Where There’s Smoke … There’s a Phoenix

Smoke is the perfect metaphor for change ahead—whether it’s some fire you weren’t expecting or a change in a relationship you hadn’t foreseen.

Given the choice, most of us would never head into a fire, metaphorically or otherwise. So when you find yourself in the middle of one, you always have the option to look for the Phoenix it contains.

J.K. Rowling clued in just about everyone on the planet who didn’t already know about the Phoenix, that magical bird who dies in flames only to be reborn in its own ashes. Outside of Hogwarts, in cultures throughout the world, from the ancients through modern times, writers have had much to share about this bird and the transformative power of its fiery regeneration.

If you’ve seen Albus Dumbledore’s Phoenix, Fawkes, you’ve seen one of the latest reflections of those phoenix qualities that people have shared for centuries: its strength, courage, loyalty, connection to royalty—and its absolute absence of fear.

Most of us are afraid of fire—like we’re afraid of change and loss—because we miss the point that the Phoenix embodies: new life rising up out of the ashes of the old. Despite what it looks like, ashes don’t signify the end; they signify a new beginning.

How about you? What’s your experience? Think of something that’s at least 5 years old now, some fire you’ve experienced and come through. Maybe it was a job you lost, a relationship that suddenly ended or a death—of someone dear to you or a dream you cherished. Although it took some time to emerge from the flames of that experience, don’t you find that you’ve been transformed by what you’ve been through? You’re not the person you were, are you?

At the minimum, now you know you can survive a fire.

In the process, you may find that you’re smarter than you were—you can make distinctions now that were previously invisible to you. And it’s highly likely that you feel more deeply than you did; you may even be more compassionate to yourself and more discerning of others. Now you have the benefit of everything you’ve learned when the next fire ignites in your life.

So what Simple Shift to Forge Ahead Faster™ can you learn from The Phoenix? You can learn to shift your perspective from what you’ve lost to what’s rising out of your ashes. When you embrace the inevitability of the “fires” in your life as a prerequisite for your transformation, you’ll emerge from every flame with a strength you never knew you had.

Shifting your perspective to find the Phoenix in the fire is a Simple Shift that helps you to Forge Ahead Faster. Find out more at maiabeatty.com.

Next week’s blog: What Swimmers Taught Me About Culture.

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