In the spring, Asta and I started a daily dip in the lake. Our practice continued throughout the summer until one crisp fall day we found ourselves wondering if we would be chopping a hole in the ice come winter. “Only if it’s still enjoyable,” Asta declared, and on this we agreed. Well, here we are in the middle of January slipping into the cool waters of Alpha Lake and still loving the practice. It’s worth trying if you want an uplifting ritual that will deepen your connection with the natural world and send you on a positive trajectory for the remainder of your day. I especially recommend it for creatives; it gets the inspirational juices flowing!

Check out this clip of these sweet souls loving up the daily dip:












Here is a little Tofino postcard. This moody photo isn’t indicative of the weather on our trip; we had glorious fall sunshine and it only got misty on our last day. Nickolai had extra long sessions in his thin wetsuit, but I am not as attuned to the cold and retreated early to Karen Brodie’s hut tub every day with gratitude — best way to warm up! We hiked out to Frank’s Island on low tide to see the handiwork of a local carpenter who has built a stunning roundhouse overlooking Chesterman’s beach. We also managed to squeeze in some lovely beach walks, eat delicious fish tacos, make inspiring new friends and all-in-all have a wonderful time. My brother and his girlfriend even showed up for a cameo appearance. We are always grateful for our Vancouver island surf forays. This trip was a two part mission; I also delivered a painting and a box of custom trucker hats to Karen Brodie, owner of the Sacred Stone Spa.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” –Rumi–

I think Rumi may have liked alpine runs in autumn. I had a beautiful day up high with my friend Maeve. It was a perfect fall afternoon in Whistler; we rode the gondola up in the morning, ran out to Fissile, snacked on apples, dulse, brazil nuts and dried apricots in a golden meadow encircled by old firs, then ran down Singing Pass back to the the village. We saw a plethora of mushrooms nestled in amongst the old growth cedars and we drank from clear streams flowing through the brilliant green moss.  Magical days like these keep the creative mojo working. This is what I mean when I talk about self care as part of an art practice. 

Winter said hello today with a brief, but blustery snowstorm. I have been dipping in the lake as a daily practice since April and now that the temperatures have dropped it’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. It’s going to take some tenacity to keep this practice up, but luckily I have Asta, my summer long dipping partner, to keep the vibe alive. 

If you work long hours in the studio or sit a lot for work, consider giving cold water therapy a try. Cold water dipping is an effective, easy, inexpensive way to reduce inflammation and uplift the mood. For reasons which are inexplicable to me I find that I am energized and inspired for the rest of the day if I have takien the time to dip in the morning. 

I live next to a cold lake in the mountains, but for those of you who do not have such easy access, consider a quick dip in cold bath. It’s easier than you think and you wont be standing out in the wind and the rain come November!