Many of my close friends have been doing something very different for their health and wellness:
The cold plunge.
Prolonged exposure to very cold water has profound health benefits.
I tried it on a trip to Arizona. Just sitting for a few minutes in a pool of cold water (40-50 degrees), I could feel the blood pumping through my veins the rest of the day.
So I’ve been looking all over LA for a place that had a cold plunge. They are very hard to find.
Finally, I found a gym with a cold plunge.
As you know, in January, people flock to the gym. New Year New You.
Every Stairmaster, every treadmill, all the weights, all the mats are slam packed!
Yesterday, I was the only guy in the cold plunge.
Think: all the effects of yoga and meditation but then, TURN UP THE VOLUME.
When you are sitting in that cold water, it’s impossible for your mind to drift.
There’s a burning on my skin, sometimes a cramping in my ankles, and I have to breathe with purpose, to move through the discomfort.
You might be thinking, “No thank you Yeah Dave! It’s freezing outside!! I’ll stick with warm yoga and the treadmill.”
But once you get through the discomfort, the cold water gives you a heightened awareness, a temporary LIFT above the minutiae constantly nipping at your mind.
One thing that has become clear to me in my cold-plunge induced clarity (and maybe slight hysteria) is that my mind is a blunt instrument. Dulled by too much stimulation.
I am struggling to find any kind of capacity to Receive.
An inability to Receive is about as bad for your health as loneliness and cigarettes.
What does that mean: “to Receive?”
Jack Kornfield teaches that we always think it’s up to us to please The Universe, to do good, to love others. But the Universe is also trying to please us and often, we just don’t notice.
You probably know the quote by Maya Angelou: “I think it pisses God off if we walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
If we just don’t make much time for what’s going “out there”…we are basically saying: DO NOT DISTURB. I’m good to go.
But is that really how you feel?
Or do you hope that every so often, maybe even every day, you could experience a small miracle?
If so, take down the DO NOT DISTURB sign.
And that’s my thought process for those 5 minutes in the cold plunge. Then I’m back to the demands of life, like everyone else.
Those 5 minutes are filled with clarity and purpose and Understanding.
I’m not sharing this with you today to suggest you start the cold plunge.
Rather, I’m sharing this with you today to remind you that Receiving is a skill in and of itself.
It’s one thing to pray and hope and dream…but if you don’t make anytime in your day to Receive, then someone could show up with a briefcase for YOU, filled with $1,000,000, and you (and I) would be too busy to talk to a random person with a briefcase.