Wim Hof Method Fundamental Course AND how Rodney is saving our relationship and supporting me to be a better mom, wife, friend, and most importantly … a better Dianna

I decided to commit to a personal growth goal. It’s kind of huge for me.

I am TERRIBLE with routine and the Wim Hof Method Fundamental course is a full 10 (TEN!) weeks of DAILY stretching, breathwork, and cold exposure (i.e. taking a COLD shower EVERY day!). Drinking coffee in the morning is the only daily habit I have ever held (aside from getting dressed, and I haven’t always done that everyday!), but a really strong cup of coffee is more a necessity than a habit. So what’s really wild, and shows I mean business: I haven’t had a cup of coffee in 11 days! (more on that later). All that to say, “I stink at routine.” I would definitely not be on Day 5 already if it weren’t for my incredible partner, best friend, father-of-my-children, and lover: Rodney.

This post should really be titled, “How Rodney is saving our relationship and supporting me to be a better mom, wife, friend, and most importantly … a better Dianna,” however I already typed in the title and I’m not going to change it now. Wait a second … strike that, I’m putting it into the title. Rodney deserves an entire post about how amazing he has been: his effort, choices, and patience are incredibly motivational to me and make me feel well-loved. However, that will have to be a later post, because today I’m sharing a bit about the Wim Hof Method (WHM) Fundamental course that I’ve embarked on.

I want to record my experience with the course and still have time for family and other activities, so I am keeping a video journal for convenience … and sharing it for the world to see. 😳 I created a youtube channel called deliberosity, which is home to my journal and any other videos I make or share. It’s ok for you to poke fun and cringe … because the videos are totally cringe-worthy at times (the intro is ridiculously long and completely painful, and then I cry in the shower and make it publicly available 🤦🏼‍♀️) But other moments are beautiful, like when Pyra makes the “shaka” hand symbol, and when Lars merely shows his chunk body. It is what it is, and I don’t care. This is what I’m doing for ME and I feel inspired to share in case it can help anyone else. The world can take it or leave it 😊

Wim Hof Method

I’ll be brief and if you’re interested in more info, head to the official WHM website or check out one of the documentaries I link below.

The basic idea is that humans are much stronger than we think we are and we have the ability to awaken our “inner fire” to improve our mental and physical wellbeing and fortitude. This is nothing new per se; yogis have meditated their way to control various mental and physical functions for centuries. The WHM is one particular practice that was created by a Dutch man nicknamed “The Ice Man” and has become extremely popular in the last 5 years. Two documentaries have helped to spread the word and pique interest around the world. The Yes Theory documentary is a fun and interesting introduction that grabbed my attention. The VICE documentary was the first to skyrocket the popularity of WHM.

In short, the Wim Hof Method combines mindset cultivation (through stretching and meditation) with intentional breathing exercises and controlled exposure to cold. 

The general benefits of WHM (taken from the official website) include:

  • Reduced stress level
  • Greater cold tolerance
  • Faster recovery
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Stronger immune system
  • Migraine relief
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Increased energy
  • Better sleep
  • Heightened focus & determination
  • Improved sports performance
  • Increased willpower
  • Relief from: fibromyalgia, lime disease symptoms, Multiple Sclerosis, asthma, arthritis, auto-immune disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

10-week Fundamental Course

I purchased a video-based online course to teach me the WHM and get me started on a daily practice. Please note that I haven’t completed the course and I’m not sure of the results, so I’m not yet endorsing the course, but I want to provide the information for what I am using and make it convenient for others to look into it.

There are weekly videos for 10 themes which also include guidance for yoga and breathwork. There is a downloadable workbook and an app to help track progress and provide tools. The app is free and available to anyone, but you have to pay for the course or to unlock “premiere” options. I feel there are areas that could be improved to streamline the course and make things more clear, but if I can continue with the program and the resources can help me get the results as they are … I’m in!! I’m working to be less critical when it really doesn’t matter. 😬

Personal Goals and Commitments

Obviously, all of these reported benefits would be amazing, right? Who doesn’t want better sleep and a stronger immune system? My initial goal, however, is to increase my stress tolerance so that I don’t feel overwhelmed so easily. I don’t want to be an impatient, grumpy, and stressed mom/wife/person. I haven’t always been so quick to overwhelm, and I’m determined to get back to a more easy-going self. Rodney giving me time for “me” is a huge influence already, but that won’t necessarily create a lasting effect. The intention is to bring about a physical and mental change that reduces my stress response.

Day 5 is here and I’ve done stretches, breathwork, and a cold shower every day. That was my commitment for Week One, but I plan to continue through the weekend so that I don’t falter. I will complete all 10 weeks, repeating weeks if I feel the need, or tacking on more time if I stumble somewhere along the way. The journal videos and this blog are intended to create accountability for me, in addition to the therapy they provide.

Wrap-up

That’s it for today! Thank you again to Rodney, and a big thanks also to those of you who reach out and let me know that you relate to what I’ve written, that you’re with me, and that we’re all in this together. One foot in front of the other, every day. And it’s ok to just sit still and breathe sometimes. Sometimes for a very long time. 😊

Remember: You are MUCH stronger than you think you are!

REBOOT

Postpartum is hard. No matter where you are, who you are with, or the particular circumstances; the postpartum challenges to your mind and body are intense. It’s also hard for the loved ones of the mother, as they try to cope with the changes and provide support and love in the best way they can while often being overwhelmed by the challenging circumstances themselves.

Even now I’m having trouble finding my way through this post as mixed emotions gurgle to the surface and confuse my focus.

The past year has been very difficult. Somehow, my second baby is approaching his first birthday. And yet, where did all those days go? Many hours were spent in an exhausted survival mode with feelings of resentment, disappointment, shame, and despair. But I also have been working on myself and knowing that things will improve with time and with effort.

Infertility and phases of depression put an extra stress on my relationship with my best friend and husband, Rodney. The postpartum challenges we faced in isolation, in our apartment during the covid pandemic in Cuenca, Ecuador, thousands of miles from our support network, brought us down to our lowest point as a couple. I wasn’t doing well. While not every moment was terrible, I wasn’t enjoying our children and family as much as I wanted to. I wasn’t enjoying life as much as I wanted to. I wasn’t feeling loved, and I was not loving Rodney well. Our communication faltered from healthy and supportive to almost non-existent. I won’t dwell on the past and on the negative, but please reach out to me if you need support or want to hear more to connect and not feel alone.

Recently, Rodney and I have taken bigger steps towards improving our relationship and ourselves as individuals. I am using an online counseling service for myself and we just started relationship counseling on a related platform.

For myself, I have given up wheat and coffee as they both seem to interfere with my body functioning well- we’ll see as time goes on. I am using intentional breathing to relax and reset my mind and body, as well as a very simple mantra: “Breathe. Relax. This too shall pass.” Two giant, exciting, challenging changes started today: 1) Mommy goes out to the officina to work instead of Daddy, and 2) I begin the Wim Hof Method 10-week fundamental course.

As I take over some of the time in the office, I will be working on me (meditating, writing, etc) and towards income-making pursuits. Rod and I are putting effort into sharing various workloads more equitably. Soon, I’ll add a link to more info and posts on the Wim Hof Method work that I’m doing.

My overall goal is to be the best me that I can- a me that I can be proud of. To enjoy my life, my family, my surroundings, no matter the circumstances or the weather. I want to love more and give more. I want my body to feel great so that I can make the most of each moment. I’m side-stepping out of my current boggy track, into one that where I tackle challenges, I persevere, I ask for help when I need it, and I feel stronger and healthier in my body and mind.

I just want to finish by saying that Rodney has been instrumental in all of these steps and has shown incredible generosity, strength, and thoughtfulness. This morning he gave me the encouragement and support I needed to take the plunge and start Wim Hof TODAY … not on some idealized better day that might never arrive. I am forever grateful to him.

Now, I will go be momma and wife with my family for awhile. Remember:

You are MUCH stronger than you think you are!

Love,

Dianna

What I’ve Been Watching – 01

I’m trying to incorporate motivational, inspirational, and informative media into my routine during chores and downtime. I’m going to share the pieces I found interesting and worthwhile for me.

These first two videos are about mental health and ability, specifically the benefits of intentional breathing and the incredible untapped power of mindset.

The third video is about introverts and their value .. yes, I’m an introvert.

“With anxiety, stress, and sleep dysfunction skyrocketing around the globe, it’s time we look at the unspoken reasons why. These debilitating challenges can be meaningfully impacted with ten to twenty minutes of breathing exercises per day. Max Strom,who has taught breath-work for 20 years, reveals his insights into the healing power of the breath.”


“Dislaimer: The following features stunts performed either by professionals or under the supervision of professionals. Accordingly, the producers insist that no one try to recreate or re-enact any stunt or activity performed in this film.

We’ve admired the pioneering work of Wim Hof for years now from afar. This January however we got an opportunity to spend four days with him in the mountains of Poland. We didn’t know what to expect. We had no idea that Wim was at a place in his life where he wanted to push his findings to the next level….we had no clue that we were his experiments in proving just how powerful the mind is.”


“In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.”

Recalibration Post- It May Get Messy

I’m not sure that I’m going to be any good at this. And by “this,” I mean creating and maintaining a blog/social community that is … not a disaster. I feel like this blog is off-track, floundering and that it has no backbone. And that’s what we need to survive in this world, isn’t it? A bit of backbone?

(Ok, I concede: the cockroaches and mosquitoes have done quite well without backbones. But for humans, it’s hard to survive without a well-functioning backbone to hold all our odd and ends together.)

And heart. Survival requires heart, and this blog doesn’t have much of that so far. And we need it because the goal of this website and blog is to reach out into the world and connect with other people who want to live more intentionally. We want to find a community of folks who can share and grow together. How can we connect with interesting people if the blog is just a jumble of disoriented thoughts without any emotion to bring it alive?

We need the backbone to hold it all in place, but we also need the bit that draws us in and ties us together. To connect intimately with other people we need more than common body parts. We need a bit of soul, of heart. Shared emotion. It could be laughter, sorrow, anger, joy, grief … but we need common ground that comes from within.

So this post is going to be flung out into the world with a tiny bit of backbone and mostly a lot of heart. For once, I’m not going to over-analyze. I’ve been frustrated with how this blog has started and how it feels … disjointed. I think it’s time that I stopped thinking so much and just open up the flood-gates of my mind.

I have been confusing overthinking with deliberateness, and in the process I  lost my voice.

What I’ve realized over my 36 years on earth, is that I connect best with people that I feel are genuine. I think you know what I mean. When you interact with a stranger, or even a friend, you can get the feeling that there is a little bit of a shell on their exterior, a thin veneer of a facade to protect their genuine self. And I think most of us, if not all, wear a shell at least once in awhile. It’s a little bit of a divider between what we’re really thinking, how we really feel, what we really would like to say or act, and how we present ourselves to the world. I believe that frequently we subconsciously allow ourselves to be pulled along by the words or emotions of others and we don’t even realize that we’re not being true to ourselves. Heck, think of  mob mentality, where a rational, peace-loving human can get caught up in gruesome acts of ugliness as they are drawn into a collective and lose their self-awareness. I think this can happen on a much smaller scale of a handful of people or even just a pair in discourse. But there are also people who wear their shell intentionally and purposefully. And I have never been able to be close to those people. How can you, if you never really know what they’re thinking or how they truly feel?

Anyway, the point is, that the people who are closest to me and who I have maintained longterm relationships with are those who seem to be genuine and honest with me. People who aren’t playing some sort of social game or trying to win points or build up who they are. They just are who they are.

I think part of the problem with this blog at the outset, is that I was trying a little too hard. I wasn’t sure how the blog content was supposed to look or feel, or what direction it should go in. This morning, I grabbed my laptop and started typing because I realized that what was lacking was just the realness, genuineness, the heart. The problem came down to me overthinking things and not just spilling out from my heart. Apparently, when I overthink I lose my voice. So this is a recalibration post.

Recalibration posts may be needed in the future: I am human. But here is what I will try to do from now on. The backbone of this blog will be to focus on our travel and lifestyle choices, and the heart is going to be an effort to spill, rather than overthink the content. Being honest may get messy, but at least it’s the real deal.