Many of us recognize the importance of finding and following our own path. My own life experience has been that sometimes I find my path to be be hard and stony, sometimes smooth, sometimes inspiring, sometimes boring, and sometimes it just didn’t seem to be there at all - even though it always is.

In January, I volunteered to be Firekeeper for our International Shamanic Community (ISC). The Firekeeper takes on the responsibility of tending the spirit fire of the community for one month and keeping it burning bright. This tradition is now entering its third year and many people have carried this torch and passed it on to others.

When I decided to take this on, I did it because I felt it was my duty. But as I moved into it, I realized how much I was enjoying it. Somehow the duty transformed into fun. In the past, I have always looked on responsibility as something I had to bear, and bear alone. This meant that I often felt it was overwhelming. But by being Firekeeper I came to feel the joy of responsibility. I was holding the Fire not only for the Circle, but with the Circle, and with the Spirits. This opened the door to power.

Responsibility starts with accepting responsibility for our own lives, our own path. At some point in our lives we are turned loose, or we break out. At that point, we have to take responsibility for ourselves. By stepping into responsibility, we also step into power. Unless we accept our responsibility we can never accept our power. The two go hand in hand. And when we accept responsibility with Joy and with Heart, it becomes truly empowering - and we do it because we want to, not because we have to.

I look forward to finding out more about the joy of responsibility – and the responsibility of joy. With these two staffs supporting me, one in each hand, I can walk my path with power, following wherever it leads me. Let’s see where it goes.