Comfort is our most desired state and yet it makes us weaker. We think we want to be warm when it's cold, and cool when it’s hot. We have structured our lives around avoiding what is interpreted as discomfort. Our body, the universe, all the kingdoms and queendoms (that haven’t been identified yet) are designed to create absolute balance. We are a part of that grande movement.
Our body, mind, and soul are designed to work for us, to keep us strong, happy, and healthy. A long time ago I used to compete as a Master rower. One day our coach, Paul Westbury, said something that initially didn’t make sense. He said, “The problem with rowers is they slow the boat down!” I thought that to be an absurd statement as rowing is one of the most difficult sports and we were exceptionally strong, determined middle-aged women. He went on to say the rowing shell was designed by engineers to travel faster than we could possibly row it but as long as we each thought we were moving the boat it would never meet its full speed potential. He said the rowers have to ‘get out of the way’ and become aligned with the water, the boat, and the crew. When our crew stopped trying to control and fully surrendered our boat moved fast enough to win a Fisa World Masters Rowing Championship. It was one of my greatest lessons in life.
How does it apply to winter you may ask? In the winter, parents all over the world encourage their children to dress super warm in the winter. Adults who hate to be cold tend to overdress and avoid any exposure. Do you wear socks or slippers in the house so your feet don't get cold? When we micromanage outdoor and indoor cold scenarios, we encourage our own bodies to become super lazy. Sensory receptors no longer need to communicate with the brain about the environment we are in, and they stop working efficiently. Our vascular system doesn’t have to constrict or expand so it becomes weaker along with our heart and other organs begin to underperform. When we experience true stress or anxiety about things like the pandemic, our body produces adrenaline and cortisol to set off biochemical processes that exhaust the adrenal axis, your energy. If you are in poor vascular condition, your body has to pump more blood putting stress on your heart. It's exhausting. G
What if you were to get out of the way and let your body respond as it was engineered. Give your body, brain, and organs a chance to show you how committed they are to your health.
Firstly, there is no need to overdress in the cold. Go outside in the cold ‘UNDERDRESSED’. Start off not wearing your hat, scarf, and mittens. Bring them with you or keep extra in the car, but seize the desire to be warm all the time. Then don't put your coat on to take the garbage out or to let the dog out. Notice how long it takes for you to feel the sensation of cold. Of course, you can try going barefoot in all kinds of weather. I love wearing a skirt and bare legs/feet. Feels so freeing to not live in fear of being cold! If you are really ready for a challenge, go outside in your bathing suit and sunglasses. Imagine it's summer and you might even experience it.
The message today is to get out of the way of letting your body remember how to adapt to the cold so it can take care of you and keep you warm. Encourage your whole family to try it too. Embrace our beautiful winter weather during the pandemic lockdown to use it to your advantage and for your health.
Keep being cool.
Soul to sole.