Last week I attended a weekend workshop and one of the activities that was offered to us was an evening fire walk. I don’t know about you, but walking on fire was never one of those things I thought about doing, but I decided that I’d keep myself open to the opportunity and try it if I felt like it. Fire walking has been around for thousands of years and has been practiced for many reasons in many countries across the world for reasons like religious rituals, rites of passage, tests of faith, team building exercises, confidence building, self-empowerment and more.
Before we were lead to the beach to the fire, our guides, HeatherAsh Amara, founder of TOCI (The Toltec Center of Creative Intent in Austin, TX) and Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., author of The Five Levels of Attachment and son of Don Miguel Ruiz (author of The Four Agreements), explained to us a brief history of the tradition of fire walking, and educated us on the process of actually walking on fire. What it really comes down to, at least to me, is acknowledging and confronting your own fears head-on in order to overcome them and stop letting them hold you back. Once you really look deep down within yourself and let out your deepest and darkest fears, it’s amazing how liberated and free you feel. Your energy naturally rises, and matches that of the heat of the fire. You realize that walking on fire is really just a metaphor for walking over and overcoming your own fears and limitations, and once you are able to acknowledge and move past those fears, you realize that anything is possible, even walking on fire.
So I’m sure you’re wondering how the fire walk itself actually went and if it hurt, right?! When we finally did get down to the beach, the whole group was really unified, amped up, full of strength and courage, so just having that positive energy around me was infectious and absolutely incredible. We all chanted a mantra together, and there was a drum beating as well which really lifted the energy of the whole group. A couple of people walked first, and eventually people started lining up to take their turn. The distance of the fire was probably about 6 feet, or 4-5 steps and you were supposed to walk at a normal pace. The girl behind me was scared and asked if we could hold hands as we walked over the fire, and I said absolutely because truth be told, I could use the comfort of holding someone’s hand as well as I attempted this. We held hands as we crossed the fire and before I knew it, we were done. I felt a little bit of heat, but if felt like you were walking across warm grass and honestly I’ve walked on sand at the beach that has burned my feet more. Call me a masochist, but I felt that if I was going to be walking on fire, I wanted to really feel the burn and heat, so I walked on it another time, and then another time, taking slower and deeper steps until I finally felt the burn and connection to the fire.
Afterwords, I felt such an incredible feeling of strength, calm and peace that I can’t quite describe. It was surreal that I had actually walked on fire, and felt in many ways like a dream, but a dream that I will always carry within me, especially in times of struggle, doubt and fear. What I really learned from this experience is that we are all human and have our own fears that hold us back, but once we are able to acknowledge them we free ourselves from being held back from them and are able to take the steps and chances to truly live the life we were meant to live.