On Setting Goals & Healing
I woke up the day after St. Patrick’s Day with my hand throbbing around 6 am. I was confused and groggy. I struggled to move my fingers. It hurt to make a fist, but I did it anyway.
No part of my plans on St. Patrick’s Day included the words wrist surgery, but then when do you ever wake up & think it’s a good day for someone to slice open your hand, insert a metal plate & 9 screws (Yes, 9 screws!).
But that’s my reality. That’s also what happens when one decides to step foot on a skateboard. There’s always a chance of falling. But isn’t that the way life works in general? There’s always a chance you’ll fail, or get hurt, or things won’t go as planned.
Is that a good enough reason to not try new things? To explore the joys of life? To put yourself in a state of childlike wonder & awe & amazement? Because all the moments leading up to my fall involved bravery, excitement, joy, freedom. But you can’t have one without the other. No joy without risk.
Recently I had a chance to hear a man named Tyler Mongan speak. He was speaking about goal setting. The first step in setting goals is to give yourself permission to change. Our brains aren’t wired to like change. Our brains want things to stay the same & comfortable & for things to make sense.
We set goals of some sort because we want a future different than our current reality. So we set goals that excite us, & then the brain freezes in fear, according to Tyler. Physiological responses are greater than facts, so set goals that are uncomfortable to think about. Most importantly, Tyler asked us to lead with our heart beats…to infuse our heart beats into our goals & to believe they are already achieved. To live with this deep knowing & trust.
There’s this cool theory out there about habits that goes as follows:
Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results -> Beliefs (repeat)
The thoughts we think create feelings in our bodies which lead to actions. The actions produce results which then creates a belief that becomes a habit. The key for me here is to create habits that are positive, filled with love & inspire me to live a full & meaningful life. That life starts with a positive mindset.
One habit I’ve established over the past few years has been the Wim Hof Method. It’s a combination of breath work, strength/stretching, & cold immersion (cold showers, icy lake dips, winter runs in shorts & shoes). I had this thought if I could put my body in controlled states of stress & discomfort I could kick start my body’s ability to keep me healthy, happy & strong (Wim’s goals). The thought led me to think about how I would feel if those things happened. For me, that was a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, & satisfaction in knowing I’m capable of more amazing things than I thought possible before. Since I started the method 2.5 years ago, I’ve yet to be sick, I sleep better, I recover faster from intense workouts & my body works super efficiently. I’m in tune with my body in ways that I never dreamed.
Which leads me to what the whole point of this post is. The heart led goal setting, the habit building & Wim Hof Method all tie together & present me with a new opportunity. I believe my body & mind listen to one another. I open these channels of communication with my breath holds (Quick Tangent on breath holds. You can get a full explanation of them with this app).
I’ve dried up stuffy noses. Got rid of headaches. All by creating this space & asking my body to heal. I’m going to apply this same process to healing my wrist. I believe by opening these channels of communication between my mind & body I’m able to heal my wrist in a more effective manner than normal. Last night I did 2 hours of breath holds & could feel the healing energy flowing throughout my body directly into my wrist. This morning I did another 45 minutes. The pain in my hand is already way lower. I feel it healing.
I share this with you because I imagine there are some big scary things you want to achieve in your life. I hope you understand living our best lives starts from within. It’s not always easy, but always worth it to do the internal work that ultimately leads to loving ourselves. Life is so much better when we are fully alive.