It was a privilege to be able to spend a week training with Wim Hof, aka the Iceman. A week which literally blew my mind and let me love the fear. A week in which I met incredible people and learned a lot. Not just from Wim Hof himself, but also from the people who I met on this special journey. So I would love to share these “lessons” with you. All of them applicable on writing or publishing a book as well!

Something you should know before you start to reading is that just two weeks ago I was that girl who did not dare to jump into cold water and even in the warmest water would take an hour to get into the swimming pool or sea. Last week I sat in an ice bath, thrice! The longest was 15 minutes and the crazy thing was; it was easy and I could have stayed longer. My conviction is: you can do that too!

By being ego-less you become fear-less

You’re probably aware of the feeling when you are in a situation where you need to do something that is important to you or difficult or scary and you awaken this extra power inside of you. You put on this shield so you can perform or it protects you from what might come. You might even start to work harder instead of smarter.

My initial reaction to the ice bath and some of the other activities we did was to tense my muscles and then go for it. Except with the third and also last ice bath I just couldn’t do that because of the breathing exercises I just did. I felt completely vulnerable. No ego was left, it was just me. I could not work harder or do more. Then a miracle happened. All I did was step into the ice bath and sit down. Nothing more, nothing less. It was the easiest ice bath. I just let go and relaxed. No panic, no tension, I was just being in the moment. And I rocked it. When I started getting cold I took control of my mind and directed the warmth where it was needed and let go again.

From that moment on, I applied the same principle to all the activities and exercises we did. No tensing up, no putting on an energy shield when it got difficult, scary, needed a lot of strength or got tough. I relaxed and let go. This way I jumped of cliffs, swam in icy water, faced my inner fears and climbed a mountain. By becoming completely vulnerable and letting go of your ego you become fear-less and can climb the highest mountain and face the toughest challenge all with a smile 🙂

Start before you are ready; Just go for it

When you want to achieve something. Most of us prepare a plan. Want to know for sure that what they are doing is the right thing and they are ready for it. Well, news flash: life is full of insecurities when you face your fears and achieving your life goal or writing your book are definitely two of them. You are never ready. You just have to create momentum and jump. The moment you create momentum there is no way of going back. Except the voice in your head: “Sh*t, did I just do that?” and before you realise it, you jumped of a high cliff in icy water and all you can do is be in the moment and go for it. So let go of your program and just go for it. No more excuses, just follow your intuition.

And no, there are no special preparations or techniques you need to learn before you get into an ice bath or jump off a cliff or write a book. You just need to do it, create momentum and let go.

Love the fear (and do not f*ck yourself in the process)

The motto during the whole week was “f*ck the fear” although it was basically about love the fear. Dance with your fears, embrace them, go deep. You do not always need to know where a fear is coming from or what a feeling or fear means. Just embrace it and do not let it hold you back.

During the breathing exercises a lot inner demons came to visit all of us. Just by breathing fully in and letting go they were there the one moment and gone the next. Everybody has fears and it is not about beating them or dismissing them (you’ll f*ck yourself in the process by doing stupid things). It is about dancing with them, embracing them and not letting them hold you back. And you can do more than you think you are capable of. And yes you can realise your dreams!

Your knee fits into your armpit

Yes, it’s true. Your knee fits into your armpit, your hands underneath your feet. Basically you are whole and fit into your own body and soul. By using your own body you create the boundaries you need to support yourself. Your body knows and has it’s own way of working things out. As is the same for life or any plans you make.

ALL OF US HAVE AN AMAZING STORY TO TELL OR SONG TO SING

All of us, and there are no exceptions, have an amazing story to tell or songs to sing. And there are so many amazing stories to learn about. Sometimes they are simple and small, sometimes huge and very emotional. By sharing these stories we create a safe environment and common ground to grow. During this week I met the most amazing, crazy people and just by talking to them and sharing stories you create new experiences and new worlds start to open up. And all of us have stories to tell some of them even worthy of a book :). We are all books filled with blank pages which are waiting for stories and songs to sing.

Wim Hof

If you are interested in Wim Hof or his techniques or want to experiment with his method, I recommend going to the website and doing the free 3 week online course or download the app WHM on your phone. The cool thing is that almost everything he does is backed up by science. New studies are coming out soon. In the end it’s all about being happy, strong and healthy. Easy does it. Just breathe and love the cold. Hippies anew.

PS please do not f#ck yourself by doing both the breathing and cold on your own, in the water or by driving! Following the instructions in the WHM app or from the video’s on the WHM website!

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Elise de Bres
MY ROOTS LIE IN BOOKS INNOVATION AND STRATEGY I love to inspire and be inspired, and to connect the dots. My driving force is connecting people and ideas and thereby helping and enabling others to launch and realize new projects. I love new plans and ideas that require huge doses of creativity and a belief that the impossible can be made possible, where success is a mind-set. Meet & Discover!, Seats2meet station Amersfoort, Van Lindonk & de Bres, Boekcoach

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