When your mind is open, everyone can be your teacher.
Part of my learning last week included new experiences. One was a water experience. It was a series of 3 pools, one lukewarm (80ish degrees), one hot (105 degrees) and one cold (55 degrees). The instructions were to cycle through the three pools three times, remaining in them until you could no longer remain in them.
We initially approached the idea of the pool circuit with thoughts of skipping the cold pool.
As we watched several people participate in the experience, each seemed unphased by the cold waters. So, we entered with caution.
It was awful. We forced ourselves to remain in the cold water to the count of 10 slowly. We promptly exited, returning to the lukewarm water more appreciative of the temperature the second round.
As we approached the cold water again, we forced ourselves to remain in the water longer. It was closer to 45 seconds, and my hands were burning cold. Still not appreciating the experience, yet resolved to follow the recipe of three circuits, we split up. Kelly chose the sauna and skipped the cold.
I lingered in the hot pool and talked with a couple who had vast experience submerging in Lake Michigan in the winter. They raved about the benefits of the Wim Hof Method and were kind enough to answer all my questions about how to remain in the cold water.
They explained how the first 20 seconds are the worst, yet once you get past the initial cold, you can remain for the three minutes suggested and the benefits last for the better part of the day. They also suggested I hover my hands above the water to remain in the pool.
As simple as the suggestion was, it hadn’t occurred to me to lift my hands.
Once I elevated my hands above the water, it wasn’t difficult to remain in the water. In fact, I made it 3 full minutes. As promised, I felt clear, exhilarated, and energized throughout the day.
Without the suggestion from my experienced friends, I wouldn’t have considered taking my hands out of the water – it felt like cheating.
Simple solutions are invisible when you’re busy reacting. Opening yourself to learning from others can be the easiest way to move forward.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.