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Fire-walking : 4 lessons I learned

Why am I sharing this with you?

Man walking on fire
Fire-walking: 4 lessons I learned

Because it taught me that ANYTHING is possible, as long as you believe it.

What is Fire-walking and how do you do it?

Fire walking, an ancient practice dating back thousands of years, has been used by cultures around the world as a rite of passage, a spiritual cleansing ritual, and a test of your courage. Today, it serves as a powerful metaphor for overcoming fears and challenges.

When you walk barefoot over a bed of hot coals, you're not just proving to yourself that you can withstand physical discomfort (there isn't any unless you get burnt) —you're also demonstrating your ability to conquer mental and emotional obstacles.

In this blog post, I give you the four profound lessons I learned from fire walking. Each lesson is more than just an abstract concept - they are tangible insights that can be applied to everyday life.

I hope that my story of firewalking and the 4 lessons learned might inspire you to keep going even when it's hard, to follow your own path, to listen to your heart and never stop believing in yourself.

Why we chose Fire-walking

You see my ex-husband had a stroke when he was 39.He said it was like a white hot poker going in and out of his brain. From being a very strong man physically he became very weak on his right side.

I was doing a lot of work with him finding the mental and emotional reasons he had had his stroke because we both believed there were subconscious reasons he was ill, it was not just an act of fate.

While reading the local paper he saw an ad for fire walking and immediately said:"if I can walk on fire I know I will recover." He booked us in straight away.

Meanwhile, although I wanted to support him I was secretly thinking that if I didn't like the look of the fire-walking I could stand by and watch. I was also terrified that as he wasn't walking well that he might get onto the coals and not be able to get off them.

Setting the stage for the walk

When we arrived at the grounds (I think it was at Engadine, Sydney) there was a huge stack of hardwood. The group leader asked us to light the fire. It turned out that it was a type of workshop along with fire walking and so during the afternoon we were asked to write down our fears and worries on individual pieces of paper and throw them into the fire, watching as they burned up (and giving our subconscious mind a clear message that that fear was now released).

"You can do magic"

Throughout the afternoon the song "You can do magic" was playing in the background. It is deeply embedded in my mind. Now if I ever need a push to do something I only have to think of that song to be inspired.

Finally, after several hours the fire had levelled to about 2-3 inch flames which the leader spread out and it was now time to walk the fire! Now the nervousness (fear... terror) really kicked in but after seeing the facilitator walk the flames I was determined to do it. It looked pretty simple really - take your shoes off, roll up the jeans so they don't catch fire, focus and walk over 15 ft of fire and hot ( really, really hot) coals. Simple, really.

It's time ...

The trick to Fire-walking is to 'focus' so I picked a point past the fire and focussed on that. With much encouragement from the others there, I walked. Several times during the night we walked that fire and each time I felt more elated, powerful, fantastic.

Losing hairs and dead skin...

Whilst you lose any hairs you have on your legs and you can smell the dead skin as it burns off, you only get burnt if you don't focus or if an organ in your body is not functioning well and then you will get a nasty burn on the part of the foot that is associated with the organ. People did get burnt and later we passed lots of cars leaving the grounds with the passenger's foot out the window trying to cool down the part that was burnt.

And again...

The following week we went back to walk the fire. People were asking me where my husband was. They did not recognise the man standing in front of them as he had changed so much. He was now standing tall, looking confident and strong.

And again...

So of course we had to go back a third time. I had had some tummy issues but felt well enough to go along. A friend Peter came along this time with us - he had beaten cancer, ran marathons and was extremely fit man but he could not walk the fire no matter how many times he tried to psyche himself up. He stood at the end, took deep breaths and ... walked away.. He was devastated that he could not bring himself to walk the fire. .

After seeing Peter falter I found that I was hesitating too - getting the courage to walk the fire was so much harder now and I took some time to really get focussed. I did walk but I got a deep burn on on the exact spot on my foot that is associated with the intestines. It hurt like crazy and when we were leaving I was now the one with my foot outside the window trying to cool it down. Having a shower that night was agony. The only visible sign of any burn was a red spot on my foot was only after a few days that the blister came out from inside my foot.

3rd degree burns...

Friends and family had thought we were absolutely stupid to go fire-walking especially as Bill was so ill - they spent quite some time telling us that we were crazy or that we would get 3rd degree burns. (One guy did get 3rd degree burns on both the soles and tops of his feet - he walked with his girlfriend because she could not do it alone but forgot to focus, himself). People were questioning us all the time as to why we would want to do such a crazy thing especially when we went back a second and third time.

It was then that I recognised that this questioning was just their own fears surfacing and because they were too afraid to do the firewalk themselves they had to question us to deflect themselves from their fears.

And although beforehand I was nervous (ok, truthfully I was scared stiff) once I saw someone else do it first, that modelling allowed me to believe that I could do it too.

By the third time we walked fire my husband was almost back to who he was before his stroke. He fully recovered over the next few months. So what about the title: Firewalking and the 4 lessons I learned...

Firewalking and the 4 lessons learned


The first lesson from fire walking is resilience. We can withstand life's trials and tribulations.

This isn't just a feel-good metaphor—it's backed by science. Studies have shown that challenging experiences can actually strengthen our psychological resilience, much like muscles grow stronger with exercise.

Listen to your heart - I would never have gone fire walking if I had listened to my conscious rational mind - and I would have missed one of the greatest and most powerful experiences of my life.


When you stand before the bed of hot coals, it's natural to feel fear as you know hot coals burn.So you doubt your ability to cross it safely.

But by taking that first step despite your fears, you're cultivating a powerful sense of self-belief.That you can't let other people stop you doing something that you feel is right for you. If we had listened to others we would have missed out on a wonderful healing opportunity for Bill. My husband recovered well and I know it was because of the fire-walking and the sense of control and power over his own body that gave him the belief in his recovery.

Walking the fire shows that even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we possess the inner strength to overcome them.

Mind Over Matter: The Power of Perception

The third lesson centres on perception. Fire walking teaches us that our minds have immense power over our physical experiences as supported by research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, which studies the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems.

Courage: Braving the Fire

The final lesson is courage. Fire walking is a testament to human bravery, reminding us that courage isn't about being fearless—it's about facing our fears head-on. I just love the power of the mind - and know that ANYTHING is possible, as long as you believe it. I always knew that our thinking determines our actions and our actions determine our outcome. My ex husband proved that the right mindset can move us towards everything we desire.

It's a lesson that can be applied to all areas of life, from personal relationships to professional endeavours.

Fire walking is a thrilling, transformative experience

Firewalking confirmed for me that just because someone tells you it can't be done, it doesn't mean that YOU can't do it. It merely means THEY don't believe they can do it.

I hope that my story inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and chase your own dreams, whatever they may be.

As a 10 year old David Lee Schneidler of Done Digital lived for a year training with the Shaolin Monks. He says: " Live life on your terms. Live with passion."

Have you experienced something that forever changed your life?

If so, leave me a comment at the end of the blog post. I'd really love to hear about it!

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