Happy with how last month’s challenge went, I am moving forward and going to keep the ball rolling!
Reflecting on the month challenges, as well as the weekly challenges I did last year, I really enjoy doing different things like this. Whether it is challenging me to get out of my comfort zone and do something new or to entertain self-imposed austerity, the experience teaches me about what I can and can’t do, what I am and am not comfortable with, and challenges my concepts of what I want, what I need, what to do and how to live.
As someone who can have the tendency of overdoing things, I have given myself another 3 difficult challenges for the month of September.
- No hot water showers
- No use of furniture at home
- Exercise and/or yoga every day
No hot water?
I don’t think I have any real reason to be trying this out, to be honest. While travelling last year it was pretty rare to have hot water. I found those showers to be intense, refreshing and pretty great at waking you up.
The way I would shower went something like this: jump in and quickly get covered in freezing cold water. Turn off water and lather up. Turn water back on, jump in and rinse. What I experienced was that the first initial water blast was freezing. But after lathering up and jumping back in, the water would feel much warmer, and wasn’t that bad at all.
I think this will be challenging from a comfort stand point. Just yesterday I took a nice hot shower. I took my time. It felt nice. I thought to myself, “Could I really give this up for a month?”… we shall see!
The roman statesman and stoic philosophy Seneca would write about how extravagant and unnecessary bath houses and spas were. It is a common theme in stoic philosophy that anything in excess is almost surely not healthy for the soul/spirit.
This is inspired by my few visits to Japan. While staying there with a friend I would sleep on a thin bamboo ‘mattress’ on the floor. It was quite comfortable. I am also conscious of the fact that in many cultures the family will sit on the floor, or on pillows or mats/rugs within the living quarters and eat their meals like that, off the floor.
I am going to make use of my pillows, my stretching machine, and my yoga mats for this month. I will sleep on a doubled up yoga mat (wish me luck!), on the floor. My dog knows not to jump onto the bed, but I wonder if she will come lie on my chest if I am on the ground 🙂
I think that being unable to lie back in my reclining couch that I will be forced to do different things. Perhaps go outside for a walk, perhaps be more active, perhaps stretch more, do more yoga in the house, play with my dog more, meditate more, etc.Essentially, if I removed the ability to lazily lie back and read/watch something, will be daily life become more active/productive? What will it look like?
I will, though, use furniture outside my house. I will allow myself to use my outdoor picnic table as well.
Pretty simple. I want to be more consistent with my physical exercise. I haven’t been too bad lately, but I think by forcing myself to do it everyday I will 1. create a healthy and active habit and 2. force myself to be creative and practice new ways of exercising. I never go outside for jogs, but I can see myself doing that, or exercising in a nearby park, rather than going to the gym, simply for variety.
This month should be fun! I am going to go take my last hot shower for the month. Wish me luck!