It was my first experience through extreme cold after graduating as a Wim Hof Method instructor in 2019.
I was conscious of the fact that when you do things alone, everything is different.
When you are in a group of like-minded explorers, there is a psychological scaffolding system that is erected around you and all your experiences. You have moral support, safety is guaranteed by the fact that everyone is looking out for each other, and the energy is naturally elevated.
None of this is present when you are alone. You must rely on your motivation, convictions and inner power. Every aspect of the experience is up to you to plan, experience and monitor, to make sure you get home safely and in one piece.
It’s January 2020 and I just left Lapland, Finland, where I spent the last week exploring the cold and testing my limits.
I meditated in -2 C. I walked barefoot in -5 C. I completed short treks in -6 C. All of these wearing just a pair of swimming trunks and sometimes shoes.
All the experiences were easier than I imagined them to be, even up to the minute just before starting them.
Before leaving for Finland I contacted one of our senior instructors and asked him about atmospheric temperature; my curiosity was about the temperature below which human tissue could freeze. I was aware that Lapland could get as cold as -25 / -30 C and was not sure if I’d be safe.
I was going to be alone in these experiences and I needed to make sure I was safe.
He simply reminded me that listening to my body and having safety in mind were central to any cold exposures.
I asked a similar question to the broader community and one of my friends reminded me that he regularly goes for cryotherapy sessions, where the skin is exposed to -110 C temperatures.
My mind was suddenly at peace!
The two responses were enough to remind me that I had enough training, my attention to safety was sound, and my awareness of body and mind was sharp. The power was with me.
Every day, just before dinner, I ventured out for a short trek by the hotel. I was never exposed for more than 20 minutes, but the time didn’t really matter. It was about being there and doing it. It was about deciding and choosing to go out. It never felt like a chore, it always felt like the first walk into the cold.
In a couple of occasions I also had the opportunity to sit in the snow and meditate. I was higher up in the mountain, away from the noises of the town and immersed into the peaceful, snow-packed forest. Everything felt right!
I had an amazing week! I was in a beautiful country, surrounded by delightful people, immersed in clean, crisp air, and healthy enough to enjoy all the activities I had access to.
It was a reminder that the mind and the body best work together when aligned and in sync.
It was proof that the power is always within us, and accessing it is a choice that must be coordinated through a wide range of factors.
I forget who I heard this from, but someone once told me, "I was an overnight success after 20 years of hard work!"
I know that many of us have life struggles that make it difficult to remember that our innate power is within, let alone access it. My invite to you is to chip away at the obstacles one little bit at the time, every single day.
I wasn't always in the place where I am today. I have had some serious challenges of my own and some really deep, dark moments, but I keep working at it every day, accepting that I am doing my best every day, even when it is suboptimal, and remembering that a journey made of an ongoing series of positive steps seldom will end up being anything but a positive journey.
Lots of love to you all!!!!
If you want to join me on the OM-ICE retreat, we have one running on from the 31st of Jan 2020 to the 2nd Feb 2020 in Bintan, Indonesia.
To book your place visit www.om-ice.com.