Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Archive for the tag “csh”

Day 6 Cold Shower plus Mini Challenge

Yesterday, I made my first attempt at a meatless Monday. I have wanted to go meatless for quite awhile, not for any particular reason, but just to see if I could do it. I usually feel super hungry and eventually give into my cravings. So I thought of it as a mini challenge, which in the future, I would like to increase to more than a day but everyone has to start out somewhere. My issue is that I constantly forget to not eat any meat.

Throughout my day, I had some peanut butter toast for breakfast, then some white rice with black beans for lunch, and a delicious vegan pizza for dinner, vegan because of my allergies. I was extremely excited that I had gone a day without meat for the first time but sadly one small detail dawned on me. After lunch, my brother was having some stir fry, which I had made the day before, and without even thinking about it I ate one strip of meat. A rather disappointing fact to remember at the end of the day, but my subconscious wanted kept me honest. I am definitely going to attempt it again next Monday and learn from this experience.

Today, I used the guest bathroom for a little change in scenery. I normally stay away from this particular shower because its height, which is about five feet tall, is about a foot lower than my head. Consequently, I either end up bowing to the shower gods or completing a home workout because I have to squat half the time. It definitely adds a level of discomfort to my overall experience. Then add some freezing cold water into the mix and the resulting shower experience is quite interesting. The shower was surprising colder today and I couldn’t completely get used to the feeling. I kept letting out small gasps as my body shivered uncontrollably. At the beginning of this challenge, I kept thinking that the cold showers would become easy, like a hot shower, and that I would ultimately have no issues with them in the future. However, I am reminded each day that the water will always be icy cold and therefore slightly uncomfortable.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein

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Day 5 Freaking Cold Shower

From time to time, I like most have my ups and downs. Life progresses at a leisurely pace and then suddenly it gets unbearable with no moment to breathe. This common theme, share by most about life, can be applied to my challenge. Some days the water is quite enjoyable and a refreshing start to the day. While other days the water feels horrible, even insufferable, and the unpleasantness of the entire situation makes me never want to go through it again. However, the water never changed, it was always cold, but something else had to have. If you look around the world, it doesn’t change, it is just a relentless machine moving forward where the strongest survive. Similarly, the shower stays constant, its temperature does not falter, and it is how I perceived it that changed it in my mind. It is the stressors add by life which weigh us down, altering our view. Therefore, it is the individuals’ choice to choose how to view the events of life.

It’s been a few days since my flight and I am still adjusting to the new time zone. The cold showers really help wake me up in the morning. Today, I turned on the water and tested the temperature like normal. It almost felt warm, and I thought well this is going to be easy but then suddenly the temperature dropped. I mean the water felt freaking cold and I actually hesitated in getting in. The same old thoughts began running through my head telling me that this was a crazy idea. I froze for a second while a shiver ran down my back. One thing I have been learning is how to shut those thoughts off and just hop in. Understanding that the discomfort is short lived, like most parts of my life, and that I will eventually adjust to it.

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? ~ Hunter S. Thompson

Day 4 Cold Shower Challenge

Yesterday, I wrote about the nightmares of cold showers, and I was proud of the fact that I don’t see them that way. It felt like I was conquering a fear and pushing past my limits. However, as we head towards discomfort we find the fears that truly haunt us. When I woke up this morning, I was stress out and panicking over some detail in a post that I had submitted. I slowly realized that it had all been a dream and that none of it was real. In my dream, I was reviewing a post and found that I had written “it” rather than “its”. A small error yet I was thrown into turmoil over the mistake. I feared that I would be criticized, judged, and that everyone would see my mistake. When I became this challenge, I always knew it was double sided, fearing a cold shower and public writing. I knew that writing was a deep-seated fear for me. While I can stand the discomfort of an icy shower, I don’t have as much control over my fear of writing. It is not just a five minute ordeal or something I can just accomplish. It is a constant; it follows my thoughts through night and day.

Consequently, the cold shower was always masking my fear of writing, but deep down I wanted to face this fear. I wanted to start improving my writing and myself. So as I am continuously asked the same question, why, my answer is that your fears become layers like tinted glass in front of your eyes. As you slowly remove a layer of tint your vision becomes clearer and you see the fears that were being hidden. So by learning how to remove one layer, even as simple as a cold shower, you learn how to stand up and face your deeper fears.

Interesting enough I found a solution for a cold shower, sunburns. I would not suggest it, for health reasons, but it does increase your skin temperature. The trouble with sunburns is that the water doesn’t feel cold on the skin, but when it hits another part it can feel ten times colder. In the past, a warm shower would normally make me fall into a trance or daydream. I would practically fall asleep, standing up. This is the relaxing state everyone so abundantly enjoys. On the other hand, a cold shower keeps me focused and snaps me out of that dreamy state.

Resistance is fear. But resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame at this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear. ~ Steven Pressfield

Day 3 Cold Shower Challenge

Visiting family always makes for some interesting times. They are never boring that is for sure. The catch-up period, as I call it, occurs when I have to compress my life into short blurbs which never really tell the whole story. Then after a few hours everyone is usually caught up with nothing left to say. So gradually, I brought up the topic of my cold shower challenge which went pretty much as I expected. Shock and horror! Okay it probably wasn’t that bad, but just like my friends, they thought I was crazy. Who knew that cold showers were the nightmares of men and women? It seems like most people have had an encounter with the dreaded cold shower and they see fit to never have to repeat such a torture. So for them, my challenge almost constitutes self-torture, an extreme view, but no one enjoys nightmares.

Last night, I finally got some decent sleep, wasn’t even thinking about the icy shower, so it looks like the nightmare is fading. The next morning, I turned on the cold water, jumped right in, and tried not to think about it. Of course, the water was cold initially but after about a minute it didn’t feel cold at all. I mean it was cold, but I actually started questioning how cold it actually was. I kept feeling the water with my hands and thinking well it feels cold. However, my body felt neural, even warm at times. I had to keep moving around to let the cold water freeze different areas of my body. I don’t know if the water wasn’t as cold or that some good old-fashion sleep helped me out, but I definitely didn’t find the cold shower painfully hard. Quite the opposite it felt good and refreshing.

Beforehand, while I was debating with a family member over my challenge, one quote kept popping up in my head. This quote has been plastered up on my white board for most of last year. Every time I started faltering or making excuses at college, I would repeat the quote to myself. To me, it has a powerful meaning on what truly defines every individual.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

Day 2 A 4am Cold Shower

I had a very early flight today so I had to get up at 3:30am. Not that it’s hard getting up early but in no way does the idea of taking a cold shower sound pleasant. As far as I am concerned, if you have to wake up early then you shouldn’t have to freeze to death. Still, I accepted the challenge so I will see it through, even at 4am.

The shower seemed surprisingly colder than it was the day before. My body started shivering almost immediately, and I had to really focus on breathing normally. A nice benefit, if you could call it that, because there is probably nothing better than an icy shower to shock you to life at 4am. It gives you a feeling of strength and vigor, not physical but mental, that just can’t be equaled.

I started sharing my challenge with a few friends and their reactions could easily be identified as hysterical, even borderline defensive. Basically, they couldn’t understand why I would do this in the first place. They of course love hot showers and were willing to defend this stance to their grave. To them, the idea of a cold shower is plain crazy. Although, isn’t that the whole point to do something that most people wouldn’t even consider!

I started Delimit My Life to prove to myself that the impossible is possible and to find the limits that I have placed in my life. I fully understand my friends’ opinions because people tend to fear discomfort. We grow up trying to minimizing any and all discomfort in our lives, but to what end? Slowly our lives become full of limitations and fears which gradually make us dull and complacent. Such a life shuts the door to anything that might be challenging, difficult, or even new. This challenge may seem ridiculous, even pointless, but why not? The best journeys start out by doing something ridiculous and then turn out to change your world.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! ~ Audrey Hepburn

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