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How to Walk Through Fire: Limiting Beliefs and the Power of the Mind to Hurt or Heal

By Ritamarie Loscalzo

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Believing that something is too hard or that it’s beyond your ability is an example of having a “limiting belief”.

Limiting beliefs are those strongly held convictions that hold you back, rather than propel you forward, on your journey to a successful and happy life.

They are usually handed to you by others in the delicate days of your youth, and you adopt them as your own.

Well, the good news is that when you let go of limiting beliefs, you can begin to see results almost immediately.

When you let go of fear and limiting beliefs, you can accomplish anything.

Don’t Confuse “Impossible” with “Unachieved”

There’s something wildly empowering about accomplishing something you used to think was impossible — like writing a book, running a marathon, or walking on fire.

When you’re on the “before” side of new ideas, they seem like insurmountable tasks.

I know people who were not in the best of shape and decided they were going to run a marathon anyway. They did what it took to train, in spite of the effort being really difficult.

Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, even if you’re in good shape like I was before I began mine. While it’s huge, it’s not impossible even for people who start out overweight and unfit.

Writing a book may feel like an impossible dream, especially if you can barely get through writing a short blog post without distress. Yet with discipline and desire, it can be done, even if you don’t consider yourself a good writer. If you have a message that’s hankering to get out, you will find a way, once you let go of the belief “I can’t”.

Facing My Firewalk

So what about fire walking?

For some reason, it intrigued me from the moment I heard about it. How is it possible? Do you need to be in a hypnotic trance? Are your feet coated with a heat resistant seal? Does it hurt?

The answers, in my recent experience, are “No,” “No,” and “Barely.”

fire walkI recently attended a firewalking event. I really didn’t know what to expect to happen to get us prepared, and I will say that when the moment of truth arrived, my thought was — That was it? That’s alllll we’re going to do to get ready to walk over 1500 degree coals? Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

I asked, “So what’s going to keep my feet from frying?”

And I didn’t like the answer at all.

The answer was simply — believe that you can do this.

“Will I get burned?”

— Maybe.

Our leader asked, “Who is okay with getting burned?”

My mind replied with a resounding NOT ME. I envisioned getting burned as having my feet bandaged, unable to run for weeks, and I said, “No way.”

Then he explained that if we were not okay with the outcome, whatever it was, we were surely to get burned.

Then it hit me.

Why a 1600 °F Stroll May Help You Overcome Infections, Allergies, and Even Cancer

So before we get into the “how” and “what”, let’s briefly discuss the “why”.

Why would you deliberately walk across a bed of hot coals, knowing full well that indeed you might get burned?

The point is to face fears, overcome limiting beliefs, and be able to walk into scary situations.

facing fearsLife is full of fires and we frequently need to choose to walk through or miss out on the reward.

And walking over a bed of hot coals leaves you with the powerful sense of accomplishment. It leaves you feeling that you can do anything.

Firewalking has become recognized as a powerful tool for self-healing, and it’s recommended by some medical doctors in cases of catastrophic illness.

According to Andrew Weil, M.D. and author:

“Firewalking demonstrates the reality of using non-ordinary states of consciousness to modify your body’s response to ordinary harmful external stimulation.

If you don’t have to get pain, redness, and blisters on exposure to a certain range and type of heat, then you don’t have to get infections on exposure to germs, allergies on exposure to allergens, or cancer on exposure to carcinogens.

What an exciting and largely uncharted territory in which to discover powerful, new techniques to bolster natural resistance to disease!”

Once you’ve walked through fire, simple lifestyle changes like eating more greens, giving up gluten, or exercising seem easy by comparison. In fact, they offer larger extrinsic rewards than walking across fire, and such choices are certainly much less intimidating.

Asking for a raise, approaching a potential joint venture partner, and saying no to abusive relationships are nowhere near as scary as walking over fire, so once you’ve completed a fire walk, you feel empowered to do all those things you’ve been putting off for many years.

According to Loring Danforth, author of Firewalking and Religious Healing, “Walking on fire is a metaphor for performing miracles and accomplishing the impossible.”

So What is a Firewalk Really Like?

It all starts with building a fire.

Preparing Dr. Ritamarie's FirewalkA big fire with big flames and intense heat. The fire gets tended all day while participants engage in introspective study and activities geared towards improving your relationship with fear.

The fire is allowed to reduce to a pit of glowing burning embers that are raked to a rectangular pit suitable for walking across.

The temperature of the fire and glowing goals is between 1200 and 1699 degrees F.

Sitting even ten feet away can be uncomfortable.

One of the activities we did was to each add logs to the fire. It sure was hard getting that close and feeling the intensity of the heat triggered my doubts to creep in.

My Turn…

When my turn arrived, I stood about 10 feet away from the coals, still not sure I could do the walk.

firewalk bedI recalled the words of our leader about looking past the fire, not at it. I looked past the obstacle to the destination, and then I calmly and briskly put one foot in front of the other until I reached my goal.

The feeling that overcame me as I stepped back onto the cool earth is impossible to describe. It was a sense of freedom, power, and joy that was delicious.

I felt a few tiny hot spots on my left foot and that was it. My right foot felt perfectly fine.

We were told that sometimes we get those hot spots on reflexology points for areas of the body that need attention.

My spots were on areas of my foot related to eyes and ears.

Walking through fire is a sacred experience, one that requires focus and complete attention; therefore, we were not allowed to have anyone take our picture the first time through. After that, we were free to go through again and arrange for a photo.

Once through, the old fears take over. If I do it again will I get burned this time? Yet I had told my kids I would have a photo taken, so they would know I really did it.

Dr. Ritamarie's FirewalkUnfortunately the second time through, the photo only captured one arm, so I did the walk a third time. This time several photos were shot (though, sadly, the image qualities were not ideal).

If I felt proud and unstoppable after walking through the first time, you can only imagine how I felt after the third time.

I was unstoppable, and – indeed – when my partner for a very moving pre-walk fear activity approached me and asked if we could walk through together as a celebration of our breakthroughs, I said yes and walked through a fourth time.

I wasn’t as focused the fourth time, and I managed to get a small blister on one of my left toes, a symbol of my victory.

Look Past Your Limiting Beliefs and Walk Through Your Fears

It’s been a little over a week, and I still feel the effects.

I am ready for some powerful and big changes. Accomplishing the seemingly impossible …walking across a bed of 1600 degree coals 4 times with only a small blister to show for it has convinced me in a powerful way that I can do anything I set my mind on accomplishing.

What have your limiting beliefs kept you from accomplishing?

Post below and let me know.

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