By Mala Kapadia September 2014 Why did you choose to participate in a firewalk?” is what many have asked me. To be honest, I did not really think logically before participating. After a brief introduction on firewalk, we were given blocks of cedar wood, to write our fears or any limiting beliefs that needed to be destroyed so that we could reach our goals. I was struggling with my own fear of being vulnerable and getting hurt. Being a wild spirit who has ventured on paths less travelled and made mistakes, I have learnt my lessons and moved on. However, that was not the case for my family members who were directly affected by my mistakes. Their perception and their rejection has been hurting me more than my past. I wanted this fear of hurt to be burnt away in the fire. My old friend Jyoti had also joined. Her biggest challenge was speaking her own truth. She is not shy or withdrawn, but feels crippled by deep-rooted fears. Firewalk process starts with lighting the fire, invoking the energy of fire, and connecting with it in your own way. We then waited for the fire to burn away the wood till only the charcoal remained. There was music of drums and other instruments, chanting and dancing around the fire. When the facilitator said okay (presumably feeling the presence of enough energy around to match the energy of fire), participants began to walk on fire. The entire energy is very cosmic and inspiring. One gets into a trance-like state. Separation from the cosmos dissolves and I cannot recall when I walked through. Later, I was told that I was the first one. I do not even remember, and it was not deliberate. All I felt was an expansion at a deeper level, as if some wall had collapsed, bars of prison had opened, and I was set free. Not through numbness, but through some deeper healing. Now my acceptance of others’ judgment of me has become more bearable. It is their journey, not mine. And Jyoti, who was not even sure if she was going to participate, walked through it, and then hugged me and cried and cried. Firewalk is a shift from our own fears, not just of fire as an element, but many other fears that we carry within.
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