I spent the majority of last year in a pool. It started out as an act of frustration, a rebellion against fear. When I was a kid, I nearly drowned at a swim lesson and had developed a fear of deep water. I probably had it then, but, being left on the deep end alone by my teacher didn’t help. I was 39 years old, a woman of great substance, courage, and drive and all I thought about was how whenever I vacationed in either Mexico or the Caribbean I could only look at the water, listen to the people of the ocean aka aquatic life– call to me and NOT answer! It finally became too much for me. And, so, when my friend suggested we take lessons together, I knew the universe was speaking to me, and the alignment was in motion. In six months time, I went from not swimming at all, to remembering my life as a mermaid.
What is the lesson? The lesson is about fear.
Ask yourself honestly:
- How do you deal with your fears?
- What will you do to resolve your fears?
- How long will you allow your fears to dictate your life to you?
I know I am not the only person who gets sick of fear, the energy it steals, the burden it places on the psyche, and the demands it makes on my life. I am not a person who chooses to allow fear to take up space in my world for very long. I have made a commitment to happiness, to love, and to freedom of expression. These things cannot fully be lived in the presence of fear.
The first thing I learned about swimming is how natural it is. We float… That’s the simple truth… We float. And, if you allow yourself to float, you can swim. I know it seems like a simple concept, but, let’s look deeper… shall we? People with a fear of deep water have a seed form of fear that they may not even be aware of, and that seed is feeling a “loss of control”. You cannot successfully swim while dictating to the water what it will do for you. The water doesn’t have to do anything but, be itself. Therefore, you must first adjust your attitude toward the water. First, recognize: The water is not trying to drown you– your fear is. Be with that for a moment… I’ll wait here.
When we jump into a body of water, it is taking us into itself, and then… it tries to push us out. I noticed this almost immediately–the science of it. The key to buoyancy is patience. I know… when you’re a control freak, or, in my case, a recovering control freak, patience isn’t your strong suit. But, I learned that no matter how many times I dunked myself into the water, it would send me back to the top every single time. And, then, I did something unexpected, but, I understood was key in my learning to swim… I learned to relax. Relaxation is a huge part of overcoming your fears. Fear steals your breath, it quickens your heart’s pace, because it’s runaway with you via your thoughts, and it has you sprinting a marathon! But, if you just chose to dive into the fear, wait, and relax… The fear will push you back out! I know… you need me to break that down a bit more… My pleasure.
When we stop running from our fears, when we stop trying to control our fears, then we change our relationship with them. Whatever the fear is, no matter what it is, this is what I know for sure… Your fear is a scenario you created in your head that hasn’t even happened! Pause with that for a second… That’s right, what you’re so terrified of, what’s making you short of breath hasn’t even happened, and yet, you’ve given it so much control over you, by trying to control it. Sound a bit crazy, doesn’t it? LOL But… if you took a different approach, if you named the fear… “I am afraid of…”, if you reasoned with your imagination… “Listen, this hasn’t even happened, and it doesn’t have to happen…”, if you come up with a practiced technique to relieve yourself of the fear, “Okay, let’s take a breath… What can I do now, to prepare myself to deal with the situation if XYZ happens?” Ah…wait… that’s the important part.
Technique is the difference between swimming and drowning. Again, this is what I learned at the deep end of the pool. Especially, when we started diving. Yes… I went from not knowing how to swim, to floating, to diving. How? I learned, and then understood that in order to gain control of myself in the unknown depths of water, I had to learn the technique of how to work with it! There is a rhythm that must be mastered in swimming and each part of your body must be engaged in order to find this rhythm. Three strokes for every one breath, lifting your head while lifting you arm…all the while kicking. And, all these things must be done in grace–in flow. If you rush it, you run out of energy before reaching your destination, if you’re too slow, you will never get there. And, again… this is how you overcome fear.
- Am I breathing? — If not, find your breath.
- What am I afraid of? — A lot of times we are reacting, not knowing what we are reacting to. You have to name the seed of the fear, before you can overcome it.
- How can I create a solution? Yes, if you can create the problem, chances are you can also create the solution. Start small– “If this happens, I can do this, this, or this.”
- Am I executing the solution? — A lot of times we think things, but, it’s the doing that actually resolves issues. When we are taking action, things actually change. You must take things from your mind into your body, and move the energy of fear out, and get yourself back into the natural flow of life.
So, the truth is… everything is here to help you move past your limitations, past your fear, and flow into a greater state of happiness. And, each fear overcome gives birth to a newer and better version of yourself. The sense of strength and accomplishment felt when we overcome a fear sets a precedent for the future. For every new fear encountered in your life, you can always refer back to the ones overcome and know for sure, “I can do this, because I’ve already done it!” But, first… First, you must be willing to be fully submerged into the depths of fear, you must be willing to let go and relax into the unknown, and you must willing be patient as you allow the unknown to become your new wisdom.
Needless to say as much as I loved water before, I love it even more now. Like all nature, water is my friend. It is here to nourish me, support me and to help me grow into a better version of myself. All I needed to do was allow myself to let go of the fear, and embrace the truth… There is a flow to life, and it is up to me to allow myself to go with it. 😉
Until next time… I’ll be at the deep end of the pool of life. I hope to see you there!
Love Peace Happiness N One,