Salt Lake Community College Math Instructor Dr. L. Cameron Mosher helps students face their fears by using fire. Mosher believes that confronting and crossing a fire in a firewalk helps people overcome other challenging situations in life by making the seemingly impossible possible.
“My goal in a firewalk workshop is to provide the opportunity for every participant to make the connection of facing this fire and facing other fires in life that are going to involve my fears, my doubts or my anxieties,” Mosher said.
Mosher has been doing firewalks for about 20 years and has crossed hundreds of fires barefoot. Some of those times he has been burned.
“The times that I’ve been burned are precious to me because they remind me the fire is real,” Mosher said. “Its not some mysterious thing. It is a real fire, it is a real human being. It’s not about some spiritual preparation or something that makes it different. It is about making a clear choice. It’s about being willing to face the risk and about accepting the consequences.”
People develop belief systems about what is real and how to deal with reality as young children. Parents teach their children and provide experiences for them, which then become embedded in the subconscious.
“I see my job to provide people with opportunities to face challenging perceptions such as fire,” Mosher said. “What are your beliefs about fire? Well, fire is hot, it burns, it destroys, it can kill, and all that. So, we have these beliefs, and every time I see fire I want to go away from it.”
At a firewalk, participants build a large fire. As they watch the fire burn down to coals, a workshop is conducted by Mosher. When a pile of coals is produced, participants rake them into a bed of coals and remove their socks and shoes.
“Yes, shoes and socks off,” Mosher said. “…deal with the choice. What am I going to do about this one?”
Mosher believes that people are more capable and magnificent than they believe they are. As a math teacher, Mosher uses the same experiential tools that he uses in a firewalk workshop.
“To me, a math class is like a firewalk,” Mosher said. “People perceive that it is something difficult or that they can’t do and so they show up to class with fear and trepidation about math. So part of what I want to do with these math classes is offer people an opportunity to realize that they are capable.”
Mosher says that people should look around them in their lives and see what they are learning in math or any other class that can be applied to any career choice or can be used in creating a future that is better than the one that was previously thought to be available.
For more information about Mosher or his book “I’m okay: I’m just not finished yet,” visit his website IWalkedOnFire.com.