InnerGuidance Old Story Fire Ceremony

 Old Story Fire Ceremony

A very powerful and transformational signature InnerGuidance tool is the Old Story Fire Ceremony - a truth telling process for greater healing and freedom.

Whether it is during a retreat or an individual session, I will lead participants through an InnerGuidance guided journey that invites in a deep exploration of a story that is limiting and hindering them. Afterwards, I prompt them as they write their lack story - in order to fully reveal it, to clear it, to let it be honored one last time and to let it go - so that it no longer has power over them as they chose their new reality. 

In a safe space, lovingly called the “no karma” zone, they are invited to express anything and everything. They have permission to blame whoever is responsible for co-creating and contributing to the story AND they are encouraged to take responsibility for how they co-created the story. The empowerment is in the ability to be honest about the secret benefit they received from the story. They also acknowledge the cost or consequence to others and to themselves of this limiting story. Finally, they are invited to find closure through gratitude for what the story has taught them. 

As an InnerGuidance facilitator, I’ve found that our stories of lack and limitations need understanding, compassion and forgiveness. It doesn't mean that what happened was OK, rather we choose to acknowledge and appreciate what the story taught us. 

We are consciously shifting our pain story into a new understanding of ourselves and others. 

We will then go into the yard and stand in front of a fire pit. If it’s a group, each person reads their story and all those listening hold space - really witnessing the person and hearing their story. As a group, we see that our pain stories are so similar - the same core story of I'm not worthy, I’m not enough, I'm not seen, I'm not loved -  it just unfolded in a different unique way for each person. Speaking and hearing our collective stories shows us WE ARE NOT ALONE

After being witnessed and being heard, the participant is invited to burn their story. They can set the paper on fire however they want - throw it into the already burning fire, set the paper on fire with a lighter, a match, a candle - any way that feels most true for their relationship with the story.  The way their story burns reveals further insights about the participants and how willing they are to let the story go. 

Do they rip the story into pieces? Do they crumple it up into a ball? 

Sometimes the story burns fast and furious - reflecting that person’s readiness to let it go. Sometimes the story takes time and the person needs to poke it with a stick and really speak to the story: 

I see you, thank you for what you’ve taught me and helped me see about myself and others, but I’m ready to let you go now.” 

My favourite way to burn my own stories is into a pot so I can watch the way the paper burns - the way it morphs into different shapes shows me what I couldn’t see about my story and myself before that moment. 

The next time an experience happens and your mind tries to fall back into that story of lack, you catch yourself (through awareness) and say: hey, there’s that story of ‘I’m not worthy’ trying to show up again. I can’t believe that story in the same way anymore because I burned it.” 

Then you witness what the experience is trying to show you - maybe there’s a tiny piece of that old story that you didn’t see at the time and can see now. The invitation is to write the new version of that story down, thank it and burn it again. Maybe there is a limiting story that you just uncovered. Write it down, thank it, burn it….REPEAT!

Why do this? 

Because we consciously choose to not spiral into a limiting story. This is how we learn to live a new reality.

Your awareness becomes a habit and you immediately catch your story as soon as it comes into your thoughts - oh, there’s that limiting story that I can’t buy into anymore-  and you have the capacity to let it go quickly and with more ease. 

This works with kids too!

With my children, I like to use New Years Eve as an opportunity to put on some music and invite them to feel into this question: 

What are you telling yourself right now that is limiting you? 

The first time I held a fire ceremony for them was when they were 6 and 10 years old. 

As I guided them through the prompts to write down the limiting story they were telling themselves, they were able to immediately see how it was affecting their lives. 

For example, my son was going through a phase of not knowing how to work through his immediate reaction to hit me when he was angry at his sister. He recognized that he didn’t want to react this way and he knew his reaction was unacceptable to me. Through his writing, he acknowledged that he needed help with discovering what he really needed in those moments he felt angry with her. He was able to see the story he had created - that his only option when he’s angry at his sister is to hit me, the person he knows and trusts will not hit him back. By using the prompts to write his story, he was able to start working through how to shift through this limitation. 

My daughter has a story of lack that she has carried with her for a very long time. It breaks my heart, but it’s not a story I can take away from her. I can, however, help her go into the story and guide her through the cause and effect of this limitation so she can see for herself what is not true about her story. 

Both children shed tears as they read their stories aloud while embracing the power of intentionally burning them.  They saw that they couldn’t hold onto their stories in the same way anymore. 

Here’s my question to you:

Would it be OK to live outside of your limiting stories of lack?



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