Firefighting for your life: Welcome to the course / by Brooks Watson

Before we get started, I want to thank you for signing-up for the course. By taking part, you're helping me craft this practical message of action, courage and transformation. There are many reasons why someone might be curious about this course. Some might feel caught in rut, or be aware of a pattern they don't know how to change, or maybe they just signed-up because it seemed interesting. Whatever your particular reason, I thank you. 

About this course:

This e-mail course will include Academy Lessons and Fire Drills to support the lessons. In the fire service, we still use hand written journals. I encourage you to keep a journal of this course. Journaling will help you track your observations, actions and behaviors. The more you journal, the more patterns will emerge. These patterns will help us craft a new strategy for courageous living. Your feedback is appreciated, so please contact me with any questions or comments. 

In this first email we'll answer some basic questions and introduce our first fire drill.

Is this course really about firefighting?

Yes. We will speak very literally about the forces at play inside fires. We will talk about how and when to fight fires, what action will extinguish fires, and finally the cause and origin of fire. The spiritual application of these discussions will come easily, because they are exactly the same. Watch and be amazed.

Why did I create this course?
The simple answer: I want us to be better. I find the most effective way to grow is to pass on what I've learned. This solidifies the message and makes space for more growth. This is also a specific practice of vulnerability. Over the last few years, I have taken action to intentionally put myself in uncomfortable situations. By crawling into that space on my hands and knees unsure of what lies ahead, I grow. This process has helped me bypass fear more quickly and move towards connectedness with others, like you. The writing of this course is an opportunity for both of us to be better. 

How will you benefit?

While motives may vary, the results will likely be similar. You will be given an inventory of spiritual tools, techniques, and a practical, less emotional process to addressing fear, stress, and drama, aka Fire, when it surfaces in your life. 

This course is specifically designed to gain awareness when emotional fires ignite. You will be able to respond quickly and effectively to the emergencies in your life. Once you've sized-up the emergency, you'll know when to wait, when to back out, and when it's necessary to move towards the heat.

You'll walk away from the course with principles based on real science that will allow you to extinguish fires quickly while staying safe, and you'll see courage in a whole new way. You'll have new access to it. You'll be less emotional, more action based, and ultimately more present to your life. I find that amazing things can manifest as a result of this work.

Lesson #1 will begin with my next email, but your first Fire Drill starts now.

Fire is all around you, now find it.

We use fire in little ways every day. We use it to cook our food, heat our homes, and sometimes to create a romantic atmosphere. That's not the fire we're talking about, but become aware of it.

Fire exists in big ways too. The Sun is Fire, Hell is Fire, Fire is one of the four classic elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire). War is Fire, Creation is Fire. We find it in literature, sports teams, art, and advertising. We're getting closer, but this isn't the fire we're talking about either.

Your first fire drill: There are two fires I want you to become aware of. The first fire is anything Firefighter related. Become aware of hydrants on your street, the firefighter key box outside your elevator, the fire lane, the smoke detector, the fire engines, trucks, sirens, lights, fire houses, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, standpipe connections outside buildings. I want you to become hyper-aware how much we as a culture prepare for fire. Journal how much firefighting surrounds you. This part of the assignment is critical for future success.

The second fire I want you to seek is in your language. Early in life we're taught to use fire to describe ideas, first literally, then metaphorically. What starts with "Don't play with matches kid" evolves into "If you play with fire you're gonna get burned!". We learn to use fire to affirm, "You're on Fire!", "I'm fired up!" or negatively, "He burned me" or "We held his feet to the fire." We learned to "rekindle" relationships and have "burning" desires. Fire as a metaphor has a long and sorted history in our language. The second part of your assignment is to take an inventory of the phrases you and others use regarding fire. The examples above are but a few. Find at least ten more. Anything fire related counts.

As we move forward through the course, we will see that these words are very important. We will clean up our language as it relates to fire. We will drop terms that don't serve us, and replace them with statements that do. I'll leave you with one example of poor and senseless language in our vernacular:

"Fight Fire With Fire"

A wholly unhelpful statement. While this is just a phrase, entire belief systems have been built on the premise. In this course, I'll teach you how to Fight Fire with Water.