COOL STUFF -
WHAT ELSE DO I DO?
The Wim Hof Method is a simple and effective training that brings about health, strength, and happiness. It is based on three pillars:
Cold training (exposition to cold water or air: ice baths, cold showers, spending time in nature just in shorts)
Breathing (heightening oxygen levels by specific exercises)
Commitment (experiencing and applying the "mind over body" principle
The training starts tons of health benefits, above all regarding the immune system. For more information, visit www.wimhofmethod.com.
I am doing the Wim Hof Method training for more than two years daily with ever growing delight and fascination. The main motivation for me personally still is: Getting to know my own fears and learning to deal with them in a safe and controlled way. Overcoming self-imposed barriers in the body, soul, and mind. Feeling comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
Music and life – what’s the difference really? Very often I feel: there is no difference. What keeps life running are the same, let’s call them, forces, as those that keep music running. I strongly suppose.
One of my greatest joys in my teaching career is giving lessons in a new subject called “Musical Consciousness.” This is about exploring the most fundamental laws of music. What remains, if all outer sheaths fall off? Is there something that is at work in any kind of music, be it medieval, Romantic, or hip-hop?
In the end, it is all very simple.
We breathe in and breathe out. We are active and need rest afterwards. Music does the same – it goes up and it goes down (Duh....), it gathers in dissonance and diffuses in consonance, it moves fast or slow. There is a constant transition between these two polarities, which makes music beautifully and fascinatingly complex. Just as life.
What I keep learning together with my students is that music is just one (very special and immensely beautiful and obvious) way for those forces to come into perceptible existence. They also manifest in any other art form, but also in the manifold appearances of nature, as well as in our lives and in our biography, and in our struggle to find meaning in it.
So there came the day when I decided to make use of another language, other than music, and talk about life’s issues in a more direct way. This is how my book, The Spiritual Minimalist, came into being. Here I present the absolute basics of spiritual understanding – just a pure, dry slice of bread, without butter and jam. Not exactly tasty in an immediate sense, but something to safely build on.
If this book symbolically represents the absolute essentials of, let’s say, Josquin’s music, then my second book is more like a Haydn string quartet – on the quest for positivity, joy, and supportive life forces. Boost Your Mood offers some kind of – well, I needed to keep it as American as I could – emergency toolkit for a low mood state. Here I share my top tools that I have tested over years for turning grumpiness into vibrant liveliness. It’s not that hard. Boosting my mood also boosts my creativity, which I consider my main purpose of life. I make use of these tools by myself every day.
I had been profoundly happy when I discovered that I am not schizophrenic just because I am a serious classical musician who writes inspirational self-help books at the same time. Music is the link – the most prevalent language and, as I said, the most beautiful and obvious. Sometimes, we need a nudge from somewhere else. This is what self-help books are for.
Beyond self-help, I wrote two books in German that, interestingly, or rather not that surprisingly, both have to do with children.
The first one, Das unsichtbare Buch (The Invisible Book) will teach you how to create children's stories out of the present moment and tell them without even knowing how the story will develop and end. One side-effect of this training is that you become more composed and relaxed in life - because you never know where the journey goes. You just do the next step - and trust your inner guidance that it will tell you what to do next.
My most recent book, Sonnenklar - Gespräche mit meinem inneren Kind (which could maybe translate as Crystal Clear - Talking with my Inner Child), is the attempt to find the frequently invoked inner child within myself - and to try to talk with it. Astonishingly, this attempt turned out to work very well. The result is something like an intimate spiritual diary. These two books are available at www.editionwidar.de.