The element of fire describes the embodiment of a dimension of consciousness responsible for expanding one's awareness. When we are able to consistently expand beyond our limitations, we can channel incredible amounts of willpower.
This form of power is called inner power. It is derived from the expansion of one's consciousness into the dimensions of consciousness "inside" of them.
This is because higher dimensions of consciousness are not separate from the dimensions of consciousness that we currently occupy. Rather, they exist alongside our current dimensions of consciousness and expand beyond them. You can think of them as "overlapping" over our current dimensions of consciousness. This is why they appear to be "inside" of us.
This inner power is suppressed when we become attached to external forms of power. This is often called "power over others" because it is rooted in scarcity and/or competition. This deep attachment to external forms of power creates the illusion that we are powerless victims of our external reality.
This illusion creates many blind spots. This illusion also results in fight-or-flight mode, a biological response in your body when it senses danger.
Releasing Fight-Or-Flight Mode
Fight-or-flight mode is a natural biological reaction designed to protect us. Often times, it is activated during traumatic experiences. If the individual dissociates from the part of themselves that experienced the trauma, the individual may re-experience fight-or-flight mode as that part of their self comes back to the surface in the present. Often times, the individual will exhibit PTSD-like symptoms at this point.
The issue is that fight-or-flight mode is often activated when the individual is not in actual physical danger. When we experience something traumatic and dissociate from that part of our self ("cut it off"), that part of our self continues to experience the trauma outside of the present.
However, at some point in our life, that part of our self will become "triggered' back out of us. The thought patterns that we created in order to suppress that part of self will break down or experience a vulnerability. When this happens, the part of our self that experienced the trauma will reunite with our conscious awareness, and it will feel like we are actually experiencing the traumatic moment again.
Even if that part of our self never came back to the surface/present, we would still experience prolonged, constant fight-or-flight states under the surface of our conscious awareness. This constant, low-grade response is still detrimental to our health in the long-term. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to release fight-or-flight mode.
If you have experienced a traumatic experience, it is important for you to remember that your defense mechanisms are not bad. They were meant to protect you during an experience that is no longer happening in the present. However, now they are beginning to affect your quality of life.
Fight-Or-Fight mode consists of 3 things:
The more these three things are present, the stronger the fight-or-flight response will be. However, fight-or-flight mode is most strongly characterized by the defense mechanisms present. If one can bypass the defense mechanisms and be present with the emotions, fight-or-flight mode will start to disengage. After all, fight-or-flight mode is built upon avoiding an imagined danger. As we confront our emotions in the present, our imagined fear of them fade along with fight-or-flight mode.
However, releasing defense mechanisms can be a tricky task. They often operate on both the mental and physical level simultaneously. Therefore, the most effective approach is one that includes being present with one's mental defense mechanisms, one's physical defense mechanisms, and the corresponding emotions.
Furthermore, identifying when we are in fight-or-flight mode can be tricky as well. It is easy to realize you are in fight-or-flight mode when you actually feel anxious. However, often times we are numb to the anxiety/fear even while fight-or-flight mode is engaged. This may be seen as auto-pilot mode. In these states, it is still important to be present with the anxiety even if you do not consciously feel anxious. Breathing into the present is effective here. You can identify these moments throughout the day as the moments where you notice unconscious behavioral or thought patterns.
As you identify moments where you are in fight-or-flight/auto-pilot mode, you can expand your awareness into those moments by breathing into the moment. Upon doing so, you will start to notice behavioral/thought patterns and/or you will feel uncomfortable sensations. As you continue to be mindful of these things, your awareness will gradually expand to where these things are not as overwhelming or uncomfortable.
Releasing Defense Mechanisms
After you have identified a moment where you are in fight-or-flight mode, you will also notice unconscious behavioral/thought patterns. These patterns are designed to suppress uncomfortable sensations/emotions by distracting yourself by fixating on your external reality. This is called projection. Often times, this distraction works by blaming your external reality for whatever you are trying to avoid. For example, if you are harming yourself through self-judgment, it is common to project this self-judgment outwards as a paranoid fear that others are secretly judging them.
Identifying projection typically happens well after the defense mechanisms have been acted out. This is normal, especially for people who are just starting to learn how to deprogram subconscious patterns. However, as you learn to be mindful of desires without attachment to acting them out, you can actually notice projection in your thoughts before it becomes acted out through physical behaviors and redirect the desire within.
Being Mindful of Desires
If you can mindful of your desires while in fight-or-flight mode, you will find that your defense mechanisms are actually driven by a desire to "fight" (or avoid/suppress) emotions/fear.
Each thought/behavioral pattern is driven by an unconscious desire to avoid a certain feeling/emotion, often by seeking out the "opposite" emotion/feeling outside of you in your external reality (projection).
Inside of you -> "bad" emotion -> desire -> "good" emotion -> your external reality
If we can be mindful of the desire driving the thought/behavioral pattern, we can release the behavioral/thought pattern when we redirect the desire expressed outwardly, within.
However, we often do not even notice the desire. By the time we notice the behavioral/thought pattern itself, we have already acted out the desire without noticing.
We can combat this by expanding our awareness into that moment by breathing into any anxiety. Even if you do not consciously feel anxious, it is safe to assume that it is a fear-based pattern and fear is present.
As we become aware of our fear-based desires expressed outward, we can redirect them within. This is done through feeling the emotions driving the desire. After all, the desire was based on avoiding those uncomfortable emotions in the first place.
However, we will often be numb/unconscious to the emotion driving the desire. We can surface this emotion to our conscious awareness by asking ourselves what feeling/emotion we are seeking. The emotion/feeling driving the desire is always the dualistic "opposite" of the emotion/feeling we are looking for. Often times, we are not even looking for a specific feeling. We are simply looking for the lack of a "bad" feeling.
Furthermore, many desires are based on avoiding the mind/body in order to be present with the body/mind. In this way, it also helps to be present with that desire in both your mind and body. Unconscious desire often expresses itself in the body as tension. Unconscious desire often expresses itself in the mind as restlessness.
As we redirect these desires inwards, the underlying emotions that we have been avoiding (and accumulating) will come to the surface.
Identifying Limiting Beliefs
The actual expression (thought/behavioral pattern) of the defense mechanism will depend on the logic that you have specifically used in your programming of your defense mechanisms.
(Note that logic is not a universal, agreed upon set of rules that are true. Rather, logic is "a science that deals with the rules and processes used in sound thinking and reasoning". This means that two different people can create different logic that lead to the same result.)
This logic is made up of a chain of thoughts that are dependent on each other and occur sequentially. Each chain of thoughts is based on blaming your external reality for your feelings, creating emotional attachments that create a false sense of security through controlling your external reality (emotional attachment = blame = false security). In this way, each chain of thoughts will be activated right after you feel even the slightest bit of an emotion that a thought pattern is designed to suppress. Releasing these thought patterns is key to surfacing the emotions that you keep avoiding. However, being aware of all of these pattern is often overwhelming. If you find this to be the case, it means that you are being too judgmental. When you judge these thought patterns, your conscious awareness becomes attached to them and is dragged along with them. When you can be aware of these thought patterns without judgment (mindfulness), you can observe them free of attachment from a place of stillness.
Often times, multiple chains of logic connect at their root, forming tree-like branches of thought-patterns that always cycle back around to the root. These roots are called limiting beliefs, reoccurring thoughts that reinforce multiple thought patterns through certain conditions designed to redirect your awareness away from your inner reality toward your external reality (projection).
Therefore, you can release entire branches of thought patterns by releasing the core limiting beliefs. This is the most effective approach.
You can identify limiting beliefs by being mindful of your thought patterns throughout the day and noticing the similarities between them. You will notice certain conditions that must be met in order for you to avoid certain "bad" feelings or feel "good" feelings (or the lack of "bad" feelings). There will always be a core theme among these conditions that will become increasingly evident as you expand your awareness into your mind AND body.
People often struggle identifying limiting beliefs because they are only aware of their mind OR body, never both. In fact, a limiting belief becomes especially clear in the moments where you are in fight-or-flight mode and expand into your mind AND body. An easy practice for this is practicing breathing into the anxiety in your mind AND body when you notice auto-pilot/fight-or-flight mode.
This means that you do not necessarily need to "search" for limiting beliefs. Simply being present, observing your thought/behavioral patterns, and expanding into your mind and body in states of fight-or-flight mode will make the limiting belief increasingly evident.
It also helps to release your need to act our your desires in order to validate them. When you need to act out your desires, you limit your awareness to the chain of thoughts/behaviors that you are acting out. If you do not need to act out your desires, you can observe the entire branch of thought chains simultaneously.
As you release the limiting belief, you also release entire branches of thought patterns. This results in all of the willpower constantly driving those thought patterns to come back to your conscious awareness. This is called inner power, and its power goes well beyond any kind of external validation.
As you release a limiting belief and the corresponding branch of thought patterns, you will reconnect with the willpower that was driving those thought patterns. It will feel like a surge of energy flows through you. Use this energy boost to expand into your mind AND body further, releasing more limiting beliefs and defense mechanisms. This results in even more willpower to surface, creating a cycle of exponentially increasing drive.
This is called powering up.
In order for this to work in an exponential fashion, you must expand into both your mind AND body. Note that the limiting beliefs driving your thought patterns also drive the behavioral/physical patterns in your body. For your body, this often manifest as warmth/coldness (lack of flow), tension (constant desire), and pain (fear).
Release the victim mentality. You are not a powerless victim of your external reality.
These are not intrusive thoughts. They are a part of a thought pattern that YOU created. Hold yourself accountable for it and expand into each one.
As you continue to release defense mechanisms based on maintaining external control, you start to surrender to the unknown. As you do this, all of the emotions that you suppressed come to the surface of your conscious awareness. It is time to experience all of the emotions you avoided...
Embodying the Element of Fire
The element of fire represents inner power. With inner power, we can expand beyond our limitations. This especially applies to the limitations that are designed to suppress uncomfortable emotions/fears. Instead of living a life based on unconsciously avoiding fear, we live a life based on expanding into it.
Key Question: What limitations do I place upon myself and reinforce daily?
Key Words: Inner Power, Drive, Willpower, Defense Mechanism, False Security, Emotional Attachment, Victim Mentality, Blame, Projection, Solar Plexus Chakra
Symptoms: Feeling stuck, restless, defensive, reactive, victim mentality, tension in the body, avoidance of fear, hiding, over-explaining, fixation on future/past outcomes/accomplishments
Goal: Release your attachment to external forms of control/validation, surrendering to the uncomfortable emotions/fears that you have been avoiding. Expand beyond your idea of yourself and your comfort zone.
The walls (limiting beliefs) that create your comfort zone are the same walls that imprison you.
Defense mechanisms are designed to redirect your awareness/attention away from uncomfortable emotions/fears toward something in your external reality "separate" from you.
Being mindful of desires allows the underlying emotions driving those desires to surface
The more you blame your external reality for your feelings/fears (attachment), the more you become a powerless victim of your external reality.
There is great power in surrendering to the unknown
You are the conscious creator of your reality!
As you release limiting beliefs/defense mechanisms, take the willpower that surfaces and use it to release even more limiting beliefs/defense mechanisms by expanding further into your mind/body.
If you are struggling to release defense mechanisms, talk to a conscious coach to help you develop your personalized approach to applying the concepts above in a way that suits your lifestyle and personal qualities.