- Mental Health
Fire-walking (or a glass of wine)?
Years ago, I was absentmindedly walking along the beach looking out to sea and hadn’t seen the ashes of a recent fire ahead. I was about half way across the gray (but hot) coals when it registered. Pain rushed to my feet and I ran out of the fire in agony. But for those two or three steps when my mind was otherwise engaged (and without anticipation of fear) I had "fire-walked" I don't however recommend it ~ my feet were sore for days!
Fire walking refers to the activity of walking on hot coals, rocks or cinders without burning the soles of one's feet. In India, fire walking is part of a religious ritual and is associated with the mystical powers of Fakirs. In America, fire walking is part of self-empowering motivational activity. Most of us spend our lives trying to avoid the things we fear. The concept of fire-walking is to take those fears and overcome them, giving you back freedom and control; that is the essence of fire-walking (empowering and equipping yourself to go beyond the boundaries placed around you in the world).
Although very popular as a way to conquer fears. I personally prefer the tried and true glass (or two) of wine to relieve tension and to help conquer stuff; it works for me,how about you?
Fire has been around for thousands of years and indeed we would not have survived without it. Fire brings us comfort in the form of a warm home, hot water, a log fire or camp fire. It burns the coals and heats the burners. Yet fire can also destroy our homes thereby taking away our comfort, it can destroy our bodies and it can destroy our world if not harnessed. We learn from a very young age that fire burns and hurts and is very, very dangerous. So, it sounds a little odd that thousands of people take a ‘fire-walk’ each year in order to confront and conquer their fears and face-down any challenge that life can throw at them. (I still prefer a glass of wine)!
When I was young, I had a fear of flying. I love to travel so decided the only way to conquer it was to fly often. I was lucky enough to gain employment as an Air stewardess for Kamikaze Airlines (sorry, couldn’t resist) … for a local airline company. I had no choice but to face my fear head-on. It’s called ‘saturation’ in therapeutic terms.
People who have fire-walked state that as they walked over the burning coals, it was as though their feet squashed each fear leaving them with the burning embers of fear behind them. These fire-walkers talk of having been reborn, empowered, and fortified with a new ‘self’ forged within the fire. Tony Robbins, the well-known motivational speaker, popularized fire walking as a demonstration to show that it is possible for people to do things that seem impossible to them.
Personally, it’s not something I feel I need; I take plenty of risks in life ... and a glass of wine is so much more civilized!