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Fire feel the heat.

I lie awake at 3:30 a.m. listening to bombs go off, imagining tiny scorpions crawling on my bare legs. And then band practice begins, with a full array of tubas and trumpets. There is no war here, only celebration. The Mexicans call their ear-cracking fireworks bombas, a good word for those wads of gunpowder and toy motors stuffed into toilet paper rolls taped to the end of long reeds. Stick it in the ground, light it, cover your ears, and run for dear life.

This little town two hours south of Mexico City parties in the shadow of the mysterious, 18,000-foot Popocatapetl, an active volcano that simmers and steams in anticipation of future havoc. Popo's fires reflect the bombas that explode in mid-air causing mild, repeating heart attacks for touristas in town during a festival for this or that saint or sacred virgin. They reflect the flames for cooking tortillas and the candles burning on altars in each home. With eleven ancient churches built on the rubble of eleven even-more-ancient pyramids, celebrations here are a way of life, the connection to Divine and community.

Mexico is a culture of abundant fire. And what is fire? Fire is the heat of connection, of great sex, of celebration, of transformation, community, and most of all, of heart. Fire is warmth and heat on a winter's night, gathering everyone together to warm their hands. Fire is the deep joy of living your life from your heart and not your head. Fire is connection to the Divine, of reaching up and out of your comfort zone to live your purpose, Fire is the world, alive all around you, throwing off sparks,

According to some experts in the Chinese art of Five Elements, not only is Mexico a fiery culture, but so is our own USA. But some might say we're losing our fundamental connections: many of us are feeling the freeze. What is community? What is our connection to source? Where is our heart, our joy? Why are we typing into computers and tied to our televisions instead of dancing in the streets?

Here are some ways to light the fire in your life:

Take two weeks off from media. Instead of reading the news, go dancing. Instead of watching a movie, invite friends you haven't seen in months over for dinner. When you come off your "media fast," you might find that you're more selective. Start a gratefulness campaign. Pray at meals. Send flowers to your mother (and your sister). Write happy cards thanking friends, family, coworkers. Take your struggling nephew out to dinner. Volunteer your precious time. Meditate in groups. Learn some new jokes, and tell them. Get really good at telling them, so people are rolling in the aisles. Light candles when you eat, when you meditate, when you have difficult conversations. Tell someone they're sexy. (Preferably your partner if you have one.) Spend time on your relationships, with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, pets. Find a spiritual community and settle in. Pray for help with your problems. Ask other people to pray for your well-being. Build something instead of buying it, or create a work of art. Eat more chocolate. Build a fire. Hang out around the fire with your friends. Don't take yourself so seriously.

Erin Everett is the publisher and editor of New Life Journal. She spends her spare time in the fires of Mexico and telling jokes around the fire with friends in Asheville, NC. For more information about fire gatherings in your area, visit
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Author:Everett, Erin
Publication:New Life Journal
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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