“Crazy-eye Proboscis”: Journey of the Heart 2.0 – Day 16

Journey of the Heart - Day 16 Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls
Journey of the Heart – Day 16
Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Listen to your heart and with your heart.

Your heart pays attention to others, listening to their inner voice, their unspoken words.

You care, and attend with love to their deeper, silent needs, asking their heart, “How may I strengthen you and raise your energy?”

-Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-


For 2016 I have added more fire to my practice of “Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Mind/Mantra”. During 2015, I had increased fire slightly, but it was sporadic. I committed for 2016 to increase fire, and make it a regular, consistent practice. I had thought I was going to be able to do more fire by using the fireplace in my living room but when I had it inspected to make sure it would be safe, I was advised my fireplace is not safe for use…so much for that idea.

Just a few weeks after receiving the information about my fireplace being unsafe, I found Agni Hotra; a very simple fire ceremony which is done at sunrise and sunset. Since the New Year, I have been doing Agni Hotra regularly and consistently.

The above introduction was to be able to tell this story:

You know, of course, that how we experience life, what “shows up” for us, is a reflection of our inner-state, our thoughts and feelings. Everything is energy; things manifest from that energy according to the direction we give our thoughts. This is a course of study I have been fascinated with for years…I am not even close to mastering it, but Agni Hotra is going to help with my understanding of it.

As I was preparing for my Agni Hotra this morning, my fire simply would not light. Typically, it takes about 4 minutes to light the first piece of fuel (cow dung!), then for that first piece to become a small blaze, so the fire is burning brightly right at sunrise or sunset.

I began by trying to light the first piece of cow dung, which had ghee (an accelerant) on it. The piece did not catch fire before I had to put my match out so I wouldn’t burn my finger.

I got out a second match, a little hastily, since I had to have the fire going in time for sunrise. The second match lit the dung, and I held it at an angle so it would burn up and really catch the dung. It went out. Even with the ghee and the upward tilt of the fuel, it slowly snuffed. What the heck?

I now had 90 seconds to get the fire lit, and it’s supposed to be going well at the exact moment of sunrise. Beginning to panic I got out a different piece of dung, quickly smear it with ghee, lit a match (“Please, please, let it light, I don’t want to miss sunrise…if I miss it…I’ve failed…I can’t fail…just light, dung, please, just light…”).

It lit! “Oh, thank God!” I now had to put it down into my pyramid of dung, so the rest of the pieces would catch. This can sometimes be tricky; it can snuff if there isn’t enough airflow; I had 30 seconds left before sunrise.

10 seconds to sunrise and the first piece, which I’d placed in the middle of the pyramid was flaming well. The rest of the fuel was not lit, but there were two places that were beginning to flame. “Whew! It’s not going to go out.”

The second-hand told me when sunrise arrived, and I finished my ceremony with no problem.

Through those 4-minutes, there was a huge lesson. The fire responded immediately to my frame of mind. I don’t know why or how, but it did. At first, my mind was not entirely present this morning. I was not in a full devotional state. I was absent, so the fire was absent. When, out of panic and fear of failure, I became very present, the fire became present.

I know this sounds far-fetched. That’s ok. The understanding I received is one of those things I can’t explain rationally.

Now, to relate this to the Guiding Thought:

It is so important to listen to your heart. Your heart energy is closest to the energy you are experiencing from moment to moment. If I had been paying more attention this morning, I would have realized “my heart was not in it”, that I was not “in my heart” doing my spiritual practice.

In a similar way that my fire responded to my energy this morning, other people respond to my energy.

When I am aware of my heart’s energy, I can see how it is showing up as I watch how others respond to me. When I listen to their hearts, I am really just listening to my own. When I ask them, “How may I strengthen you and raise your energy?” I am really just asking myself.

Since I am really just asking myself, I already know the answer. And if I already know the answer, I can provide it. I can become aware of my energy, shift it, strengthen, and raise it, giving to myself, giving to another.