Complete your own ‘misogi’…?
In last week’s newsletter, we looked at the idea of setting goals for yourself now, prior to the beginning of 2017. Setting goals before the onset of holiday ‘busy-ness’. You can read that newsletter here Today we are going to take that a step further. Enter misogi.
What is misogi? A good question for professor of religious and East Asian studies at Brown University, Janine Sawada. She says the first written reference of the word misogi dates back to eighth-century Japan. Originally it described a mythical taboo journey to the underworld. Here is the interesting part, as the centuries passed, misogi came to describe more adventurous acts of purification. According to Sawada, “ascetic practitioners” wandered around the mountains of medieval Japan challenging themselves. They would stand under waterfalls for a certain number of hours no matter the season, often chanting for hours. Our Western palates may think this strange. But there is something to be learned from this and something to be gained.
Modern day example of misogi Enter Kyle Korver. You may recognize this name from Creighton University's basketball team leading scorer or currently of NBA fame. Kyle plays for the Atlanta Hawks and he can shoot. He can ‘make it rain’ as they say. To stay competitive, to bring 100 percent effort to the long, grueling, 85-game season, Kyle sought help from Marcus Elliot who is founder of Peak Performance Project (P3). As Elliot describes P3, “...to apply cutting-edge science for optimal athletic achievement." Elliot introduced the misogi concept to Korver. Each year in the off-season, Kyle completes a misogi, “…once a year, you do something that you’re really not sure you can do." What did Kyle do? He went into the ocean with some other adventurers, in five to ten foot of water, and took turns diving to the bottom, grabbing a 68-pound rock and moving it step by step for a 5K. While one person moved the heavy stone, the others wore a weighted belt and treaded water. It took them 5 hours. When asked about his version of misogi, Korver says that when he is playing during the grueling 85-game season, he reflects upon completing his misogi and thinks what he is doing now is much easier than the once-a-year challenge he chooses to endure. He attributes his NBA success to the inner strength and insight gained from moving a rock five thousand meters in the ocean. He attributes growth to the misogi.
Our challenge for 2017...complete a misogi We need to complete one because of the essence of a misogi which is to take on challenges that radically expand our sense of what’s possible. As we know, growth occurs when we step outside of our comfort zone. We need to get uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. The goals that you are setting now before the holidays, before January 1, 2017 can be in alignment with your misogi. For inspiration turn to the GreenNote Fitness Facebook page for ‘big training days”. I complete a weekly challenge training day, intermittent fasting, and cold showers to push myself and to get “uncomfortable”. These small challenges add up to big gains and can serve one well when going for that epic challenge. We will get into more about misogi specifics. For now start with these smaller goals in preparation for your 2017 misogi. Set your mind with that intention. Visualize an epic journey. Believe in living greatly.
To your journey,
P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration.
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