Circling back to the discussion around mind designing (sounds more fun than training), I want to talk about the last step of my mindful morning routine. But first, I wanted to talk about why I decided to include it.
Last summer, I went back to my small hometown in Upstate New York for my father’s wedding. That event alone was one of the most profound healing events in my life. Proof that you don’t need to venture to some desolate mountaintop in Japan or sit in hours of meditation. Life is the ultimate healer.
His wedding took place in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York. An area where I spent many hot summers at the lake and many crisp falls at the race track in Watkin’s Glen.
The morning after the wedding, my brothers and I decided to head to a nearby state park and hike one of the deep cut trails in the gorges the area is known for.
On the way to the trail though, we passed a waterfall with a swimming hole and decided to go in.
It all seemed like a great idea until I’m standing at the edge of the rock peering down into the dark cold water thinking about how much that shock is going to send a jolt through my entire system. The sun was warm on my skin and for a (long) second I thought maybe we should have stuck with the original plan.
I took a deep breath and leaped. As the water swallowed me up I felt my whole body come alive. I sunk a little, savoring the moment. I was instantly brought back to those summers of my childhood jumping off warm decks into frigid lakes.
I finally surfaced and swam over towards the roaring waterfall where my brothers were sitting. As I pulled myself slightly out of the water and propped up under the cascading fall I felt my breathing change. My body and mind came together in rhythm.
I felt a deep sense of calm rush over me, and in return, I felt wide awake to the world around me.
That experience brings me to the final piece of my routine. 1 minute of cold water at the end of my (nice and hot) shower. I started with just 15 seconds and worked my way up. That progression alone has taught me so much about finding comfort in the discomfort. The best part is, I’m always brought back to that waterfall, and I come alive.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.