.
I went to two plays and one opera. In my blessed life I have been to many broadway plays and many live operas – but never alone. And I found that I enjoyed the productions just as much being solo, but I really missed the shared experience of discussing the high points.
And the workshop? Spectacular!
If you have the chance to study with either Russ Hudson or Tom Condon, just do it. I threw myself into it wholeheartedly and reaped wonderful rewards. I met great people who helped me on the journey of learning about myself.
Life Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Enneagram, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate