Saturday, January 21, 2012


In old Norse cosmology, ice was one of the basic elements of life. It makes sense because really, Scandinavia sees a lot of it during their long, cold winters. In fact, according to Norse mythology, it's only when the elements of ice and fire collide that world comes into being. It's a powerful creation myth!

We are dynamic creatures, constantly in flux, always shifting and changing. We are naturally warm, at least on the inside, 98.6 F or thereabouts. Maybe that's why I find ice utterly exotic and fascinating, otherworldly, almost.

They say you can't grasp the river, but when the river is frozen, it's a different story. When the river is frozen, we can walk on water, literally. We skate across the surface. Amazing. Ice can't stop time, but it does slow everything else. Anyone who has ever placed an ice pack on a a bruise or scrape knows that not only does it reduce swelling and bleeding, but it also slows the pain signals associated with that kind of injury. Astonishing! It's just really cold water - but medicinal, definitely.

I attended a birth last fall in which the baby had some problems during delivery. In order to keep her brain from swelling, she was placed on a cooling mat for 48 hours. The impact that had was to slow her body's reaction to the distress. While disturbing to witness, it was kind of miraculous in that she did not suffer any brain damage and is now a beautiful, normal, perfect baby. Ah, the wonders of ice!

Just like ice, the simple process of imagining oneself surrounded by white light slows the psyche in a way that helps calm us when we're anxious or stressed out. It stops psychic swelling and bruising, just like ice but without the brrrrrr factor.

There are folks who constantly surround themselves with white light. I don't recommend it. We are warm, full spectrum, technicolor beings. We need to be passionate sometimes, we benefit from thrashing and flopping around in our hearts and souls. Maybe we need to feel anxious now and again. I asked my great San Francisco healer one time if he could take all the stress out of my body. He said, "Oh, you don't want that. You'd fall down."

Just like every other aspect of good health, balance is the key. Next time you get into a stress loop, stop. Take a deep breath. Then visualize yourself standing in a column of clean white light for a little while, maybe 15 minutes. The better you are at focusing on the image, the more effective the practice will be.

After 15 minutes, allow the world to come back with all its drama, passion, and bright colors. You'll be better able to engage and manage whatever comes at you, I guarantee it.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, stay warm today. It's icy and cold in Washington DC. I will take a cue from the weather and be still today. It feels so nice! Shalom.

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