Courage is centered where ribs separate.
Believing the truth – I AM GREAT!
I can be and do and live what is true.
Fear cannot stop me or make me feel blue.
(from the poem, Sons and Daughters of Freedom, by Lauri Lumby Schmidt copyright 2008)
There is a Divine flame that burns within us. This flame is depicted as residing in our gut, above the navel and in the center of the soft space between where our ribs begin to separate. This Divine flame resides within what is known in the chakra theory of energy medicine as the solar plexus. The solar plexus is the energy center (chakra) that is responsible for the functions of assimilation and transformation.
Assimilation is the physical process by which the body takes in that which is nourishing and life-giving. Digestion is the primary physical function that facilitates this process. It is through the process of digestion that the internal fires of the digestive organs break down the food that we consume to make the nutrients of the food able to be absorbed into our bodies so that we can receive the vitamins and minerals of the food that provide for us the foundations of good health.
Transformation is the process by which the body purges itself of those things that are not life-giving. Transformation takes place within the physical body as the digestive organs move the components of the food that we consume to the waste and elimination organs. As the fiber and liquids of the food that we consume moves through the digestive system, it takes with it other toxins and waste products, effectively cleansing our blood and our interior organs. In the process of elimination, the things within that are not life-giving are released and eliminated from our bodies.
It is the element of fire that is most closely related to this process of assimilation and transformation. For this reason, the solar plexus is depicted as a brilliant yellow and imagined as a fire that burns within us. Fire provides the same function as our digestive organs – consuming that which gives life and releasing or leaving behind that which does not. If we look to a bonfire as our operating metaphor, we can see how the wood is consumed, giving the fire life, and releasing smoke, steam and leaving behind coals and ash. The fullness of this process of assimilation and transformation is present specifically in the ash that is left behind. We might initially think of the ash as mere waste, but at closer examination, we see that it is in the ash that is left behind that new life is able to take root, be nourished and protected in its early growth.
This process of assimilation and transformation is easy to recognize in its physical form, but what we are invited to examine in our personal spiritual journeys is the spiritual aspects of this process. As we grow spiritually, we are invited to examine those things in our life that are no longer life-giving and through the process of transformation, give them release so that the seeds of new life may begin to take root. We are invited to acknowledge, in gratitude, the life we have received from these things, while being willing to let them go when they no longer serve our nourishment and growth. Once we are able to release that which is no longer life-giving, there is now more room for the new life that is waiting to be born within us to develop and grow.
Entering into this process of spiritual transformation requires that we embrace and harness that fire that burns within. As we connect with this inner fire, we are empowered through courage to leave behind that which no longer serves, while being open in faith to that which has not yet fully presented itself as the promise of new life. If we do not heed this invitation to inner transformation, we will find ourselves burned by the fire within. This burning will present itself through physical symptoms related to digestion (ulcers, colitis, acid reflux, migraine headaches, etc.) and through the emotions of rage, resentment and depression. In the end, we can allow the fire within to give us the liberation we are called to, or allow it to destroy us from within. The choice is ours.
copyright 2010 Lauri Lumby Schmidt
Authentic Freedom Ministries