A Conversation with best-selling author HeatherAsh Amara.
Last week, we sat down with HeatherAsh Amara, best-selling author, speaker, and Warrior Goddess, about what it means to connect with your inner fire and courageously live an authentic life of your own creation. This is our conversation…
AOC: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. Awaken Your Inner Fire is a remarkable book. Could you start by explaining what you mean by “inner fire”, and why connecting with your inner fire is so vital to living an authentic life of purpose and passion?
HeatherAsh: Your inner fire is your passion and your creativity. It’s your life force energy. I like to think about it this way: Let’s say you have a computer that’s made from the most up-to-date hardware and loaded with the best software. It’s an amazing computer, but if it’s not plugged into an energy source, nothing’s going to happen. Our inner fire is our energy source. The more power we have running through our system, and the more we’re plugged into our potential and our creativity, the more we’re going to be able to manifest to our world.
The message in Awaken Your Fire is really around bringing your attention back inside to listen for thoughts and actions that are dampening your fire, and the thoughts and actions that will ignite your fire and make you brighter. Coming back into relationship with this vital power source can help guide us in knowing what actions to take to create a life that will serve us the most.
AOC: In the book, you speak a lot about creativity. What would you say to those people who believe that they simply aren’t creative?
HeatherAsh: I believe we are all creative people. When you begin working with your inner fire, you start to recognize that every action you take is creative. The more that you come into alignment with what your truth is – with what’s authentic for YOU – the more creative you are able to be. This is especially true in how we respond to obstacles.
So, when I’m talking about creativity, I’m not just talking about being an artist in some way. Rather, when an obstacle arises – and there are always going to be obstacles in our life because life is full of challenges – what most of us do is fall back into the familiar. We fall into habits or patterns that won’t necessarily help resolve the problem we are facing.
For example, we might react in anger, or with shame or judgement. What I train people to do is to get creative when an obstacle arises. I show people how to look that obstacle in the face, declare it worthy, and create ideas for how they can move through and conquer the obstacle rather than letting it stand in their way.
AOC: I know that you travel all over the world spreading this message. Why do you feel we need people in the world that are in touch with their inner fire and living with this kind of creativity?
HeatherAsh: Humanity is dealing with a lot of different issues right now. Climate change, war, political unrest, overpopulation, and starvation… there are lots of challenges and obstacles that we, as humans, are facing.
More than ever, our world calls for creative people to face these challenges head on and come up with inspired solutions. We need more people that are in touch with their intuition, creativity, and with their inner fire. These are the people that will inspire the rest of the world to create necessary, positive, meaningful change rather than trying to avoid it.
AOC: We are so excited to be giving your book away to one of our readers this week. I’m curious about who you think stands to gain the most from reading the book right now?
HeatherAsh: The people that need it now are all those who feel overwhelmed in their lives. Those that don’t feel they are living up to their potential because they’re too busy.
A lot of times we have this incredible capacity and yet we know that we’re not using it because we’re always in emergency mode, constantly reacting to one thing and then another. One of the main purposes of Awaken Your Inner Fire is to help people create more spaciousness in their lives so that their creativity can come back online.
AOC: I wonder… do you think that one of the reasons we are all so busy is because we’re not in touch with our inner fire and are therefore frantically, and aimlessly, trying to fill our time with stuff?
HeatherAsh: I think that’s part of it. America was founded on the Protestant work ethic. As a culture, we were taught that if you work, and work, and work, and work… then maybe you’ll go to heaven.
As a result, we’ve connected our work with our self-worth. There’s this idea that if you’re busy, then you’re valuable. This is a false idea! Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting anything done.
But, you hear this all the time. You ask, “How are you?” and people respond, “Oh, I’m really busy!” That’s almost everyone’s response now days. To start creating more space in our lives, we must recognize that busyness doesn’t generate happiness. In many cases, busyness doesn’t even equate to being more productive.
