I just had this conversation about Firewalking and think it bears repeating here. I was asked what firewalking is about and why it’s become such an central part of my work as a Teacher, Change-Maker, Coach, Seminar Leader . . . . Here are my responses.
Firewalking utterly and completely challenges our habituated beliefs!
When you heard “firewalking” you said, “Yikes! Sounds scary!”
We associate fire with fear because we’ve been taught since we were toddlers that fire is dangerous, harmful and will will burn or kill us.
BUT . . . when you walk on fire, that belief is proven without a doubt to be nonsense. It isn’t that firewalking is miraculous (although it is awesome) but that our beliefs are unfounded. If you can walk on fire without getting burned or walk on a bed of broken glass without getting cut–you have to ask yourself what else have you taken at face value? What other habituated beliefs and behaviors go utterly unquestioned while they direct your choices, re-route your plans, rule your life?
I love firewalking because the results are immediate, profound, life-changing and lasting. I can facilitate in one or two nights what used to take years to accomplish with a student. We’re talking about approaching fear, negative beliefs and habituated patterns and exposing them for the falacies they are! Simultaneously we’re building personal empowerment, confidence and will. This isn’t over at the end of the night. You don’t forget about your firewalking experience–ever. Walking on 1200 degree burning coals has a profound effect on people and provides a touchstone for them for the rest of their lives.
It’s important that I teach this because it’s time to wake up! The alarm clock has been ringing and we, as a culture, have been hitting the snooze button for a few decades too long. It’s imperative that people get shaken out of their morose apathy. Firewalking and the other challenges in the programs I offer leave no room for excuses, apathy or inaction. Irrational fears don’t stand up any more. Blaming others doesn’t stand up anymore. Attachment to victimization doesn’t stand up anymore. When people realize they just overcame what they believed to be a Law of Nature, they have an embodied experience that they are truly capable of anything they set out to do.
Ultimately, Firewalking gets across the point of all of my Teachings: We are so much more than we think. We are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to acknowledge. We have the personal power and self authority to move through every obstacle– be it self or other created–and march right on to meet our destiny. And, let’s be clear, we are destined to be happy, healthy, compassionate and whole. We are destined to know love, comfort, meaningful work and self respect.
Plus, firewalking is SO much fun to teach! It doesn’t require anyone subscribe to any kind of belief system or doctrine. It allows me to expand my reach as a Teacher by using extraordinarily powerful tools for immediate and lasting transformation. People are starved for breakthroughs but are riddled with fear, doubt, insecurity and blatant self hatred. Firewalking cracks people open and gets right to the heart of the Truth of who we are. BAM!
It’s a really beautiful progression of the work I’ve been doing for decades. It allows me to utilize all the skills and wisdom I’ve acquired along the way. I feel incredibly honored to have been given these teachings and recognized as a Master by Tolly Burkan and Peggy Dylan who are both extraordinary Master Teachers.
Of course, Firewalking is the tip of the iceberg. Now that I’ve moved away from training people for years and years in an Initiatory Tradition, I can bring everything I have out into the open–Glasswalking, Rebirthing, Recovery Work, Ecstatic States, Devotional Paths, Leadership Training, Rites of Passage, Silent Retreats and more . . . these are all on the banquet table. It all feels very abundant and generous. I mean, what good is it to have these skills, to have acquired this knowledge and to have come to embody this wisdom only to keep it hidden because it doesn’t fit inside a box I once worked hard to place myself in?
You see, the ego can keep us stuck for a long time in a circumstances we’ve outgrown.
My personal practice is still very connected to the spiritual traditions I initiated into and mastered. It was the continual practice within those traditions which led me to understand that we are really all One. There isn’t a right way to get to connection with the divine, with ecstasy, with ourselves and one another. Every path is the right path if it leads us home to those connections.
Humans, no matter the label, doctrine or category are a Holy Mess of love and pain and fear and instinct and desire and longing and ecstasy and remorse and resentment and righteousness and anger and delight and exhaustion and excuses and indecision and angst and sweetness and sensuality and ignorance and rage and wildness and generosity and intuition and innovation and stinginess and pettiness and determination and hope and resilience and brilliance and creativity and connection and wisdom and greatness and love and . . . divinity. So, let’s work with that! Let’s acknowledge all of who we are without shame or guilt. Let’s forgive ourselves for not measuring up to a ridiculous standard of perfection. Let’s move forward in acceptance of our human-wild-divine nature. Let’s kick out the barriers and obstacles and patterns and beliefs that got us so mired in our own stickiness that we can’t make a decision! Most importantly, let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously about all of this! Have fun! Didn’t we step onto the Path because we wanted life to be better?
Ram Dass says that once you step on the path to God (Goddess, Higher Consciousness, Self Awareness, the Guru, Enlightenment, Scientific Truth, the Spaghetti Monster, etc.) the rest is just clearing the pathway. It’s purification. It’s polishing the mirror so we can more clearly see what’s been true all along: We are God/The Universe getting to know itself through our own eyes, our own lives, our own relationships and experiences.
Firewalking is a step on the Path. It might be the step that begins your journey. It might be a step that clears away obstacles. It might be a step that empowers you to go further. It might be the step that strikes you like lightening into full Awareness/Union.
We come to the fire to learn from it by stepping into it. It will teach us each exactly what we need. I can’t say what it will teach you. The two things I’m certain of are that you will not leave a firewalk the same as you arrived and you will NEVER forget the gifts the fire gave you.