One Saturday night my husband and I decided to attend an early celebration of the Spring Equinox, which would include fire walking!
I had seen this sort of thing done by Tony Robbins and was familiar with Deepak Chopra who helped to popularize it. It was either this or celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Mexico style with Irish stew at Funky Finn’s, a local music venue for drinking and dancing. Fire walking intrigued me. The event was promoted on FB showing 60 other crazy people thinking of doing the same thing on a Saturday night.
My husband and I showed up tentatively planning on listening to the coach, a hippy looking Baby Boomer with long white hair and a casual air. There were only a few people at first nervously signing a list of attendees and being asked to donate for the evening’s expenses. So, for 300 pesos (about $17) we would tempt the fates and walk on hot coals of between 800 and 1700 degrees farenheit!!!!!!!!
More and more people showed up, both locals and Gringos, which was nice to see and we began. The coach has been doing this with his wife for many years. (I wondered, does he have a resume that says certified fire walker?)
He spoke of losing your fears, having a relationship with the fire, changing one’s life, etc. A little cult-y sounding, but my interest was piqued. We were asked to write down on a piece of paper the things we wanted to get rid of in our lives on one side and the things we wanted to welcome into our lives on the other. My husband made suggestions! I wrote down my own flaws (the few I have!) and what I hope to bring into my life after this altering experience.
We then were asked to come up one by one and throw the piece of paper into the burning fire. Very symbolic to be sure. As the sun was setting and darkness beginning to envelope the crowd, the fire was deemed ready. The coals have to be almost ash, but glowing red for the walk to begin.
The coach explained the scientific reasons for why people don’t go up in flames or leave with 3rd degree burns. There was no ambulance on site so I guess he knew what he was doing! He told the group that each person would come up, stand in front of the coals that had now been placed on a piece of turf, and make the split decision to walk or not walk. Caminar or no caminar. I thought I was going to walk, but wasn’t 100%, nonetheless my husband was on board. Being competitive and knowing I may not have this opportunity again back up North, I was going to walk too!!
A bit scary, but after watching several people do it walking at a comfortable pace (not supposed to run screaming!) I was psyched. It felt hot, but not unbearable and I stayed fixated on the fire. Mind over matter at its utmost. With people cheering each person who completed the walk with hoots and hollers, I was on a high! A fire high! I have a small blister on one foot, that the coach called “fire kisses”. Many people who do this get them, so I am now officially in the fire walkers club. Oprah has nothing on me!
Today’s newsletter, called ‘I’ve Been Thinking”, by Maria Shriver, whom I read religiously every Sunday, just happened to focus on fear. How apropos. “Fear. It’s one of the scariest and most complex emotions that we face as human beings. It can paralyze us and stop us in our tracks. Or, it can motivate us to keep fighting and keep pushing forward.”
. Maria said it best. We must push through fear. It is the one emotion that plagues every human being. The idea is to face it head on and prove to yourself that you can do anything!!
.Take advantage of opportunities that come your way. It could have been an ordinary Saturday night or a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Funky Finn’s. This was so much more, a memory and an accomplishment I will remember forever. Best part, my husband and I did it together!
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy