Friday, March 5, 2010

Another epiphany of sorts....

This morning, I grabbed my towel and headed down to the hot tub and pool for my morning ritual of a soak and swim, to help my aching back. And as I sunk deeply into the roiling waters of the spa, I had one of those "I could have had a V-8" moments - you know, where you thunk your forehead because you made a stupid mistake.

Because this morning, as I settled into the water, with no other soul in sight, closed my eyes and let myself be surrounded by the motion of the jets, it came to me.

Water is my element.

I need water every day, in some elemental and powerful way, in order to experience my bliss.

My good friend Christine writes about this at her Blisschick blog, and she just posted an incredibly powerful piece on how dance helps her feel this elemental revival of self in her own life.

For me, I need the water.

And silly me, I thought I was getting it.

You see, we bought a hot tub last year. Every week, we are in the hot tub at least 3 times a week. We soak and talk and relax. And it feels wonderful. Especially when the snow is gently falling on us.

But this morning, I realized that this is not enough.

For today, I spent 10 minutes in the spa and then skipped over the pool to do several lazy laps in the cool water. And this is where my energies are restored.

I have belonged to the Y for years now, having joined with a friend with whom I went swimming regularly. The friendship has since fallen away, and I continued the swimming routine for a long time, but this past year, in the midst of all my turmoil, I found more and more excuses not to make it to the Y for my swims.

It was too cold outside.

I was too busy.

I was too tired.

It was dark outside.

I'll start next week, after this (fill in the blank) is over.

And on and on the list of excuses went.

And as the year progressed, my stress levels rose to alarming levels. My physical and mental health deteriorated. And I was losing grip on my sense of balance and being.

Until this morning.

Swimming, for me, is not about the physical exercise (although it is a wonderful way to get the body moving, with aerobic exercise that is less jarring on the joints). Rather, what I rediscovered this morning is that the process of swimming cleanses my mind. It is as if all the stress and distress of my life is rinsed away by the water flowing over my body.

This makes sense, since I am a Pisces. I belong in the water. I have always known this. I have just not always embraced it.

When I enter the water, and close my eyes, I can make the world go away.

I focus on my breathing.

I feel the texture of the water as it caresses my limbs and supports my body as I move through it.

I become one with the water.

It opens my senses and electrifies me.

I rediscover myself.

Swimming makes me fly.

So today, I am making a promise to myself. I will no longer ignore the needs of my body. I will continue to embrace my need for water. I will immerse myself in the water as often as I can. I will return to the Y.

And I know, if I do this, I will continue to fly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes! Turning swimming into exercise (though it IS great for that) demeans it's actual meaning in your life.

The pool is one of your temples!! :)