Changing My Relationship With Water
“I don’t need easy, just possible …. and if you have faith anything is possible, anything at all.” — Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton
Many summers ago, while visiting family friends at an apartment complex, I sat on a lounge chair in the pool area while my parents stood a few feet away engaged in adult conversations. Overwhelmed with boredom, the polished reflection of the shimmering Sun swaying in the swimming pool captured my seven-year-old imagination. Without any of the adults noticing, I rose to my feet and systemically placed one foot in front of the other and walked along the edge of the swimming pool. My attention was focused on balance and perfect poise as I delicately took each step with exact accuracy. Uncertain of how it happened, I momentarily deviated from my methodical stepping, lost my balance and plunged into the deep end of the swimming pool.
Instantly, I was consciously aware of drifting downward towards the bottom of the swimming pool. I was also aware of my Dad’s quick reaction of jumping into pool and lifting me out of the water. Once I was out of the pool, my Mother wrapped a towel around me and I felt the warmth of her embrace. It was not until I stood back and looked into the faces of both of my parents that I realized how frightened they were by the unfolding chain of emotional events. From that day forward, I never had any inclination to learn how to swim or any desire to get near a pool of water.
I have always enjoyed the kinetic energy that is naturally generated from being in the immediate nearness of the Ocean. The mysteries of the endless waves and the massive grandeur of the Ocean soothes my soul. Nevertheless, in all its majestic wonders I could not allow myself to relax and go into the water. I ensured my safety by remaining on the edges of the shore. My favorite stress releasing activities were skydiving and driving big trucks. The idea of jumping into a pool of water sunk my heart into despair.
“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water.On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” — Bruce Lee
Recently during a meditation, I experienced a vision of myself relaxed and calmly floating in water. During my meditation, I felt confident and supported as I floated in an open body of crisp blue water. In that moment, I felt the mental distractions of hydrophobia melt away. Faith of myself and of my abilities as the Greater Me opened the doors to the possibility of learning how to swim. As a matter of fact, this past week I took a brave step towards making my meditative vision a reality and I enrolled myself into adult swimming lessons.
The most amazing part of this new venture of my life is that the day after I committed myself to taking swimming lessons, I received an invitation to a pool party! I smiled as I graciously accepted the invitation. Somehow, I know that this day and every day is the start to a beautiful and fearless summer that has never been swam before.
So It Is! By Carla Hodge