Learning to Float Again

Weird how very much water can look like sky.

Weird how very much water can look like sky.

I never knew how much extra weight I carried, until I let it go.

Do you know that forever---or at least ever since I can remember anyway, I have been unable to float? It made swimming hard because how can you do that if you consistently sink? I gave up on swimming in proper form years ago and created a kind of doggie-paddle-kick to make my way across the water. Honestly it didn't seem that unusual to me as my mom has always complained of the same inability to float.

This past summer on a still and sunny morning, something miraculous happened. I learned to float again.

My explanation for the sink effect is that I allowed life to weigh me down. I'm guessing most of it came from the mean voice in my head, the one who heard every criticism from the outside world (ever inferred or received by direct comment), and the one who glossed over every compliment I ever received.

In my study of personal energy through reiki, reading and meditation, I now understand that emotions, old emotions especially, can be stored in our physical bodies. Forever, if we let them reside there. They create roadblocks to our free flowing energy, which can eventually lead to physical ailments, and/or they can make us heavy and weigh us down. Everyone carries some of this extra emotional weight, oftentimes without even knowing it. Apparently I carried a lot of it.

I let go of most of it this past year. Some of it in big emotional chunks --just ask my boys--they learned to stop asking what was wrong and just give me an awkward pat or a hug if there were signs of a recent crying jag. And there were small releases in the form of sighs, deep breaths, or an intention to cut ties to someone or something ---that led to soft, slow tears or moist eyes. Some of the tears I shed were happy ones resulting from the letting go.  And some came from dealing with the big chunks of sadness, regret and shame that moved on out. Those were the heavy tears.

No matter what kind of a release they were, the act of letting go felt better in my body. Both physically and mentally.

I felt lighter, freer and afterwards, thought maybe I could actually breathe a bit more fully.

Learning to float again was a benefit to the letting go. The day this summer when I realized I could finally float on top of the lake again; I didn't want to stop. If not for my friend Sue Ann being with me, I might have stayed in there all day experimenting with the feeling of sinking slowly as the air left my lungs and feeling myself slowly rise to the surface when I breathed in fully again.

It was lovely. It was empowering. I felt very much like a kid again.

For years I unconsciously sabotaged my own ability to float. When I'd feel myself start to drift downward, instead of trusting in the process and breathing slowly and deeply to refill my lungs with air, I'd flail about in panic and I'd sink. Somewhere along the way I stopped trusting my own ability to rise back up.

Fear held me down. Faith now helps me float.

If I can do it, so can you.

Let it go. Let go of all the things that hold you back. Like dead limbs; drop them. Think of it as clearing the clutter from the 'inside' of you.

Since relearning to float, spontaneity shows her face more often in my life. She's become a regular visitor -- reminding me to stop what I am doing and go for a walk with the trees or to step away from the computer and appreciate some of the natural beauty outside my window. She's less serious, and she's way more forgiving than Control, who used to rule my world. 

Is it time to let go of that which holds you down?