“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t! If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!” – Christopher Cassey, my PADI OWC instructor.

“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t!

If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!” – Christopher Cassey, PADI instructor.

By Day 2 of my 3 nights OWC crash course, my mind wavered if I could do this… Maybe I can’t… Maybe I’m not meant for this… Maybe I’m just kidding myself… Maybe I don’t even want this! I tried to keep an open mind, observing my thoughts as they came, even while I was diving.

By the time the sun had set for the day, I had more or less decided. 

I want to pass my OWC. But I don’t think I can… Not in 3 nights. By the 3rd day, I had a plan. I’ll return on another trip to complete the 2 boat dives to get my license. I didn’t have the confidence to do it that day.

The instructor was supportive of my decision. He wasn’t going to push me if I wasn’t ready for it. That’s nice… But somehow, deep inside, I knew it would feel nicer if I left the island finishing what I had begun here.

One thing led to another. In the end, I opted to stay on an extra night.

I still remember the first boat dive. First thing he did at the end of it was give me a high five with the biggest smile. “Good girl, you did it!”

Man. That feeling was pure satisfaction. And I wasn’t expecting that!

My first boat dive. OWC 2014.

My first boat dive. OWC 2014.

With my OWC Instructor, Chris.

With my OWC Instructor, Chris.

I know I didn’t do that great underwater, and ascended 10mins before 40. But it’s clear he wasn’t looking for perfection. The second boat dive was kinda the same. But the point is that we made it. We completed this!

Ascending from the womb of the ocean,  back into the heart of life... ballerina style! ;- )

Ascending from the womb of the ocean,
back into the heart of life… ballerina style! ;- )

It felt surreal when he handed me my temp diver’s license. Put myself through a lot of stress to earn it! And it was worth it. In 3+1 night, I gained more than just diving skills. I got a reminder of life’s basic rules:

1. Relax
2. Breathe
3. Exhale
4. If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t! If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!
5. Calm down

Also, gotta love the bunch of awesome divers my couz got together for the trip. Couldn’t have asked for better company! Their massive support and empathy skills were off the charts. All in all, best 5D4N of my April.

Every moment and wisdom gained on the island is guiding me forth. That was my intention from day one–and for everything I’m doing this year:

To conquer the fear that’s been holding me back from doing what I want to do in life. 

Today, I found myself struggling while writing, thinking the same fear-thought patterns: “Maybe I can’t… Maybe I’m not meant for this… Maybe I’m just kidding myself. Maybe I don’t even want this.”.

But Christopher’s voice is coming back louder and fiercer in my head:

“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t!

If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!”

I CAN. SO CAN YOU.

After a dive and a swim... the Snorkle-Beerbong Initiation night, to "celebrate" passing my OWC. (Actually, I had not completed my 2 boat dives on that night, but in the eyes of my diver friends, I'd already passed the test! And so I did, the very next day... ;- )

After a dive and a swim… a Snorkle-Beerbong Diver’s Initiation rite, to “celebrate” passing my OWC. (Actually, I had not completed my 2 boat dives on that night, but in the eyes of my diver friends, I’d already passed! And so I did, the very next day… ;- )

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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5 Days Countdown: Breathe

“Probably the most relaxing sound for me is my breathing. I’m reminded I’m alive. no other singular sound more characterises the dive experience than the sound of the breath.

Breathing in, gently, and with near imperceptibility, I begin to rise. Breathing out, I slowly descend. This gentle rocking, is one of the things that makes diving so soothing…

I breathe, therefore I am. Diving that is. And the breath is such a great way to pace myself… By listening to my breath, I become acutely aware of slowing my inhalations… luxuriating, in the simplicity of the process, and very slowly, exhaling… listening, as the trickle of bubbles are set free as they inexorably make their way to the surface of the water, like helmet in transparent balls of energy, each with their own separate mission to pulse their ways to the top.

Once there, they are set free…

I breathe and feel the filtered dry air fill my lungs. It wakes up all the slumbering alveoli, those tiny sacs that carry oxygen, throughout my body, from within my lungs. And I’m reminded that I never, never breathe relaxed to full breaths like this, when I’m going about my business, topside. But the slow movement of everything under the water, reminds me that there is only this moment, only this breath, and only this feeling…

I’m breathing as I dive, with every breath more relax than the one before it. And as I breathe, I enter more deeply, into where I am. Listen, I’m glad I started diving. It reminded me to slow down, slow down and breathe… to feel… and to enjoy.” – Michael Mish, Breath.

The past one week has been one hell of a turbulent ride… Even as I’m regaining clarity and allowing the gravity of it all to bring me to its proper place, I find that I’m 5 days away from my dive trip in island paradise. I’m getting dive certified for PADI Open Water. It doesn’t feel like a good time to go now. But then again, the sun, sea and sand would be good for me, even as I make time and space for healing. Am very grateful to come across Michael Mish’s vid on BREATH today. His meditative approach to diving is inspiring, calming and peace-restoring… it’s exactly what I need.

Perhaps, it’s exactly what you need too. A simple reminder, to Breathe.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture