Cold Showers (Part 3) – Under Pressure

MeasureOfAMan“The ultimate measure of a man (a person) is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
I can vividly remember the first few times I immersed myself in cold water. It immediately puts you into a primal state of being. In other words, your inner animal comes out. Your heart rate races and each beat feels very intense – almost as if your heart is going to pound right out of your chest. A natural tendency to let out some primal sounds (such as screaming, cursing and grunting) and movements (such as shaking, flexing muscles and even beating your chest) are common. By the way, this alone can have tremendous health benefits because you release pent up tension and emotions.

The cold water puts your body and mind under some extreme pressure. It is as if you are being attacked (loss of safety and security). For this reason, you lose control of your regular sense of being (you need to fight back or run away). We have all been in a situation where someone verbally attacks us and we quickly lose our cool. It is an instinctual reaction.

But can we overcome this instinctual reaction? This was my ultimate goal for taking on this 30 day cold shower challenge. Could I eventually be calm while under this extreme (cold) pressure? The answer is yes! I’ll admit, it took me a while (several weeks) before I could achieve absolute calmness but it was an incredibly rewarding experience when I finally did it. Why was this so important to me? Calmness under pressure is what turns athletes into champions, surgeons into life savers and ordinary people into extraordinary heroes.

Meditation is the practice of staying present and mindful from moment to moment. This practice allows you to be less reactive and more in control of how you respond in any given situation. Remaining in a mindful state while under extreme stress or pressure is the ultimate test of your meditative practices. If you are able to stay calm and in control of your responses in extreme circumstances then you are truly the master of your destiny. Therefore, any exercise such as the cold water challenge, offers the perfect opportunity to build this extraordinary trait into your character.

Stay calm,

Sal Crispo

The Golden Intangibles

GoldenLovePeaceJoy“The real things of life, such as peace, harmony, integrity, security, and happiness are intangible. They come from the Deep Self of man. Meditating on these qualities builds these treasures of heaven in our subconscious. ‘It is where moth and rust do not consume, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ MATT. 6:20.”

~ Dr. Joseph Murphy (excerpt from The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)

The above excerpt is a reminder that every real thing we desire lies within us. No one can give us these intangible things and at the same time, no one can take them away. This truth is very empowering for those who are willing to accept self-responsibility and self-governance. The self-directed person does not blame others for their lack of peace or for their unhappiness, etc., instead they look within for answers. How can I stop sabotaging my own happiness and peace of mind and bring more of these intangibles into my life?

This truth may be difficult to accept for some people as taking self-responsibility is not easy. It is a lot easier to blame the circumstances (people, places and things) in our external world than to face the darkness we carry within and admit that here lies the cause of most of our troubles. As I teach in my book, there is a Light shining brightly within each of us (a Light which we all share). If our ego is unhealthy, the Light gets blocked and our outer world is darkened. For this reason, the health of the ego is paramount to creating a life full of peace, joy and love.

To create a life full of Light, you must first examine your ego. Do your current, dominant thoughts, beliefs and perspectives bring you lasting peace, joy and love, etc.? If they don’t then no matter what happens around you, you will not live with these things for long. From time to time you may experience peace, love and joy to a certain degree, but none will endure if your ego prevents the Light from shining through. After examining your ego, replace all unhealthy ego traits with healthy ones. I understand it will take a lot of time to inspect and then change all of your unhealthy dominating thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives but the rewards for doing this are immeasurable. This work is where your greatest treasure lies – the golden intangibles.

Please meditate and journal on the excerpt given as well as the questions I proposed in this blog post. Thank you.

Let your Light shine through,

Sal Crispo

How Big Are Our Problems?

Planet SizesAs you know, it easy to become overly focused and consumed with our personal problems. We are emotional beings and problems often stir up many emotions, especially negative ones. For this reason, personal problems can leave us feeling very stressed out and drained of our vitality. Continue reading