Sixty-Five Feet Under

* The story about this picture can be found at the end of the post.

The first time I donned a wetsuit in my life was in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the morning of my first ever diving lesson to become a certified SSI Open Water Diver. I’d never tried scuba diving before and it had been years since I’d even snorkelled. Obviously, I was pretty apprehensive prior to jumping feet first to get licensed in the big blue at 20 metres depth (65 ft -ish).

Sure I was scared, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Amazed by the energy of the sea after growing up on the coast, I’ve always felt the call to go deeper. We may have once emerged from the primordial waters of our planet but the world that exists just under the surface has become completely unnatural for humans. Exploring this vast watery universe in some way with scuba diving had been something that intrigued me since a young age, so why would I stand in my own way?

The ocean is an endless source of wonder, both beautiful and terrifying at once and with so many mysteries under the surface still. I wanted to approach such an imposing thing with the respect it deserves by learning more about the life-saving equipment I’d use in a respectful way, as well as the biotopes I would be diving and how to preserve them.

That’s why I’m so glad I pushed past the limiting beliefs I held about doing the Open Water exercises and successfully learning what was needed for certification. Those beliefs probably weren’t even mine to begin with, but actually those of others who were standing in their own way themselves and projecting their fears onto me.

Sadly, many hold themselves back from things they fancy accomplishing because of others’ noise. Don’t be a victim, ask yourself what you are truly doing for yourself? Where are you playing small because of other people’s fears and opinions that you’ve taken as your own? Are you following your dreams or someone else’s? Or are you just letting them pass you by entirely?

Be more than a witness to the theatre of life unfolding around you! You can choose to actually participate in creating the show you want to experience here. Analyse your habits, look at what you do in detail. Work out if these things are helping you evolve, to bloom or if they are keeping you in a state of resistance, restriction and lack. You have the power to create something wonderful, use it.

“I must be a mermaid…I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

Anaïs Nin

* The picture of me up top looking as happy as one can look in full scuba gear is actually hiding the slight panic I was experiencing when the photo was taken. It was a shore dive in Madeira at the Garajau Nature Reserve and was my first time diving in such extreme current! The monitor did say there would be some current but he wasn't expecting it to be as strong as it was. He could see that our small group was competent so didn't call off the dive. Thankfully everything went well and I'm grateful to be able to laugh about it now. Unlike most other scuba explorations it was a very exhilarating 50 minutes. Hanging onto rocks and ledges for fear of being swept into the deep whilst attempting to stay calm and keep air consumption to a minimum was worth it. Not only for the valuable experience of diving such conditions, but because we saw no less than three stingrays up close, amongst all the other beautiful sea life whizzing past at great speeds of course. It was very impressive to see the way such tiny fish navigated such intense conditions whilst we struggled completely!
One of the stingrays of Garajau, Madeira

Updated 11th January 2022

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