Cold Showers

Lessons on the Road #5

It’s Monday morning. It’s cold, wet and windy. It’s time to face the world. It’s another day on book distribution!

I remember returning from my first day on book distribution and being advised to do the unthinkable – “go and have a cold shower!” What! I’d already been standing in the freezing cold all day! The logic was that a warm shower cleanses your physical body, but a cold shower cleanses your subtle body – all the negative energy that we absorb from a day in the urban jungle is cleansed away by cooling waters. After an intense bout of mental warfare I did it, and it was actually amazing (but only after it was finished!). I’ve never seen the scientific evidence for it, but you can definitely feel the purifying effect. The same person told me that book distribution was like a cold shower – in fact, he said, progressive life is like a cold shower – the beginning is always the most difficult, but everything works out if you muster up the determination and drive to make the first steps. Building momentum takes bucket loads of energy, but once you’re flowing, its effortless.

Upon reflection, I see a crystal-clear correlation in my life – the best things I ever did were often the very things I passionately resisted in the beginning. The things I avoided, argued against and convinced myself were unnecessary – those were the things that brought me the invaluable jewels of growth. It’s amusing, but scary at the same time. It means I’ll probably have to do a whole bunch of other uncomfortable things in order to experience the entirety of what life can be. The lesson is loud and clear: those who are convenience-focused are experience-starved. But why are the best things so hard to do? Why are good habits difficult to form? Why do bad habits appear so effortlessly? Why aren’t we able to spontaneously embrace the things that are so beneficial to us? Who made the system like this? It seems as though someone has stacked the odds against us!

The truth is that our mindset and consciousness makes it all topsy-turvy. Because we are incorrectly ‘inclined,’ we are flowing in the wrong direction, and all the beneficial things feel difficult and unnatural. In material consciousness, our habits, behaviours, thoughts and desires naturally drift towards the damaging. When we re-engineer our consciousness and correct our ‘inclination’ then everything flows naturally towards the positive and progressive. That, however, takes time, effort, determination and patience. Therefore, the biggest battle of the day is the battle over our own mind. If we win that one, we become empowered in the process of transformation and open the door to a whole new world. Ready for a cold shower tomorrow?