How is your Fire burning? Wild Fire vs. Sustaining Fire

calendula in rainHello Lovers of Every Last Drop of Rain!

I hope that, wherever you're reading this, that you recently got some rain. Here in the Pacific Northwest things have been incredibly hot and dry.The sacred balance of Water and Fire is way out of whack, wouldn't you say?!And as I was sitting here watching the rains dry up in the later afternoon sun, I had a moment of insight.

Many of us are already living with an internal drought, with wild fires burning inside of us.

Wild Fire(I mean, we live in a culture that's burning resources out of control, so how could we not experience the corresponding health symptoms?!)A few months, you may have noticed, my emails and blog articles shifted their focus. I've been writing more and more about stress and burnout. That's because the state of the world is, well, insane. And this insanity creates incredible amounts of stress and anxiety in our lives.thermometer sweatingI created the Burnout Barometer - a FREE 30 minute assessment so you can find where you are on the stress-to-burnout spectrum and make a plan to get you out of stress (without pushing through with coffee, sugar, drugs or willpower).It starts with questionnaire that you do on your own and, if you'd like my reflections, you can book a free 30 minute session with me in person (in Nelson) or a skype call.As I've been reflecting on the wildfires blazing throughout BC and the northwest, I realized that the nature of Wild Fire is identical to the way that many of us are forced live our lives. We're way too busy. We're surviving on insufficient resources. And we usually don't have enough time to replenish our reserves.

[box size="large" border="full"]"A busy life creates exhausted reserves and an exhausted person. Exhaustion caused by over work, a lack of rest, and the over use of stimulating drugs promotes a cycle of fear and anxiety. We need the stillness to build up the reserves."

Eliot Cowan (Plant Spirit Medicine training in 2004) [/box]

 And not surprisingly, this isn't good for your health.

Wild Fire is a precursor to Burnout!

Let's look at this through the lens of the 5 Elements...Water holds your energy reservoirs, your physical and emotional reserves. (known as chi in chinese medicine)Water is the element that gives both Will and Adaptability. Water has the capacity to overcome any obstacle. (And when your reserves are full, don't you feel the same way? I do.)While Fire gives you the energy of Connection. It's the energy of activity, of busyness.(and yes, I realize that I'm simplifying things, but it's to highlight an important point)fire-water yin-yang symbolWater and Fire balance one another. It's the elemental understanding of the Yin (Water) / Yang (Fire) dynamic.And here's where things can get a little tricky (but I trust you'll get it).The Wildfires aren't caused by too much heat. They're caused by too little Water.Of course, the unusual heat this summer makes it worse, but most of the Fires have actually been caused by lightning (meaning it was raining at the time). It was actually the dry and warm Winter and Spring that gave rise to the conditions for Wild Fires.It is Drought that creates excess Fire. In the forest and within you and I.To be clear, I'm not just walking about you drinking enough water. I'm talking about the attributes of the archetype of Water. Though making sure you drink enough water everyday is surprisingly resourcing.Now, as I said, this is a cultural phenomenon. You could say that living in these times predisposes us to conditions that reflect the Drought-Wild Fire dynamic.

You may being experiencing this Drought-Wild Fire dynamic if:


Wild Fire by city

  • you're irritable and impatient most of the time
  • you've lost your drive, purpose and life direction
  • you don't have enough emotional support
  • you feel depleted, exhausted and/or depressed
  • you feel an overall sense of chaos and panic
  • you respond to this chaos by seeking more control
  • you're either distracting yourself with too much fun or you're not able to easily have any fun


  • your energy levels are consistently low
  • you're not sleeping well and waking up tired
  • your digestion has been acting up - could be heaviness after a meal, bloating, diarrhea, constipation
  • your sex drive is low or non-existent
  • or you're obsessed with sex (and you're no longer a teenager)
  • you have an ongoing cough or congestion that's seemingly not related to anything
  • you get headaches (in particular the tension headaches that you feel at the base of your skull)
  • you're using stimulants and sedatives excessively

(This is not an exhaustive list, just a few examples to get you started.)If many or most of these are true for you, I encourage you to get support now!Because, as I said, this state of inner Wild Fire will lead to burnout. It's only a matter of time.I do have a few suggestions - herbal and otherwise - that can help.

  1. Sit and breathe. You can help balance your Fire by connecting with the Stillness aspect of Water. I highly encourage a daily sitting practice for at least 15 minutes. You can even place a glass of water in front of you to help you find your own stillness.
  2. Dandelion. Specifically, I use dandelion root tincture to help disperse heat in the body. You can also eat some fresh leaves or make a tea with the dried root or leaf. The bitterness is cooling to the body and can almost instantly relieve (the right type of) headaches or digestive issues.
  3. Do the Burnout Barometer Questionnaire. It'll help you to more deeply assess your levels of stress and resources. It's important to get a sense of how close you are to burning out, so that you can make a plan to increase your resources and reserves.

If you have a healer that you really like working with, make an appointment now.And if you're looking for a healer to work 1-on-1 with, consider booking a free 30 minute session with me, garliq. I currently have space to work with about 5 new people.Herbal Self Care logoYou can read more about my 12 week healing program here --> The REDUCE Your Stress, REVIVE Your Health, RECYCLE The System Herbal Self Care Program.And to be clear, this is NOT a course. It's a 1-on-1 program to support you on your healing journey. It's 12 weeks of healing with herbs and empathy to get you back to thriving!There is a very important difference between a Sustaining Fire and a Wild Fire. Learning to nourish your Water is the key to sustaining your Fire.Wishing you overflowing reserves and a joyful heart!strength & wisdom,garliqPS. Here's a video guaranteed to bring you a smile and a few deep breaths ...

Herbal Self Caregarliq