By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
One of the many experiences I encountered during the past four days of my chiropractic journey was a firewalk. The firewalk was held as a part of the New Beginnings weekend and was hosted by my dear friend, Dr. Jay Handt.
It was to be my first firewalk and I wanted to share in the experience as fully as possible so I offered my assistance in preparing for the event. First of all, don’t try this at home. As Jay stated many times throughout the day, the fire and the risks are very real. One must be fully prepared before setting out to host such an event.
Since our firewalk was to be held in a parking lot, sod was laid and then the wood was to be stacked upon it. With the wood, we prepared three pentagons, using a combination of oak & ceder. Both are hard woods, according to Jay. I took to the task like a young child having the first opportunity to assist his big brother in a backyard project. At one point Jay had said to place a wish with each piece to be stacked. I smiled inside as I was already pouring my energy and wishes into every step, giving grace for the opportunities presented to me all weekend.
After the wood was stacked, newspaper was placed in every crack and crevice. We discussed permits and Jay stated that they differ from state to state and county to county, but they most definitely are needed. After the wood was stacked and our work area was cleaned up, we headed back inside for several hours of chiropractic philosophy. I was already very excited. The energy of the day, the preparation for the walk, the thoughts of the evening, all had me wrapped up in a state of euphoria. I remembered thinking… I was set! That would change.
As night approached, we came closer to the event. Jay was to take to the platform and prepare the group before we all went out to light the fire. During the presentation, I slowly began to fall from my state of excitement. This was not what I had expected, as I was now not feeling to be in the zone that I have often wrote about here. We went through a series of exercises, one of which included writing down our goals and aspirations.
Igniting our Spirits
The group headed outside and after forming a circle, the fire was lit. I had prepared to take a few photos and the first was not a problem. In the time my camera was ready for the 2nd photo, the fire had exploded into an inferno. Everyone was suddenly driven back by the immense heat that burst from the flames which widened our circle. It was as if the fire roared to us, “I am fire, I am real, and I burn.” The wishes we had written were now to be tossed into the fire, a simple task in thought that was made much more difficult due to the heat and wind the fire was creating. We headed back inside to complete our exercises while “fire tenders” remained to prepare the walk.
Inside, we participated in an exercise that was to shake me completely from any state of confidence I thought I had. Paired up with a partner, we were to express our greatest fears as they laughed uncontrollably in our faces. I had not met my partner until that moment, and I was not prepared to shed myself in front of this individual for fear of what they might think. (more on those words later) I was brought to the realization that I had many fears, among them, a fear of being burned. I shared what words came out as my partner looked directly into my eyes and laughed. She laughed at it all. When we were done, we were introduced and I learned she was not a chiropractor, had no clue who I was, was not planning to walk, was there with a friend, and could care less about my silly fears. I felt silly, I realized many of my fears were silly, and I was now having a whole new perspective on things. It was time to walk.
We all headed outside. The walk was ready and a group of DCs were drumming at the edge of the flames. We walked in a circle around the fire and the energy rose. Since it was my first time I was not sure what was to come so I walked the circle and waited for a sign. Suddenly, someone walked across the red hot coals and I knew it was time to go. I was ready, feeling a sudden surge of excitement as there were only a few to go before me and we were right there. I could see the fire at the feet of those in front of me and then they stopped. They stopped and I heard the spoken words, “are you going to walk?” It was only seconds but it triggered a realization in my mind.
I have goals and a vision for chiropractic. I also have fears, and those fears have sometimes lead to hesitation and procrastination. After more than two years of often 15 hour days creating an environment that would allow chiropractors to bring forth the message of chiropractic via this medium called the internet, I realized I had been burned many times. But getting burned was not my greatest fear. My greatest fear was not surrendering myself to the mission I know I was intended to complete. Thank you all for the reminder and the lesson.
We are at the final yard, and some in our profession have set up obstacles to keep us from seeing the vision through. Getting burned along the way seems like such a small price to pay when we have the power to unleash mankind’s imprisoned potential and bring forth greater good to this world.
I have many photos as well as video from the firewalk at New Beginnings. I will have them available to you soon and will replace this text with instructions as to where you can download the images.
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