What do you need to release?
Our lives are comprised of a colorful tapestry of beginnings and endings, many leading to one another. At times, we might wish to let an ending slide away without our attention. Because it is painful. Because it was unwanted. Because it reminds us of old pain we may still hold. Perhaps because we don’t feel ready to be with it just yet.
In this Creative Invitation, we invite you to practice consciously releasing something that remains stuck in a dark corner of your heart. To care for yourself all the while. And then to see what arises.
- Pen and a few small slips of paper
- Lighter or matches
- A burn-proof surface or vessel (fireplace, campfire, fireproof vessel)
You can do this alone or with a friend or family member.
Find a quiet, private place. Settle in to your body and your breath.
Call to mind an ending from your life that still sits heavily within you. For example, the loss of a job, a relationship, the failure or end of something you deeply cared about, or perhaps an aspect of your physical health.
Feel and name what it is about this situation that you still struggle with.
Perhaps there is a burden within this loss that you are now ready to release. In a few simple words, write down what no longer serves you about the situation on a small piece of paper. Drop it (safely) into the fire you’ve built and bear witness as the paper burns and goes up in smoke. Noticing and making space for whatever is happening within you during this metaphorical release.
You can do this as many times as you wish, as often as you wish.
Once the ashes have cooled, disperse them in any way that feels meaningful for you, whether into the wind, a body of water, your garden, etc.
- What was it like to consciously invite release in this way, through flame and smoke?
- As you consider this conscious ending, is there some space or inspiration within you for a new beginning of some kind? Please write about this in your journal. What would you like to invite in to your life or create now?
While the exact origin of the Burning Bowl ritual is unclear, it has a long tradition in many new thought churches, including Unity and Unitarian Universalist (“Fire Communion”). We want to also acknowledge the fire ceremonies and rituals among ancient indigenous religions which may have been some of the earliest predecessors to the Burning Bowl ritual described here.