Controlled Burn: A Review


Jeremy Fiebig invites us to set fire to our lives to clear the thick underbrush that bogs us down, thus enabling us to welcome new growth. It is in this clearing, this “thin” place where magic happens. Fiebig defines magic as “the moments of ineffable, ethereal, and often indescribable transformation that happen in all kinds of bodies as a result of Controlled burning, Bonfire Experiences, and The Work.”

I was drawn to this book due to my own personal work I’ve been undertaking the past four years since retirement and the pandemic. Personally, I connected with Fiebig because we share experiences in the theater and in coaching.

Controlled Burn is part autobiography, self-help workbook, and inspirational guide. By sharing some of his own trauma and history, Fiebig draws us in to understand the root of his transformational work. He speaks authentically from experience. He points out that his journey is not ours, but he writes, “something in my journey might kindle a flame for you.” And that it did, particularly when he speaks of magic. He gives us four attributes of what magical, deep work entails. It is different, disobedient, disorienting, and delightful. He encourages each of us to be weird in our own way.

Fiebig also emphasizes that deep work can’t be exclusively a solo experience. Find your people, gather, and help create communion. Bonfires are collective experiences where stories are shared. The best things happen “when we are on fire together, when there’s a common buzz or collective energy, when the party is great.”

I mentioned at the beginning of this review that Fiebig invites us to set our lives on fire. It’s all about the invitation. He writes, “much of what happens is invited, as in the Buddhist tradition, to be aware of emotions but not compelled by them.” If you are ready to do the deep work and encounter the magic, this book is for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.


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