Fire Ignites Self Reflection

In Northern California, as summer ends and fall approaches – we experience “fire season,” which has, unfortunately, become our fifth season. No doubt, fire season is consumed with loss, unexplainable devastation, and displaces the plants, animals, and people that live within them. Yet, a fire has endless teachings for humanity.

Fire is nature’s antidote to an imbalance of overgrowth and overcrowding – reminding people to declutter and simplify. Fire may ignite you to look at your overgrowth and overcrowding. What are you overconsuming or letting over-consume you? Work? Email? Social media? TV? What do you need to declutter or simplify in your life to have more room for what’s most important in your life? Consider looking inward and listening to what you need? The fire element can transform over-consuming lives into simpler lives where you’re living more purposefully.

Not only do the fires clear the way to allow for new growth – but they also show us that with destruction comes new construction that can only happen when dismantling old structures. For example, like Eucalyptus, some species require fire for seeds to sprout. Sometimes we need something as alarming as a fire to clear our path in life for new opportunities to arise. For example, a job loss can feel as devastating as the barren area after a fire. Yet, that next dream job would never sprout on your radar without the crushing job loss.

Fires bring people together to grow, restore and begin again. When you see someone lose their home from a fire, you want to donate, care for, and protect those affected. It does not matter what race, gender, or ethnicity one is – you want to help. As a collective, our native tendency is to care for our tribe. We especially witness this when a community comes together to help others rebuild their lives after a fire.

The fires show humanity how to nurture and care for oneself – including coming together as a community. And when a bright fires turn into darkness – it’s time to revisit what’s most important, declutter and rebuild what’s needed to return harmony within ourselves and the community – just as Mother Nature shows us before, during, and after the fire season.


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A passionate organizer of people and initiatives, Erica Smigielski brings over twenty years of experience in project leadership to financial software and SaaS companies who want to launch their next big idea. She leads large-scale, complex projects like product launches and company mergers and acquisitions as well as focused efforts to bring structure and process to fast-track businesses. Erica holds certifications as a Stanford Advanced Project Manager as well as a Certified Group Facilitator, making her a master orchestrator of strategic planning, as well as a skillful communicator who can expertly navigate complex group dynamics.