I’m not a fan of anything prescriptive. I believe in teaching people how to awaken their innate wisdom rather than touting methods for wellness, healing, training or life goals in general. This is because if we are in tune with the intuitive nature of the body, mind and heart we will spontaneously gravitate towards that which will ultimately benefit us on a deep somatic level.
Thirteen years ago, and for several years beyond, while I was going through the trauma of separation and divorce — and all that entails when egos are frayed and children are hurting — I would take myself to the icy Atlantic and breathe meditatively through the freeze as I gradually submerged myself in its numbness. Once I had calmed my sympathetic nervous system and slowed my heart rate and breath, I would lie back and surrender to the support of the water, relaxing fully into her arms. All the while my calming inner dialogue would remind me that this will pass, that I will be warm again, that nothing is forever and that the Law of Impermanence is my soulmate. I was generally the only person back then … incredulous onlookers considered me mad. But now it’s a method; now it’s en vogue; now everyone, whether or not they are intuitively being called to #icebathing, will force themselves to go there because now you’re considered crazy if you don’t.
Having said all of that, I’m always up for a #challenge! So when I met a friend this evening for a swim in the tidal pool, and he set his watch for 20 minutes, there was zero chance I was going to get out a second before the goal regardless of having lost control of my lower jaw at around the 15 minute mark.
With the sun behind mottled clouds, after 20 minutes in thirteen degree Celsius water, I fumbled over belt and buttons and managed to tap my thumb in just the right place to capture the magnificence of yet another magical Cape Town sunset. And then I had to recruit a driver so my body could shake out all that needed to be released.