Originally posted to Instagram in April 2022
“Fire can both heat your home, as well as burn it down.”
I believe that no matter our state, we are all experiencing the power of the mind.
I know that I’m constantly experiencing this for better or for worse, and know that I owe the responsibility of controlling the flame to both myself and those around me.
Containing it when burning too violently, and stoking it when the coals call for fuel.
It’s a matter of self regulation - to monitor and acknowledge my state while executing processes to both maintain or recalibrate my peace.
I have felt both:
Great, efficient, confident, friendly, helpful, present, accommodating, compassionate, and loving.
On a roll.
Like I’m my own best friend.
Like shit, scattered, shameful, resentful, withdrawn, overwhelmed, avoidant, angry, and sad.
Defensive and looking to fight.
Scared and wanting to run.
Or like everyone is out to get me.
As I aim at living peacefully: It might come as a surprise that one of my ways of containing the flame is by using the cold.
At the turn of 2021 I took up “Cold Therapy” as I drew inspiration from the Ice Man himself: Wim Hof (@iceman_hof)
The cold forces me to breathe.
It sees me voluntarily take on a form of physical stress that directly translates now to my ability to handle emotional stress.
It forces me into a meditation I’m not prone to finding if I sit on the floor and try to do the same thing.
I began cold therapy by way of a ten-minute morning shower.
I would start hot, and every minute-on-the-minute would turn the dial just a little cooler until I had it as cold as it would go.
To manage the stress of the cold, I have found deep breathing and focus to be the key.
My controlled breathing would continue beyond the shower as I moved into the rest of my day with a clarity and peace that was unusual to me.
With poise previously undiscovered.
With a sense of pride I’d not have gained if I didn't choose to face and overcome my self-prescribed adversity.
I utilise and grow in this practice almost every day.
Whether by shower or by plunge — or whether I’m counting minutes or breaths…
“This what we do now.”