The fire burns for several hours, until a large bed of glowing red coals is left. This is raked flat and we are invited to walk when we are ready. There is no-one there to tell us when it's right to walk - because only each individual can know that moment. Fears ran through my mind - what if I burn myself, then if I can't go to work because of it and it's all my fault and I lose my job and then I can't pay the bills... There was a nervous silence as we all went through these fear processes, and then, one by one, people started to line up in front of the fire, realizing that this was their opportunity to face their fears head on.
Standing in front of the fire, burning with such a fierce heat that the hairs on your arms get singed - we each made our own connection with its energy. For many it was a very emotional experience. It might be the first time in their lives they have made a decision without considering the opinions of others, or perhaps they have been giving away their power to someone else who makes all the decisions for them. Now there was just them and the fire, no-one else. We focused on the fire, on its energy, and on what we wanted to achieve in our lives - imagining that our goal lay on the other side of the fire, and we decided whether we would choose to walk towards it.
I felt strongly connected to the fire, soaking up its healing energy. Suddenly my feet started moving almost of their own accord - I'd decided to walk! I felt the intense heat under my feet and strangely enough I was surprised - it shocked me out of my "zone"! I re-focused and kept walking, making it to the other side feeling strangely calm. Then I went back and did it again to re-inforce the experience, almost to prove to myself it wasn't just a one-off. The second time I felt absolutely elated, empowered and amazed at what I had just done.
The firewalk can be life-changing. My experience was that it changed how I perceived everything - nothing was impossible - I'd learned to focus my attention and energy on what I wanted to achieve, and to believe in my ability to achieve it. It also brought attention to whatever was preventing this from happening, but the difference was that the barriers were now there to be recognized and broken down.
It's part of human nature that I had this amazing experience and then over time I drifted back into old patterns. However, I've found that at any point I can recall the experience of the fire-walk and make a conscious decision to change what I'm doing and how I'm doing it - to take a risk or to do something even though it might be be scary or difficult, and I know that I can achieve it.
The fire-walk is an amazing way of learning this technique - but the same principles can be applied in daily life without having to walk on hot coals. We have to become clear about what we want to achieve, strongly focus our energy, intention and belief and take that first step forwards, then stay focussed on the outcome, while putting energy strongly in that direction - not allowing anything or anyone to divert us from that purpose.
Whether we apply this to small changes in our lives like being able to lift heavier weights in the gym, or in making big life decisions, the process is the same. Our negative inner talk will often kick in when we start to make positive changes in our lives - this is normal - but we can override it and not let it stop us from achieving our goals. This process puts us in the driving seat of life, rather than letting life drive us along.