Exposure to Grow
I’ve always lived in the south (of the U.S) where we don’t get much snow, but it doesn’t make the winters seem any less cold (just much shorter).
The environment we inhabit can have a big impact on our mindset, as this is the setting in which we discover our thoughts. Our sensory organs take in information and then we determine how we perceive it. Snow birds (people who fly to Florida for the winter) walk around here with shorts and t-shirts on in this frigid weather. They’ve experienced much worse where they’re from, and even though it is relatively freezing for Florida’s standards, they embrace that cold.
Within the past several years, I’ve watched the Wim Hof Method of freezing your ass off in an icy tub gain a lot of popularity. People throw out jazzy catch phrases like “polar plunge” and “cold shock proteins” to help prove to others they haven’t gone completely mad. I’m starting to see how this method of exposure to cold can be applied in a metaphorical way, as well. I’m also starting to see just how insane we appear to be when we aren’t droning along in our comfort zone.
While those snow birds I mentioned earlier may have figured out how to cheat the system of seasons, they aren’t conditioning their body, they are changing their environment. I’m personally not a huge advocate of torturing the body to test the limits of the mind either. I think we can get just as much out of gentle exposure to small amounts of discomfort over time. I know my body can handle a lot more than I’d mentally like to bear, so I understand that the parameters I set should challenge me.
Why not just start exposing your mind to uncomfortable thoughts that most are too afraid to explore? I noticed a lot of people would coil up when I talked about politics but even worse when I started talk about the occult or religion. To them, this was that freezing cold unbearable winter. Those topics are off limits and you can’t even entertain the ideas in order to have a hypothetical conversation. People feel attacked or offended or they try to ridicule me. They tell me how the things I have read cannot possibly be true. The difference between me and them is that I am willing to entertain the idea that I could be absolutely wrong, and they aren’t.
I don’t try to force my findings on anyone, I just want to discuss them because there is a lot of evidence that all the stories align to one. Yet for some, this will feel like I have launched an attack on their worldview. The most distressing part is that it is often the intellectuals that are most adamantly against these silly little stores. For me, discomfort lies in not knowing and feeling controlled. So this is a clear crossroads decision I could make. I could go hang out with the hippies that agree with me or I drudge on in this meaningless world and look for meaning. Mind and body participating with one another on a single mission to exist and be happy while also testing the limits of that.
Still, in testing those limits, one of the obstacles is fear, whether it is mine or someone else’s. Ultimately fear is what drives hate and misunderstanding; no love comes from fear. In fact, it is our job as humans to alchemize fears into love, but that is just a little too woo-woo for people to genuinely get behind. So we have to be pushed. Which is what is happening with this pandemic. We’ve been pushed to the brink and left to decide if we will operate from a fearful perspective, an empowered perspective, an inquisitive perspective, etc.
I grow into the energy I feed
I perpetuate whichever thoughts I harbor
I discover thoughts in the environments I choose to inhabit
I expose myself to heal myself.
Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa