Hey guys — I drafted this a few weeks ago, but did not post it until now.
Wow – Saturday’s firewalk workshop was utterly amazing. Of course I was bone-deep weary the next day, as seems to have become my pattern, but it was so worth it, so exhilarating, so heart-filling to see where people took the energy of the firewalk. Moments from the evening keep returning to me – the flash of surprised and proud eyes after a woman broke her board. The group’s roar after someone completed a challenge with which he had struggled.
One young woman became emotional and weepy after the trust fall. When I gently asked, she said she had felt suicidal several months earlier and that at that time she had not wanted anyone to catch her – but that now she did. In her testimonial at the end of the night, she wrote “I did not realize how much I needed this until I got here, but wow- what a night. A few months ago, I was in a rough patch, but I decided to live. Experiences like this remind me that I made the right choice.” So… if all we accomplished together was to give this woman a reason to live, that is a Saturday night well spent. But we also did way more than that, and we also got to have a great time.
I sometimes wonder whether students can get as much out of the workshop as older people who have suffered a few knocks. There were a few students there – the firewalk is especially helpful with graduation fear – and they got plenty. One graduating student said afterword, “I saw everything in my life with a new perspective, and [the workshop] has inspired me to live with courage and clarity.” Yay! The world needs more people living with courage and clarity.
One woman struggled with the arrow break and backed off it after her first try, to allow others to go. I mentioned to the room that the discomfort of the arrow break is nothing compared to the pain of childbirth. After the others went, she stepped back up with renewed confidence – recalling that she had given birth twice without anesthesia – and snapped the arrow like it was nothing. That is called reminding someone how bad-ass they are.
Other participant responses:
“I came here with a lot of self-doubt. I leave feeling courage and confidence that I can face anything head on! Thank you, Tony — I will carry this experience with me forever!”
“This was life-changing and the hinge I needed to swing my ass forward. Thanks!”
“Tonight was awesome!! It made me feel so relaxed and ready to take on anything that comes my way.”
“This was a transformative experience. I feel empowered to live life to the fullest!”
Another participant, who said she had a lot of experience with personal development seminars and coaches, said I “exuded warmth and authenticity” and was “accessible and inspirational at the same time.” That is the effect I go for. She, too, called the experience “wonderful and life-changing.”
So…. That is what I like to do with my free time. I just wish it were not so much work to get people to come to the workshops.
News flash: I have committed to developing at least one new workshop this summer, possibly more. The first one is already drafted, on “The Courage to Be Yourself.” Stay tuned.