Relaxing takes practice
Relaxing is not an easy thing to do. As absurd as it sounds, however, it takes practicing. It has a lot to do with letting go of the urge to struggle or control. Instead it’s about getting into the state of flow. The element of water helps me sense on a deeper level what letting go and flow feel like. It simply melts down resistance to what is. And it effortlessly restores joy.
Floating in the Sea
One of the best ways to let go of anything is to get myself into the sea. When my body floats in the water, cradled by waves, it feels weightless, embraced and free. This, for me, is the perfect experience of ease.
It is then that I feel truly part of the environment. Something in me expands, and I feel aligned with my natural inner element. Like a child I can jump in the waves, feeling tempted to giggle for no reason or even to laugh out loud, tremendously enjoying all kinds of movements in the water, or imagining an existence as a mermaid. It is then that the often abstract notion of oneness suddenly makes perfect sense. The water that is flowing around me is flowing through everybody else around and connects us in a mysterious way.
Floating in water dissolves heavy emotions
Water is often seen as representing emotions. It definitely has the quality to dissolve the heavy ones and enhance the uplifting ones. There is no way to carry anger or sadness when I am caressed by the warm and soft Red Sea. It has a rather mystical quality to it – perhaps because it feels primordial.
All life on this planet has started in the water. This is where we emerged from. Maybe this is why it feels so fundamentally comforting to float in the sea. Besides, our bodies consist to a huge percentage of water. Seeing to it that these liquids can be in a harmonious state and flow gently like little waves is essential for wellbeing.
Most of the time most of us are in a state of more or less chronic anxiety, worry or stress. Ease is a state that many people have difficulty to recall as a feeling in their bodies. While this is the new normal, we do well to remember it’s not our natural state. Even the organism of an amoeba is equipped by nature to produce endorphins – which is a neuropeptide triggering feelings of pleasure.
Pleasurable emotions induce a sense of wellbeing and a state of flow. When athletes or artists get into flow, peak performance or great creativity emerge. Flow takes us out of the realm of time and space and allows us to dive into another dimension steeped in grace and ease. Doing things in this state not only makes us way more productive, but it instills a tremendous sense of self-satisfaction.
Flow can be cultivated by remembering the magic of the sea
Scientific research undertaken by the Institute of HeartMath in California points to the fact that we function at our best when we feel uplifting emotions and these can easily be cultivated. When we focus on feeling at ease or appreciative, our heart rate rhythm becomes smooth. And then all the other systems of the body go into synchronicity with that. The result is coherence which in turn builds resilience to stress and adversity in our system.
When we spend too much time running around in cities, stuck in traffic or sitting in offices trying to push for results on all fronts we easily forget about all this and tensing up is the habitual response. We get out of synch and our batteries are drained of vital energy. It is right then that it’s truly helpful to remember the magic of the sea.
Luckily the subconscious cannot distinguish between a memory and an actual experience. Recalling the experience by thinking of the feeling of floating while breathing just a bit slower and deeper than usual leads to a smoother heart rate rhythm. This is a simple and effective way to cultivate the state of flow.
Without the sea I would neither be able to get a feel of floating or a sensual experience of what ease can feel like. Nor would I understand the mighty importance of keeping up the feeling state of its gently cradling flow until I have the next opportunity to bathe and melt in it again.