What I’ve found in my own life, and in the lives of those I’ve worked with, is that when we create more space, we are often more intuitive and know where to put our energy so that it’s going to have the most benefit. And then we rest in between. There is space. A deep stillness. And from that stillness rises the motivation for the next action.
Of course, emergencies and surprises will always arise. But, when we’ve created more space in our life, those things are unlikely to derail us. We can attend to them and then go back to where we were.
AOC: It seems to me that even thinking about slowing down and approaching life differently might be terrifying for many of us. Do you see this with the people you work with?
HeatherAsh: It takes a tremendous amount of courage to slow down and start to do things differently. We’re really geared towards working with what’s familiar. Whatever’s familiar feels safe, even if it’s causing us to suffer, it has the illusion of safety. Making any change can feel disruptive, confusing and awkward. And, we tend to not love that.
When you think about it, what we’re working towards is long term nourishment vs short term nourishment. Most of us are geared to want to feel better right now. We have a tendency towards things that don’t serve us in the long run, but give us a quick fix so that we feel better right now.
Drinking a lot of coffee and eating sugar to keep ourselves going throughout the day is one way that many of us do that. There is a short-term benefit. But, in the long run, you end up burning out. We need to start looking at what we need to do to nourish ourselves in the long run, knowing that in the short run, it may be uncomfortable.
AOC: I wonder if we are also sometimes resistant to pursuing a life of passion because we are afraid of failure or rejection. Failure and rejection are always difficult, but especially when attached to the things we care about the most. In your work, have you found this to be true?
HeatherAsh: Yes. The things that are our heart’s desire are the things we sometimes most fear investing energy into because, we think, “What if it fails? What if I don’t do it right? What if this vision and dream that I have doesn’t come to pass?”
AOC: What would you say to those who have kept their true selves and deepest passions hidden because they are afraid that the people around them won’t be supportive?
HeatherAsh: We must be willing to go inside and listen to what really lights us up, what really inspires us, and what makes that inner fire burn brightly. If we’ve not been doing that, our friends and family, who have gotten used to us in a particular way, might be shaken up if we say, “Actually, this is who I am and what I want to do!”
People might not get where you’re coming from right away. But, when you check back into yourself, your being knows what it wants. You know what lights you up and what’s important to your soul. Your task is to really honor that and to know that you don’t need anyone else to give you permission to follow your own passion.
Then, I think you can find people that will support you. If you’re in a challenging work or family situation where you’re not being supported, stop trying to force them. Sometimes we feel as if we must make the important people in our lives agree with us and support us in everything. And that’s not true.
You actually just want to find other people in your world that will support you. People that are genuinely interested in who you really are and what you’re doing. Sometimes the people closest to you don’t even need to understand it or agree. But, what’s likely to happen, is that once they see that you’re happy and more content, they often recognize the result and often will come on board.
Even if they don’t, it’s possible to build a community around yourself that supports you in who you’re becoming rather than who you’ve been. Instead of being reactive, be courageous and go find the people who will support you in your new creation.
AOC: What is the risk all of us face if we choose to not live in alignment with our inner fire?
HeatherAsh: Apathy, a feeling of numbness, and not feeling alive. There are a lot of people who are just trudging through their day or are caught in this wheel of only attending to what’s immediately in front of them.
In these cases, it’s all too easy to wake up 5 years from now and wonder what happened to all that time. To wonder what happened to your dreams. Life moves quickly and it’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day living and not really attend to your heart and your passion. If that happens, there can be a lot of regret in the realization that we’ve been living someone else’s life.
AOC: I remember reading once that at the end of their lives, most people have way more regrets about the things they didn’t do than about the things they did do.
HeatherAsh: That is so true. I see life as this grand experiment. We must try things, make mistakes, do it wrong, and try again. Instead of thinking, “I have to do this right.” Think, “I’m going to run an experiment.” See what happens.
There’s something really fun about it then, because you’re exploring and learning as you go along. And it gets the judge – that perfectionist’s voice – out of the way, so that you can just experience, play, and explore your life in a fun way.
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