~ Neale Donald Walsch
This past summer I took on a challenge which I avoided for a long time – the 30 day cold shower challenge. Yes, I know it sounds crazy but there are many great benefits for overcoming this challenge. For this reason, I feel impelled to share my experience here with you today and in a series of posts in the coming weeks. Before I begin, let me tell you why I avoided it for so long.
I was simply terrified to do it. I began to examine this fear:
Will I drown? No.
Will I get hurt? No.
Then what am I actually afraid of? Being pushed outside of my comfort zone.
Taking a nice warm shower is relaxing and soothing. Anyone can step into a warm shower and easily begin to enjoy it. Why? Because it is naturally very comforting. On the flipside, I’m sure you’ve experienced what happens when someone in your home turns on the hot water elsewhere while you’re showering. The cold water invades your comfortable shower and you instantly turn into a violent creature (fight or flight response). You begin yelling all obscenities at the top of your lungs in order for them to shut the water off.
At first, the thought of cold showers brought up these exact feelings. I do not want to be in a state of fight or flight when I am showering. I want to be relaxed and comfortable. However, the price of comfort is often mediocrity and stagnation. Real growth occurs when we courageously travel beyond our believed limitations. To endeavour toward something which is greater than our current state of being is braveness at its best.
The time has come. I step into the shower and I am face to face with my fear. I have my hand on the shower handle. A storm of thoughts rush through my mind like a hurricane: What the hell are you doing? This is ridiculous. Don’t do this. Just take a nice warm shower and forget this challenge. So on and so on. These are the thoughts which prevent us from breaking through our comfort zones. Whether it’s in the areas of our relationships, business, work, health, social events and/or ambitions, etc., these limiting thoughts are our barriers to expansion.
I could not believe how loud these limiting thoughts were getting. The inner dialogue of my mind (the fear-based part), which is often subtle in its influence, had reached all new heights.
And here lies our greatest opportunity!
The opportunity to silence the critics in our mind – our greatest enemy.
So for the first time in my life, I turned the shower handle to cold water and…I screeched, shouted and cursed…I jumped, shook and squirmed…but I DID IT. I felt things I had never felt before but most of all, I felt ALIVE!
Next week I will share more about my 30 day cold shower experience and how it has help me live more fully.
Keep pushing your limits,