Stronger for Your Flame



On January 5th, I facilitated one of Mamas Ignite's seasonal, "big easel" retreats.  When I say, big, I mean enormous: 7 feet tall by 4 feet wide. There's something tremendously liberating about facing a canvas that size.  Our "canvasses" were actually flooring paper, our paint--tempera.  Our inspiration?  Year 2018: what we wanted to release, what we were called to celebrate, the lessons we wanted to bring forward & our intentions as we stepped into 2019.  

We quietly shared, we journaled, we sang, we moved our bodies, we painted, we enjoyed a meal together and we shared again.  Each time I facilitate a gathering like this, I am overcome by the power, wisdom, insight & creativity that emerges when we share a sacred space replete with creative materials and our vulnerable selves.    The more I experience this life-changing connection, the more I have come to believe that our world needs each of us to embrace who we really are at our core--our most vulnerable, powerful, creative selves and all that we have to offer.  We are stronger for our flames. 

As as is often the case, music strikes a deep chord within me and shares my message more completely than I could ever do with words:

When I first heard this song by Randall Williams almost 10 years ago, I was in the midst of the newborn mama haze:  round-the-clock nursing, endless diapers, and little sleep.  

I loved being a mother--I had always wanted to be one, and at 37 was overjoyed to have the opportunity--but I felt as if I had lost myself.  Who was I?  How was I making a difference in the world anymore?


“What if there’s no drama in the day to day, life a load of pots and pans and diapers to be changed? You’d rather climb a mountain or walk to Timbuktu, but the truest light burns just as strong, no matter what you choose.  You don’t need to burn up in a brilliant ball of flame, we’ll be blessed even if we never know your name. ‘Cause. . .


". . .You are all of this and more. . .The borrowed light of those who came before. . .And the children who haven’t yet been named are stronger for your spark, stronger for your flame." 


I sobbed.  I was not alone.  Someone understood my yearnings, my inner struggle, my desires.  There I was.  In that song.  Somewhere underneath the piles of laundry and my sluggish body, was a spark.  It took a bit more fanning of the embers until that spark ignited, or even before I actually recognized my flame, but really, my journey had already begun.  

My journey today is not always pretty.  In fact, some of the juiciest morsels emerge from the depths of the murky muck.  What I have come to realize, though, is that it is my awarenessand connectionthat make all of the difference.  I need to create time to connect with my inner fire.  Quiet hours to fan the embers into a spark. Painting, singing, moving, "tuning in", meditating, playing--all transform my spark into a roaring flame.  Communing with others shares my light with the world.  We need ALL of us.  



Jennifer Knight