I remember the time I walked on fire.
Now some people think about walking on fire and say, “So what?” because it is no big deal. Others look at you like you must be nuts – not being able to imagine doing it and wondering why anyone would want to.
I always fell into the first category. When I first heard about firewalking, I knew it was something I could do with little to no effort and certainly no cause for getting all bent out of shape. So I never intended to do it. I had nothing to prove and it didn’t feel like some challenge I needed to overcome.
But … I found myself firewalking anyway.
Raven (my ex), Jess, and I were visiting southern California when Jess was just over a year old. We lived in Canada at the time. It was a 4-day camping event led by our good friend, Happy Bear, where they were doing both sweat lodges and fire walks.
There was a seminar in the afternoon for the people planning to fire walk that night. It prepared them physically and mentally. They did exercises that pushed the boundaries of what is and isn’t possible – getting the mind and body ready. I stopped in at one point to see what they were up to and they had two people face each other. They placed a rebar at their throats and with great gusto and a lot of noise, growls and such, they pushed toward the other person bending it with their throats. I didn’t participate in any of that because I wasn’t going to fire walk. I was too busy caring for a 1-year old, dealing with rattlesnakes, and breastfeeding.
When they were ready to actually do the firewalk, Raven came to get me. He suggested I come out to support those who were doing it and hold the energetic space for that to happen.
All of the participants took their turn at walking across the red hot embers. When it was Raven’s turn, he took Jess out of my arms and carried him across the fire. (He would never in a million years let anything harm Jess.)
Two guys with drums strapped to their waste drummed and danced across the fire.
After they had each had a turn to walk for themselves and their own empowerment, Happy Bear announced that it was now time to walk for others or for a cause.
It was then that I “knew” I had to walk. When you are called, you are called. When you “know,” you simply know.
So I took off my shoes, handed my baby to my ex, and stood before the field of burning embers.
I looked up into the heavens and said, “I walk for all my sisters who need to be empowered.”
I was walking for:
- my sisters of every shape, color, size, religion, age, nationality, political view, sexual preference, income and education level,
- my sisters being treated like second class citizens,
- my sisters without the means to care for themselves or their children,
- my sisters in Africa being gang rape and abandoned by their families,
- my sisters in abusive marriages and other harsh situations,
- my sisters who are homeless,
- my sisters who are jobless,
- my sisters who believe themselves to be less than, to be unworthy of receiving what they desire, to be unlovable,
- my sisters who believe they are somehow tainted and undeserving of love because of sexual or other abuse,
- my sisters who don’t feel beautiful because they feel too thin, too fat, too old, too young, too this, too that, too something, and fail to see their own magnificence,
- my sisters everywhere who could find such happiness and joy if they had even a glimmer of how they are viewed in God’s eyes,
- my sisters.
No prep. No plan to do it. No fear. I walked with confidence, trust, and love in my heart. I felt nothing – not even the tiniest amount of heat. No pain. No blisters. Just the knowing that I did what I was called to do.
Many people went to bed with blisters that night.
I didn’t do it to empower myself, I did it to empower others. I didn’t do it to prove to myself that I could. I did it because I knew in my heart that I was being called (asked) to do so.
Often people do things because they think they should. The best decisions are made in the heart, not in the mind.
The mind is messed up by fear, disempowering beliefs, and past experiences. Everything the mind comes up with is skewed or biased. Even though you might be trying to make some logical decision, your fears get in the way, your judgments of right and wrong get in the way, your expectations of how you want things to be get in the way, what you think other people expect of you gets in the way.
The heart on the other hand is pure.
If you know something in your heart you don’t have to look outside yourself for validation. You don’t have to ask your friends their opinion. You don’t have to look at a situation and say “well they should be doing this” or “they should be doing it this way.”
“Should’s” will kill you. Getting upset because things aren’t as they “should” be will lead to a heart attack, a significant amount of unhappiness, and a serious waste of your precious time.
When you judge others, yourself, or situations as bad, you don’t feel happy. When you gossip and talk badly about others, you don’t feel happy. When you brood and pace and obsess about how they aren’t doing “it” right – whatever it is – you don’t feel happy.
And we already know, that if you aren’t happy, life doesn’t work.
When you focus on what isn’t working, what isn’t right, or what isn’t good, you draw to yourself like a magnet more things, people, and situations that aren’t working, that aren’t right, that aren’t good. And you’ll have even more unpleasant stuff to talk about.
You’ve got to stop that!
For more information about how, read my article: Being Stuck in Negativity: The Negative Thinking Spin – Don’t Go There
*Fire is nothing to play with. Please do not try this on your own. Much like sweat lodge or vision quest, you only do them when you feel called to do them. They are not spiritual practices done for entertainment purposes or out of curiosity. They can be quite dangerous and you need to be sure they are part of your spiritual journey to experience.