Life Lessons from my Chiminea

Life Lessons from my Chiminea

I’ve owned a chiminea for most of my adult life. It has sat quietly on my front porch for years, gracing us with the ambience it brings to the outside of our home. During the days of young children, who exhausted me physically, it would get lit once in a blue moon. But when it was, we used my favorite, pinon wood. If you’re not familiar, I’m sure you would recognize the smell. These are small, very amazing, fragrant cuts from the pinon pine tree mostly found in the southwest.

Now that the children are teenagers, I definitely have more time on my hands, last year especially. One activity that all of this time led to last fall and through the winter was firing up the chiminea. I would do it around happy hour or a brisk cool morning any day of the week. I would sit out on the front porch chatting with various neighbors as they played on the street with their young children. Many would comment on the amazing smell that it filled our street with whenever I had it going. I am the keeper of the ambiance and pinon while the others on the street are chasing little ones instead of tending to fires! This role suits me 😊

I love to sit and stare at the little flames as they flicker and dance about. Hours have been spent listening to music, drinking a glass of wine and watching the flames. This is super calming and very therapeutic for me. I’m learning to be so much more grounded and in the present moment as of late and this activity allows me to practice.

At times, the flame will disappear. There is a choice to be made at this point. I can either decide to sit there and be patient or to get up and try to get it going again. It is typical for pinon to simply smolder, so there may not always be a flame. When I am patient and let it do it’s thing, the log will eventually gather a breath of oxygen in just the right place and the flame will appear again.

Such an interesting reminder for me. When I get uncomfortable in life or a situation (or my flame dies out momentarily), I have a choice. I can either get up and tend to things in an effort to become busy and distracted with something else, OR I can wait with the uncomfortable, less pleasant feeling and just breathe. The breathing allows me to stay present right in that moment and to breathe through whatever is uncomfortable. If I am patient and I trust my breath, like the fire in my chiminea, it will eventually bring back the flame as long as I keep giving it oxygen. This visual gives me solace and hope in times of unease. What ever would I do without my chiminea to remind me of such things!

Does this resonate with you? What might you be able to sit with, be patient with, breathe into and see what happens? I invite you to think of my chiminea the next time you feel uncomfortable, notice your breath and experience what happens next! As always, feel free to reach out and share your experience with me. I love hearing from you!


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© 2020 Ali Tuttle Coaching + Strategy, LLC

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