The Overflow Podcast // 030 // Nathan Petty- Fire-walking, fear-killing, and camaraderie that transcends words

IMG_4918A few weeks ago I walked on fire. Yes, actual, legit fire. Just like the guys do in the circus or the sideshow. In fact, 50 or so guys did this all at the same time…

As part of the Iron Will retreat this July in Salt Lake, 80 guys- all affiliated with Young Living in some way (either they are distributors, or their wives are), converged for 5 days of mayhem. Literally.

We shot guns.

Rode Polaris dune buggies (and flipped a few).

Had the opportunity to horseback ride (I didn’t do it, I rode the dune buggies).

Listen to a bunch of incredible teaching from Young Living’s founder, Gary Young.

And we walked on fire.

The fire walk was part of a larger session on overcoming fear. In that session, we actually wrote our fears on paper. And we seriously contemplated each of them. What were they? Why did we have them? And what was the absolute worst that could happen if any of those fears came true?

The evening culminated with the actual fire walk- 1400 degrees of heat. I’ll tell you about it in the recording below.


What are you afraid of?

I asked Nathan Petty, one of the men I’ve gotten to know through some of my travels to workshops, conventions, and other events, to sit with me and chat about his thoughts on the entire week in general and on the fire walk session in specific.

Post fire-walk. A little char on the feet, but no burn...

Post fire-walk. A little char on the feet, but no burn…

A photographer by trade, Nathan talks openly about dealing with career transitions (and how much of our identity is wrapped in what we do, as well as when we do it- yes, our schedule seems to be that important!).  He talks openly about kids, about broken relationships, and about grace that chases you until you’re overwhelmed with the Father’s love.

I’ve learned through conversations with guys like Nathan that, at the core, we’re all afraid of the same things. And we all have the same hurts and hang-ups. The same fears, even.

Regardless of how different we seem to be on the surface (Nathan is a West Coast photographer steeped in self culture) , we’re all the same. Almost carbon copies.

And, while we should be individuals, and celebrate our uniqueness, most of the things that make us truly unique are surface issues. So, yes, we should celebrate those differences. Our gifts are different. Our backgrounds and experiences are different. The things we bring to the table are unique. We can all benefit from each other.

The details are different, yet the stories in which we find ourselves are often the same. When we let our guard down, pull the masks off, and truly look at each other face-to-face, we grow as the individuals we were created to be and we- at the same time- grow together.


Something unique happened at the fire…

Something unique happened around that fire, and as we walked across it. I can’t explain it- it’s an intangible. Maybe some of the guys like Nathan, guys who were there, can communicate it more clearly.

What happened? 

I’ll tell you… it’s one of those things that you can’t quite explain, just one of the things you know. It was a feeling of, whatever you brought to this fire, and whatever fear or concern it represented, is done. It’s gone. Vanished. Burned away.

That- and a sense that comes from the look in the other guys’ eyes of, “I know where you are… I’m there, too. I know…”

It’s not a sense of  “Let me fix this… ” Or- “Let me give you a short, pithy statement  or Bible verse to whitewash it…”

It’s just a sense of an unspoken something more like “I know… I’m there… And you’ve got it. We’ve got it…”


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Another of the pics we made at the event that are referenced in the show: