This story is a journey. This story is about 25 pacific warriors.
Heart opening, discipular attitude and one master: the cold. Merciless but righteous.
What I learned and the person I met and made a link with (over only 5 days!) was life changing. The Iceman was with us, to light for us the way. We are torches in a world of darkness. Our innerfire will stand vertical and luminous even in the deepest darkness. We are healers for the soul, the body and the mind.
I still cannot elaborate the incredible shift we did as a group (25 beautiful humans) during our instructor training in Poland this January. We perceived the inner fire, we perceived the divinity in us. We felt what heart opening is and what it means to know a human being soul and go deep.
Energy, fire, cold, calmness, focus, peace and awareness. Nature wisdom. Transformation. These are just some of the words that are linked with this journey.
Day 1 - are you ready?
This was the most challenging day because that day we got measured with our limitations. To get to know our limits and overcome them just after 5 days of training.
The water in Poland is cold, not like cold in Paris in January, more like icy! I thought I was already ready on day 1. I was not there yet. “The cold does not scare me”, that is what I believed. The evening of day 1 instead I found myself wondering where I was sufficiently prepared and ready for the week to come..
..After a full day of activities, the instructors told us to get prepared for the unexpected. We left for the forest at dusk, in complete silence and we reached “the waterfall” when it was almost dark. A fire was burning and the smoke was creating a mysterious fog all over the water. We got undressed and we entered the water facing the waterfall. I thought they were joking at first, but these were our real and only instructions. Going in I was worried, I didn't feel like going in the cold at that moment. I wasn't mentally ready. When all of us were in the water we formed a circle, shoulder to shoulder holding each other in the dark. The atmosphere was mixed between laughs and cries. Tears and fear in some, solidity and stillness in others. We started humming, we felt for the first time the energy rising from the group, we felt connected.
Nothing else was counting in the moment and we stayed there for minutes. At one point the circle was broken people started to get out the frozen water shaking. I was feeling half numb and half blind in the dark. I couldn't feel anymore my hands and feet. My mobility decreased and I was also shaking trying to control it and stop it. I was scared and worried about my hands and body conditions. We were told to stay on the frozen ground, undressed and wet to get warmer with proper exercises (like horse stance and concentration) in a circle. I was failing, I was fighting against the cold and my mental was making it worse.
One of the instructors looked at me, “stop it now” he says, “you need to let go of this fighting against and let it shake, relax breathe and concentrate”. His words awakened me, I understood my poor mental state and I stop being scared. I regained faith and linked to this the use of my hands came back. I managed to get dressed not without struggles.
Walking back I saw people that were in worse conditions than me, I tried to help them. A hug, a Humm and walking alongside for encouragement. I found again myself during the walk back in the forest, concentrating on my breathing and humming.
That night for the first time I felt scared at the idea of getting back to swim in the frozen waters of the waterfall. It was the first time that I lost control with the cold and I felt in danger, but that was due to my inner wrong mental attitude not to real conditions. My mind played me a trick that day and I didn't see it coming. The instructor with his words gave me back control and understanding.
Before going to sleep I was excited and worried about the rest of the training. If this was the start I thought..
Day 2 - experiment, play and observe
The second day we practiced breathing and mindfulness in the cold river. We studied the theory of the method and practiced our coaching and observation skills. We opened our soul to the other person, we did eye-contact.
The body and mind interaction is powerful. Let's be aware of it. This second day I gained back confidence.
Day 3 - The power of opposites
The journey is as it comes, breathe with it.
The cold dip in the morning was in fact a challenge to get in and out multiple times. In between we had to warm up gradually with proper exercises and focus. After the third deep I went out and I didn't feel hands and feet anymore, but thanks to the experience of “the waterfall” the first day I didn't lose my focus and I stay concentrated rather than worrying if my feet or hands were ever going to get warm again. I walked slowly back in, but I was still very cold. I didn't warm up enough after the third swim. Extreme pain took over in hands and feet during the rapid warming up. Trying to stay calm and meditate didn't work as the pain was too intense, so I started to shake it off and let go. In this way I was for some time getting back control. Until the next wave of pain was back and I was balancing it with some shaking and craziness. This worked very well until the pain disappeared and I was warm again. Stop overthinking!
The exercise is not over after the swim. Stop the inner talk and stay present and focused.
This day we also made presentations: storytelling about our lives. We got to know each others, who we really are. We talked with the heart.
Day 4 - make the connection
The day started with some snow-yoga outside with Wim. His energy is contagious and we all got crazy and happy. We hiked to Wim’s house for a very powerful breathing session where we went deep..
We felt ready to go back to “the waterfall”. This time the way to go in the water changed: it was now a 7m high jump from the waterfall into the water. The Iceman showed us the way. I jumped after, I felt so strong and full of life. The cold was there to teach me and lift my consciousness.
We spent the rest of the day with Wim, the privilege to exchange with him and know about his mission, our mission too. His mind is unconditioned, his mission is pure “Be a healer” he says.
Before dinner we go for another dip in the dark to the river with some of us. We scream of joy and we love this cold. We regenerate and purify!
Here is like being in a temple, people are like disciples. This time is a transformational journey.
Day 5 - the mountain
It would have been impossible to climb the mountain the first day without what we lived and learned during the previous days. Without the group connection.
This day was for me the time where I clearly perceived a shift of internal consciousness and mindset. Where I experienced the difference between a concentrated mind serving the body and a fearful thinking brain that mislead the body.
We started the climb in between snowy trees and a blessing calm. We had no clothes expect our hiking shoes and some shorts. We formed teams to look at each others during the hike. The first pauses happened to allow people to rest. The pauses were intense and difficult moments to stay concentrated and wait for the group to be ready to move again while the wind was taking our heat away. Getting higher up the trees stopped and the wind transformed in a snow storm. The cold was intense but was not getting in. The mind was doing an incredible work to keep it outside. The body was showing his potential and the spirit was light overseeing from above. The group spirit was alert.
Until we had our first moment of group panic... The weather conditions were getting hard, the instructors judged necessary to stop and find protection from the strong winds to get dressed up and continue the hike. This is when everyone lost focus, even if for just a few moments.
I can clearly remember the moment I took the backpack off to search for my clothes. I started shivering, I lost my hand mobility and I start shifting away. Than I realized what was happening: I had stop concentrating and I started worrying. It took me a split second to make the mindset shift. I relaxed, full breathe in and calm and focus were back. Now I could start getting dressed. No matter how long it was taking I was staying in control. One glove was in after 2 minutes of slow finger moving, then the other one. I started helping some who needed help. Empathy was the key to succeed as a group. We walked slowly to the ski resort, giving us time to warm up slowly before getting in a warm place. I avoided in this way an after drop and I had the time to observe around me. Joy and also tiredness. Everyone arrived at the top of the mountain, their mountain. That is what matters. The journey of transformation and consciousness. Making the mind our best alley, an incredible tool to be superhuman.
And that was just the beginning.
“Make the impossible possible and the possible elegant”