Let’s start with a simple truth: most people aren’t ready to really look at themselves. It’s scary! But it’s how we know who we are. How we know what’s driving us and our decision-making processes. Where our emotions come from, our behaviours. Which of these serve us? Which can we lean more into, which can we learn to let go of? If you’re ready to do this, you can experience profound change in your life.
But we need a way out of the mind and into the body, where our access to all of this stuff sits, patiently waiting. You transcend the mind this way. Hatha Yoga is a beautiful system that does this. But before your wu wu alarm starts firing off, this doesn’t mean your life then has to involve singing mantras or burning incense all the time. And if Yoga isn’t your jam, then the Wim Hof Method probably could be. It was for me. And it’s now my conviction that we must start to look at this method as more than ‘just’ profound health and productivity boosts, as way more than a biohack. It’s not how or why it came into existence. Wim made an accessible method out of his ability to transcend the mind and develop a mind-body connection so subtle that he can defy science.
Science is important, beautiful, and evidence based – it must be. But it oftentimes falls short in trying to explain things it doesn’t understand, that don’t yet fit into its framework, and whereas an honest scientist (trigger primed) would either shrug and own this problem or with curiosity look to try and bridge the gap between experience and explanation, we as a Western society have – with good reason – come to mistrust things that aren’t scientifically explainable.
The science of the soul, so to speak, is the new frontier, and thanks to neuroscience we are making fascinating discoveries…but I would tentatively argue that it’s not necessary to wait years until ‘conclusive proof’ is delivered in the form of a sequence of studies before we can give something like, say, deep breathing a go, as long as it’s with curiosity, responsibility, and an awareness of how it makes us actually feel, rather than what we would like from it.
Self-healing is possible, I am proof. And I’m nothing special. But beyond healing and a deeper mind-body connection lies the great unknown: understanding the self, where we fit into it all and what it all means (gulp). And beyond timing how long you can sit in an ice bath, isn’t that what you’re really curious about? Underneath it all, if you look honestly at your motivations, isn’t that what you really want to know?