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Reader comment on Daniel Gottlieb's passage ...

Those Who Float


On Jul 1, 2012 Veena Vasista wrote:

 Oh yes!!!! This post really resonated with me. In 2009, my theme for the year was 'Year of Effortless Living." I spent that year exploring how I could live my life with less effort - because I was tired of continuously experiencing life as a struggle. I blogged about my reflections throughout the year and here's what I wrote in my introductory blog on 1 January 2008: "Last year, I was taking swimming lessons and they’ve proved to be equally instructive in and out of the water. Previously, I had been a very poor, fearful swimmer who often found being in the water pretty damn tiring. My strokes were usually quick and sharp, making a strong splash and feeling powerful, but not actually doing much to move me forward. I often behaved as if water was trying to pull me under and I needed to escape from it. But after my lessons, I began to swim differently (you would hope, wouldn’t you?). I put an end to thrashing about and pushing so hard to move so little. I found that water would support me, if I let it. I experienced swimming not only as enjoyable and relaxing, but at times it seemed effortless. Then it hit me, life is a lot like swimming: we can either relax into it or struggle with it."

Fast forward to April 2012 and the Pacific Ocean. There I was on a holiday and the calm, warm waters beckoned me. For the first time in my life, I calmly floated in the ocean. I had the experience of laying back, letting the water hold me while I looked up at the blue sky. But it wasn't all calmness. Sometimes,  when the tide would come in and my feet were unable to touch the bottom, I would feel the fear enter my heart and notice that I would stop breathing - I would panic, even if only for the few seconds. And even just floating when the tide was very low could still bring me to a panic - it took a few tries to get really calm and at ease - to surrender to the water. I was very conscious that my relationship with the ocean reflected my relationship with life. 

The short of it is that I am the most comfortable I've ever been in water - I'm still not fearless, but I definitely have had the experience of life/water holding me. I no longer move through life anxious and fearful much of the time - I no longer think I'm being pulled down. How has this happened? Deep soul work to recognize my fears and to let go of them while I altered my core beliefs. I don't think of myself as having faith, per say, but as being able to believe that I am safe and secure. This is tied to a belief in my wholeness - a wholeness that cannot be taken apart or destroyed - a wholeness that is safe and secure. Maybe this is a form of faith - and my not using the word is semantics....I deepen this trust through my daily Vipassana meditation and through on-going practice of repeatedly letting go and surrendering on a moment by moment basis.

 



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