Suffering Through Cold Showers and What I Learned

After several attempts over the last few years to maintain a cold shower practice through the winter months, I finally succeeded this year, and since we’re into the spring months it will be a little easier to keep the practice going through the rest of this year and into the next winter. Now to be clear, the entire shower I take is not cold. I do still enjoy a nice warm shower, but at the very least 30-60 seconds of the shower uses no hot water at all.

Thirty seconds of cold water may not seem like much to you especially those of you that live in LA like me, but I’ll challenge you to take a 30 second cold-water-only-shower in Pittsburgh between Christmas and New Years. That cold water is icy cold, yet it was somehow easier than the cold water in LA. I think it’s because it was so cold that it numbed my skin, and I couldn’t really feel how cold it was. Whatever the real reason is I was able to do it and keep up with the practice.

For those of you that might be wondering, “Why would you torture yourself like that?” there are many physical and mental health benefits that come from a cold shower routine.

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You Can't Get Away From Your Shadow

You’re finally doing it. You’re booking that dream vacation, the one you’ve been wanting to go on for years. You go online to book your tickets, and you start weighing your options. Do you go with a non-stop flight for convenience or save money by choosing one with a layover? Do you choose your itinerary based on departure or return time? So many choices.

You’re getting more excited as you continue thinking about this trip and before you make your final decisions, it happens… 

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Rolling into 2018 Late

For those of you that have been receiving my newsletters for awhile, you know that I’ve been consistently delivering them to your inbox on the first on the month for quite some time, however you’ll notice that this one is a day late. The funny thing for me is that although this wasn’t intentionally done, it reflects they way that I brought in the new year… a little late.

I missed the countdown to midnight and it wasn’t until 10 minutes past that my partner announced to the four of us at our NYE dinner, “It’s 2018. Happy New Year.”

This was the first time in a long time that I haven’t been aware of the strike of midnight on NYE and celebrated in this traditional way, and I could can easily label this tradition (in my mind) the “right” way to celebrate the new year. By doing so my shadow could then use this missed opportunity to celebrate at midnight as ammunition to make me upset about not doing it “right” and find a way to ruin the evening by sending my thoughts down a rabbit hole of negativity all because of one missed moment.

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Achieving a Year Long Goal in the Nick of Time

I recently looked at my list of actions for 2017 that is posted on my bathroom wall and noticed that one of my goals was not going to be met. And I did not have a good reason as to why it was not accomplished by now. The goal was to post 12-15 blog articles this year, and since I had the habit of writing an article for each monthly newsletter, I figured this would be an easily attained goal. However at the beginning of the year I could not see that far into the future to know that I would not manage to write one for the December newsletter and in doing so create a challenge for myself in attaining this goal.

That did not sit well with me since I was the only person responsible for it, and I could not blame anyone else for mismanaging my time and preventing me from writing the article. Part of me was looking at this as a failure which could have easily been avoided if I would have found a way to write the article in time for the December newsletter. At the end of November, I was able to find (what I thought were) good reasons for justifying my inability to write it, but now I see that choice has now made me work harder at the end of the year to accomplish my original goal. It just delayed the work. It didn’t make it disappear.

I could choose to take the easy route. Do no work and be okay with calling myself a failure. Or I could do some work and achieve the goal.

Relax and fail. Work and achieve. Relax or Work. Fail or Achieve. The choice is mine.

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