The First Time I "Covered" a Firewalk
Founder / Producer / Host
at News for the Soul:

I peeled down the deserted country road - my head a ball of puffy brown hair in the wind as I guided a sea blue convertible - top down ~ tunes up - toward my south Langley destination.

76th Avenue - won't be long now….

On the surface I appeared at ease and perhaps even as though I might even be having a really good time. But everything is not always as it appears.

50th Avenue - still time to turn around…

My telltale white knuckle claw like grip on the steering wheel; my rigid set jaw; my serious faraway contemplative expression that did not match the upbeat emotions expressed in the music blaring out of the car stereo; these were all clues as to the true state of affairs.

39th Avenue - helloooo! Turn the frigging car around!!

Not everything is always as it appears for, in fact, I was on my way to what I hoped would not be my untimely demise.

I roared onward. The butterflies that had taken up residence in my stomach one week earlier when I committed to "cover" this firewalk, had now evolved into large swooping fire breathing dragons. And they were having a party in there. How ironically appropriate, I decided.

22nd Avenue - almost out of time.

I was trying to figure out what ever possessed me to say those fateful words.
"Oh, I should cover your firewalk for my next column. That would be fun."

Have you ever said something, or rather, heard something come out of your mouth and then felt compelled to look around the room as though some voice-throwing ventriloquist was lurking nearby?

This was indeed one of those moments.

By the time I realized the ridiculousness of my statement, it was days later and I was committed to walk on fire - like it or not and I certainly did not - but for some reason I could not bring myself to de-commit.

11th Avenue - one block - turn around now or pay the price forever…..

I pressed the gas, drove the last block and parked on a gravel drive amidst many other vehicles outside a quaint and homey farmhouse near the Canada - US border.

I stepped out of the car and into a setting of panoramic beauty in nature - the waving leafy green trees - the clear sky that didn't even have the decency to contain a whiff of cloud - no chance of being rained out tonight, I see….

As my feet - my lovely, unscarred feet - crunched along toward the front door I felt momentarily shaky. I stood to ground myself, breathing in the fresh cooling early evening air. I swallowed just then and heard my throat make a dry clicking sound due to the complete absence of saliva and phlegm.

Perhaps going inside and having a beverage might be a good idea…

Yeah, well if you'd listened to me in the first place and turned the car around you wouldn't be in this mess, now would you…..

Ignoring myself, I knocked on the front door which was promptly flung open by a friendly fire walker to be and the owner of the aforementioned quaint country home. I was immediately whisked to the "registration" table with no possible hope of escape.

After I signed the "if-I-die-I-will-not-sue-you" form, I moved to the next table which displayed many photos of prior firewalks - several almost somber looking humans doing the impossible for all to see - standing right smack dab in the middle of deep red hot coals, actual flames lashing toward their ankles as they paraded through their paradigm shift with what would best be described as ….


Moments later class was in session. About 12 wide eyed first timers along with a couple back for their 2nd time and the odd veteran,….so to speak….crowded into the living room. I chose a front seat, plopping cross legged onto the floor directly in front of the "teacher" who stood beside a small sign which read: pay attention 100 %.

I decided, as a safety measure, I'd pay attention 150% at least! Less blinking and absolutely no potty breaks whatsoever was my plan. I sat for nearly 4 hours, my eyes the size of small plates, as was my bladder - listening to lessons about Chakras, energy, belief systems and how our mind "really works".

Around 10pm, we had a break from the "class room". It was time to build the fire. We were told to experience this process in silence and to all participate fully - almost in a "mind-full meditative" way. In a macabre procession of silence, we moved single file out into the night.

Not long now at all - you reeeeally should have turned that frigging car around…..

Once at the site, we each grabbed a chunk of wood, placed it on a growing pile in the centre of the grassy field in which we gathered and returned for more wood.

Don't think. Don't think.

I pick up the wood.

I place the wood.

I pick up the wood.

I place the wood.

Don't think. Don't think.

Wordlessly we built until the mound of would-be feet melting-coals grew into an enormous heap. Stuffed with clumped up newspaper and drenched in gasoline, it was ignition time.

Houston, we have a problem….

The match was lit and tossed onto the gas-wood-paper concoction.

The fireball rose high above our heads and lit up the night sky. The heat emanating from the mammoth bonfire forced us all to take a giant sized step back. We stood encircling the beast of nature, holding hands. Silent. Horrified.
I felt my eyebrows searing off the front of my head as we stood way back at this "safe distance"…watching.

Finally I truly realized the reality and the insanity of what I was about to do.
Now that we were all good and terrified, we returned to the house to finish "class".

Thankfully, we spent the last hour of our training working on issues of fear.
Thank god. Save the best til last.

You see, the secret to fire walking is very simple - you will walk across the fire and not get burned by knowing, believing that to be true. That's it. Now you know all there is to really know. It is simple.

But it is not easy.

When you are standing right in front of something so hot that you have to turn your head away from the heat, it is very, very difficult to believe that you can walk on that and be perfectly fine.

After our bonfire party outside we were all feeling unsettled to say the least. We wrote down all of the ideas that horrified us from melting flesh and 911 calls to wimping out - not being able to walk through our fear at all - on large pieces of paper. Then we crumpled up the papers into little balls and tossed them away.

