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Fire-walking (or a glass of wine)?

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.


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!


Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on May 06, 2012:

Hope your feet weren't burned Jools99.. happy to meet another one who finds easier ways to stress out. Cheers! :-) Helen

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on May 06, 2012:

I had a bad experience with fire when I was in my youth - once was enough so firewalking would not be for me, I'll join you for a glass or two of the 'grape juice' though :o)

petermdhart from Cornwall, UK on June 10, 2010:

Good hub. Given the choice, like you I prefer a couple of glasses of wine to get me through... hot coals?? Nah!

Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 22, 2010:

Hi cheaptrick - if not the feet... then what?

cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on January 22, 2010:

It's not the feet that took the hit lol.

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Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 21, 2010:

Hi cheaptrick,thanks for your comments. So, you took a fire walk huh ... it was that bad eh LOL ~ how are the feet doing?

cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on January 20, 2010:

Hello B,First read of one of your Hubs,very comfortable read.Your writing flows and is effortless to follow.

When I returned from Marine Corps boot my friends introduced me to the 151 Rum fire walk(151 is the proof).After a bunch of shots nothing was impossible including the "who can get the weirdest Tattoo" challenge.In the interest of decency I won't describe it or it's location.Thirty nine years later I am making a list of the friends that failed to stop me so I can Kill each one very slowly lol

Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 11, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by Tamarii2.. not sure I will fire-walk, but who knows~I am open to whatever the Universe has in store for me!

Dr Brendell Thomas Francis from NEW YORK on January 11, 2010:

Interesting hub.Did you ever think about trying fire walking now that you know more about it? Thank you for responding and becoming a fan/follower.Enjoy your journey with peace and blessings.

Nell Rose from England on January 10, 2010:

Hi, I don't think this is for me! I yell if I burn my finger! Obviously there must be an art to it, but I think I will pass! cheers Nell

Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 07, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by and for your comments James ~ have a great time in Mexico!

James J Mills from Northern California on January 07, 2010:

Sometimes I think we walk on fire our whole lives... or at least its an interesting metaphor. I enjoyed the article, thanks. JM

Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 07, 2010:

Hi DynamicS, thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments!

Sandria Green-Stewart from Toronto, Canada on January 07, 2010:

brightforyou, thanks for becoming a fan. I really like this post. I agree with you, I can think of other means of facing my fears. Fire walking seem like the ultimate.

Thanks for sharing.


Helen Lewis (author) from Florida on January 04, 2010:

LOL loved the backward moonwalk visual!

ehern33 on January 04, 2010:

I am with you on this. Thanks but no thanks, my bravery only goes so far and after that point, I do a moonwalk backwards. Maybe with the right motivation people will do anything but until that day, not for me..

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