Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slaying the Dragon

I attended a breaking through fear workshop last weekend.  80 people took a leap of faith, made commitments to break through their fears, to be done, to walk to the person they were born to be.

The first speaker of the day, Aaron Huey totally rocked the room and set the tone for the day, for the entire weekend.  Aaron walked away from a life of addiction and now lives a life of service running a program for for teenage boys  that are dealing with substance abuse. "You have to be done, really be done with something before you can create something new."   He asked us again and again, "Are you done?"   "Are you really done?" We would all respond, yes.  We are are done.  Aaron would reply, "We'll see, we'll see.

One of the exercises we did on the first day was on the three C's.  Confidence, Courage, Commitment.  For each word on a scale from 1-10, rate where you are.  My word was confidence. Whichever word was ranked the lowest we we then gathered in a circle with a group of people that had also chosen that word.

We were given instructions to look each person that was in the circle in the eye and say "I will ---."  They are to respond "Yes, you will." and then we are to respond with "Thank you, I will."

There were about 15 people in my circle and just like so many times in my life, I found myself to be that last person to share.  I hoped no one would notice that I hadn't shared. I tried to shrink and make myself invisible.    I am a very good ghost.   It is my winning hand....

I stepped out into the circle.  I made eye contact.  I made my declaration.

"I will be unstoppable in my efforts to help create a world without blood cancers."  15 times, I made eye contact, shared my commitment.  15 times the other people in the group affirmed my commitment.  "Yes, you will.".   "Thank you, I will", I echoed back.

At the end of the first day, we all broke boards.  Smashing through fear.  Smashing through something that we wanted to leave behind.  What was it costing us?  I declared I was done.  I broke the board.  Am I done?  We'll see....

At the end of the second day we walked on fire, a bed of coals.  Fifteen feet, 1,250 degrees.  Leaving behind what we said we were done with, walking towards something.

Slaying the dragon.  The dragon that takes me out of the game, the dragon that keeps me small.   The dragon whose sole purpose and existence is based on his survival.  The dragon who also exists to serve and protect, to keep me safe.  Is the dragon a monster or a friend?

In preparation for the fire walk we were asked to write a letter to what we were done with.  What had it cost me?  What had it cost the world?  What was the payoff?  What had I gained from it?

What would I leave behind and walk towards?  We were given a couple of minutes to write.  We then walked to the fire where we were told to crumple our letters, hold onto them and then throw them into the fire and watch the letter ignite and then walk away.

Back to the room we went for our final instructions.  There was talk about creating a state change, having a power move, an anchor.

State your name, what you are done with and what you are walking towards.  Once the declaration was invoked in a powerful way the sentinel's at the start of the fire walk would lower their arms and we would walk begin to walk on fire.  Fifteen feet to be done with whatever we were leaving behind, fifteen feet to walk with purpose and intention to something else.

I ran over to my car before getting in the line.  I knew what my anchor's were.  I knew I would feel grounded.  I would be safe.  I knew who I wanted to share this journey with me as I left behind what I was done with and walked towards what I want to embrace in my life.

I waited my turn.  I felt incredibly calm, grounded.  I knew I could do this and I was unafraid.  I have run 17 marathons.  How hard could it be to walk fifteen feet?

The instructions were changed as the supply of coal was running low.  Just say what you are walking to.

It was my turn.

I said it loud, I said it proud.  No ghost today.

"My name is Ross Kinney and I am walking towards a life of  risking my significance and a world without blood cancer."

And I was off.  I hugged the volunteer at the end of the walk and wiped my feet off on the cool moss to keep my feet from burning.  It was over.  I had walked on fire.  What else is possible?

Inspiration for walking on fire and other things in life!
So many times in my life it was Kelly who inspired me to do things I never thought I could, whether it was running a marathon or doing something really scary like talking in front of a room full of people.

And now I have this wonderful opportunity to do something great with Cassandra, be inspired, play full out as we walk towards a world without cancer together for Kelly, for Laiken, for so many.

I turned back in time to watch my wife Sue walk to leave her something behind and to walk towards what she wants to create in her life.

I told her later that the fire walk for me was easy.  It was the exercise the day before that was so much harder for me.  Sharing my voice, being playful, dancing.   That  is the dragon totally stops me, takes me off  the court.

Sue asked me, "What if sharing your voice, being playful and silly and dancing is what the world really needs?"  "What if that is the one thing you need to do for the world  What if that makes the difference?"

I hate it when she asks me questions like that...

I told her the what I am done with that I didn't get to say before the fire walk.  "I am done playing small."

Am I done?  Am I done playing small?  Am I ready to risk my significance?  We'll see, we'll see...


  1. Great recap! You were an amazing firewallet! Love you!

  2. You blow me away, Ross. And inspire me. And make me proud to be human. Walk on, Brave Friend, walk on.