I, for one, still felt horrified.

Then it was time.

We were again to file silently out single file.

Stay focused.

Stay grounded.

Encircle the fire.

Hold hands.



We had learned a little song inside to sing during the entire walk - two lines that repeated to infinity about the earth and every step we take being sacred.

Well, the next few steps we'd take certainly were….

Then, we were told we would just know when we were ready.

We would suddenly feel compelled to silently step forward out of the circle - to the front of the 10 step hot-walk - "ground" - visualize - believe….

And go!

Yeah. Sure.

The instructor went first.

Yup. It's real. This is really happening. Oh boy.

The first student went then.

We watched in horror as he veeerrry slowly strolled across the flames to the other side…unscathed.

I nervously watched a few more walk….and live.

Then, suddenly, to my surprise, I felt my hands pull free of the circle. My feet - my wonderful unscarred feet - padded easily to the starting spot.

I was going to firewalk now.

And that's when the weird conversation with my 'mind' began.

It basically went something like this:

Nicole's Higher Self: "Okay, we're ready."

Nicole's 'mind': "Ready?? Are you nuts??"

Nicole's Higher Self: "You've just watched others walk. It's fine. Just do what you were taught to do."

Nicole's 'mind': "OH HELL NO."

Nicole's Higher Self: "Okay - we're preparing now...."

Nicole's "mind": "I believe I was very clear in my previous response when I said HELL NO."

Nicole's Higher Self: "We're grounding our energy from our core....."

Nicole's Mind: "Ya know - I'm not feeling very 'heard' here.... Hellooooooo?"

Nicole's Higher Self: "Now we're visualizing our energy going out as a protective bubble..."

Nicole's Mind: "Oh crap - we're really going to do this!"

Nicole's Higher Self: "We're focused on our end goal....."

Nicole's Mind: "....if our goal is the nearest phone to dial 9-1-1...."

Nicole's Higher Self: "....deep cleansing breath...."

Nicole's Mind: "Oh sh-(*%^#@..."

Nicole's Higher Self: "......" [Our right foot extends forward to step on the hot coals]


Nicole's Mind: "Okay okay......" [Focusing our energy as though our life depends upon it....]

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Nicole's Higher Self: "...." (Silent focused determination.....)

Nicole's Mind: "Okay okay okay okay okay okay okay ......."

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

By now I was about half way across the flaming walk.

I had made it thus far - completely unscathed.

I was focused.

I was grounded.

I was in the zone.

And it was at that point that my "mind" interjected with negativity yet again.

It was as though it was in shock for a moment but my mind now snapped to

full attention, looking downward in horror and realizing imminent danger was nigh.

"Oh my god - we're standing in the middle of a fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,"

It screamed the words inside my head loud enough to give my higher self pause.

And in that very moment, I was burned.

Of course in firewalking class we learned not to call it 'burning' but something else

that had a different meaning which did not objectify injury.

For example, we could call it 'zapping' instead, our instructor had suggested.

Well, in that moment that fire was zapping like hell!

I felt it the instant my 'energy changed' - the very second that thought screamed across the lower realms of my mind.

Then the reality of what I was doing truly hit home.

I was standing in the middle of fire.

And if I did not do this correctly I was going to sustain very serious injury.

This was real. It was not a feel-good seminar. And my feet did not

feel good at all!!!

And that sobering idea made my mind get on board - and fast!

My mind re-focused immediately, joining forces with my higher self in the very next instant.

I felt the energy re-ground.

The 'zapping' stopped.

And I carried on down the burning path.

Now, this is where the story gets ... a little wierd.

Upon my return to graciously cool, damp grass I rejoined the circle and carried on as though nothing had gone wrong.

I continued breathing and 'pushing my energy field back out' and relaxing into the situation. I knew that if I looked at my feet in that moment I would see burns. So I did not look. If re-focusing in the middle of the walk had worked, perhaps visualizing wellness after the walk would work as well, I reasoned.

I kept singing.

And watching.

And relaxing.

Then 'my higher self' did something else that was totally unexpected.

We walked across again.

And again.

Two more times I ventured across the hot coals and each time I walked, I maintained focus throughout with great success.

And I returned to the cool, damp grass with a complete knowing that all would be well.

Finally the heat on the coals dimmed and it was time to end the walk.

Which meant it was nearly time to examine our feet!

The pain had diminished almost entirely.

"Perhaps it's just numb from the severity of our injury," my mind muttered. "Ya know, if you'd listened to me in the first place...."

It trailed off and I re-focused again.

I maintained that focus while I followed the crowd indoors where tubs of soapy water and towels awaited.

And indeed, by the time I towel dried I was remarkably blister-free.

I did go on to walk on fire again many times. And some of those walks did not go NEARLY as well as this one did.

And it was from those adventures that I learned the most miraculous things.

But that's a whole new story.

Happy firewalking!

The End?

º //(*_*)\\ º
Nicole Whitney
Producer / Host
News for the Soul
phone: 604 780 NEWS [6397]
Life Changing Broadcasts Since January 1998

Author's Bio: 

Journalist, artist and single mom Nicole Whitney is the founder, producer and host of News for the Soul - the #1 Life Changing Talk Radio Show in the world according to GOOGLE & AOL!