The Magic of Gratitude Transforms a Cold Shower

Hello. Welcome to the “Unfolding” is a pleasure to share energy with you here!

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

 – Meister Eckhart

When I work day shift, I typically wake at 3:45am.  I use the public restroom and shower facility to get ready in the morning; this facility is a few minutes walk from the boat.  To ready for my day, I go from the warmth of my bed, out into the chilly pre-dawn air.  I do not drink coffee because I do not like the taste; I do very much look forward to a hot shower– not just to clean and warm my being, but to release tension and to center for the day.  I *love* my shower, relish every moment of it!  The shower is where I lather my body, and also lather my soul: I use products that delight my senses, I am purposeful with my motions, I calmly breathe in and out fully.  I give praise for the abundance in my life, I set an intention for the day..and  I step out refreshed and invigorated.  This sets the tone for the rest of my day.

On this particular morning, I prepared for my shower.  The air temperature was around 50 degrees, with a lot of  moisture in the air, so a hot shower would be perfect to being this day! I stuck my hand into the stall to check the water temperature, only to find it was freezing cold.  My initial reaction was disappointment.  The *one thing* I look forward to transforming my sleepy self to my lovely “daytime” self..and the water was so cold I couldn’t bear to get in.  This is the first time in five years that the water temperature didn’t co-operate with my intention! I decided to quick rinse and go about my day.  As I let the water run– daring my self to step into the cold stream– I thought about how my friends tell me that we may bring the sunshine forth on overcast days; the power of thought, which I believe in and use when I create.  I know that I create the moment; however, I tend to allow Universe to control the weather…I know I can bring out the sunshine, but I choose to accept the clouds and be thankful for whatever a cloudy day allows to be created.     

With this thought, I stuck my hand into the cold water, then tentatively stepped into the shower, flinching a little as the cold water touched my skin.  Part of me wanted to express something less than lovely, but the greater part of me thought of my friend who was spending time in the woods with no running water, probably wishing for a shower; and of all of the people who have no running water at all…so as the water ran over my body, I Felt gratitude.  Gratitude to have this water and this time to shower.  Still cold, but now thankful, I splashed water over my face, then very tentatively allowed this icy water to flow over my entire body..I allowed for the feeling of refreshment.  Granted, I was ready to wash very quickly, but my initial disappointment had transformed to complete gratitude. 

Because I love the feel of high pressure, I had the water running full blast..icy cold, yes..but as the water flowed, I was able to ignore the temperature as I rinsed off the previous day and began to center for this day.  One might say I was connecting with flow–ingoring the external circumstances as I allowed internal to guide my actions and create this moment.  By this time, the water had been running about ten minutes.  No longer upset about the water temperature, I was now back to enjoying the process of my shower; I opened my shampoo very pleased with the scent..breathing it in fully.  I actually didn’t notice how cold the water was (*grin* maybe my body was numb!), I was most present to the joys of cleanliness and fragrance and lather.  Imagine my surprise, then, when all of a sudden, the water turned to scorching hot I had to turn it down!  I laughed–right out loud.  Ten minutes ago, I was daring my self to step into the stall, yet once I released my expectation and began to delight in the process, I was rewarded beyond my imagination!

So, I wonder this: where else in life may I release expectation and allow beyond what I can fathom to be perfectly placed into my life?  Where else am I reluctant to step in and embrace the process fully?  Where else may I allow genuine gratitude to transform tepid to “hot”?  And where else may I wait patiently while allowing for natural unfolding..instead of resisting and whining and trying to control..where may I allow for?

Thank you for sharing this reflection with me.  As you move through your day, may you be aware of the magic of gratitude and how it may transform “less than” to “most perfect”, indeed 🙂

Much peace and abundant love,



  1. #1 by Sandra Pawula on September 24, 2011 - 7:50 am


    I confess that a cold shower at 4 am in the morning would be a big challenge for me to transform! I’m struck though by how spoiled we are to come to expect the magic of a hot shower when so many people in this world go without. I’m amazed by your ability to turn the cold shower into a positive experience. I need to train far more to get anywhere close to your capacity for gratitude, joy, and love. I’m in awe. How awesome!

    • #2 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on September 26, 2011 - 2:27 am

      When I read your comment, my first thought is: magic is generated in each moment, when I allow it to be. In my life, I allow for the possibility of magic in *everything* and abundant magic is present. Allowing a “cold shower”/disappointment to be something to feel gratitude for only happens easily when I open my heart to it; when I resist by insisting upon a certain outcome or clinging to expectation, I create struggle/pain.
      You inspire me to create beyond “norm” embrace community..and to be “me”..thank you for being you and for all that you share!

  2. #3 by Rand on September 24, 2011 - 9:56 pm


    Thanks for sharing your early morning shower experience. I remember from a post way back about how you *treasure* a ‘long 30 minute hot shower’…in fact I remember kidding you about it because it reminded me of Melvin Udall taking that long steamy shower in ‘As Good As It Gets’.

    The experience must of been like this for you:

    …to this:

    Some of my memorable showers:

    …First time as a boy to the YMCA and all the naked bodies taking a shower!!

    …My parents dropping me off at the movie theater and I asking them “What does Psycho mean?”

    …standing in the shower during a major earthquake

    …hot shower after running a cedar trail through The Redwoods during the winter

    …cold outdoor shower at Mission Bay after running 30 miles up to Solana Beach and back

    …hot showers in the chalet at Mammoth Mountain after sking all day

    …scoulding hot water from the peet burning in the stove on the farm in West Clare, Ireland

    …water bag shower on the sailboat somewhere in the middle of the Coral Sea

    …hot shower after being lost in a forest in 1984 Soviet Union…helped to get the ice of my beard

    Joy…no matter hot or cold… being cleansed with water is being blessed by God.

    • #4 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on September 26, 2011 - 2:28 am

      Love this: “no matter hot or cold… being cleansed with water is being blessed by God”..thank you for a poignant reminder!

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