Tag Archives: wild swimming

The Magic Is In You – Water Wonderland

This is the second in an experimental series of posts about connecting to the magic within and all around us.  You can read the first post here as a general introduction to the idea.

I have chosen water as the theme because it is the one aspect of nature I can always rely on to soothe and calm me wherever I am.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

 

The inspiration for this post didn’t come to me in the clear turquoise waters of a tropical island, beautiful lake, or river though.  It was bubbling away in the jacuzzi at my local spa.

As I sat there in a peaceful daze, visions came to me of past times I’d been happily submerged in water, in places far and wide.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Imagined future scenes also flashed before me, until these visions enveloped me into a water wonderland which merged with the swirling delight of my present surroundings.

I sank deeper into the hot bubbling whirlpool in a dreamy stupor, and in that moment, all of my trepidation about leaving my current life behind to go off alone into the unknown again dissolved.  I knew that wherever I was I would always have this.  I could always return to the water world of my dreams that existed somewhere between planet earth and a paradise-like realm, where water was a sacred gift from the gods.

Iguasu Falls, South America

Iguasu Falls, South America

Water Meditation

Submerge yourself in water.  It could be in a bath, a river, lake, pool, hot tub or the sea.  (I have recently discovered the joy of having a wetsuit, which means I can swim comfortably even in the freezing cold water of the UK!)  Find a safe quiet spot where you feel happy to stay for a while.  Or, if you feel calmer on the move, find an open space where you can swim slowly without being disturbed.

The main aim of this activity is to relax and connect with your own magical water dreamland.  Use the flowing quality of water to wash away any negativity in your mind and body, and feel how you become almost weightless.  Feel yourself dissolving into the water, becoming more and more peaceful with every breath you take.

Your body begins to merge with the water, your movements becoming more fluid and easeful.  You are one with the water, and realise that all of the peace and calm that the water provides already exists within you.  Allow the twinkling reflections on the surface of the water, and swirling shapes your body makes as you move, to transport you to your water wonderland.

Sunset, Barbados

Sunset, Barbados

Allow images of beautiful waterfalls, lakes, rivers and oceans to float through your mind.  Enjoy the anticipation of visiting these places, and the special memories of places you have already been.  You are infinitely peaceful, and have a deep appreciation for this precious gift.

There is no set time for this meditation.  Personally, I could spend hours in water without getting bored, but everyone is different.  When you have finished, write down a few words under the heading of ‘water wonderland’ to remind you of this experience, or collect some pictures to create a collage of dream water paradises you would like to visit.

Try to take some of this relaxation and fluidity you have experienced with you into the coming days.  Allow peace to ripple out from you in all directions, and feel like you can float through any difficulties you may encounter.

Thank you for joining me in our water wonderland, I hope you enjoyed it!  Leave me a comment and tell me about your favourite places and inspiring experiences below ❤

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The Only Time I’ve Ever Really Enjoyed Swimming In FREEZING Cold Water

I LOVE water.  I can honestly think of nothing better than being outdoors, fully immersed in water.  A lot of the time I love it too much to even swim, and prefer to just gently bob up and down basking head to toe in the perfection of it.  I like to take my time, allowing the motion of the waves or current to wash over me and bring me back to the present moment in the most easeful way possible.

Crane Beach, Barbados - now that's what I call water!

Crane Beach, Barbados – now that’s what I call water!

I’ve been lured in by icy cold rivers, lakes and oceans (OK maybe not icy, but definitely chilly) on more than one occasion.  I’ve always felt refreshed and enlivened afterwards, but have very very rarely enjoyed the actual time in the water.  Colder temperatures just don’t really suit my preferred style of bathing!  However, there was one exception.

One summer’s day a group of friends and I took a trip to the forest in south Wales to visit some beautiful waterfalls.  We walked up the steep path alongside the river which winds and cascades down between the trees.

"Sgŵd Uchaf Clyn Glyn - geograph.org.uk - 70655" by Nigel Davies. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sg%C5%B5d_Uchaf_Clyn_Glyn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70655.jpg#/media/File:Sg%C5%B5d_Uchaf_Clyn_Glyn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70655.jpg

“Sgŵd Uchaf Clyn Glyn – geograph.org.uk – 70655” by Nigel Davies. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sg%C5%B5d_Uchaf_Clyn_Glyn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70655.jpg#/media/File:Sg%C5%B5d_Uchaf_Clyn_Glyn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70655.jpg

The area is actually known as ‘Waterfall Country’ due to their abundance here.  From the high impressive curtains of water that you can walk behind, to the smaller but equally magical falls that tumble into crystal clear pools throughout the rocky gorge, there was no shortage of inspiration for every water lover!

I knew the water would be cold.  It had been a glorious summer and I’d been fortunate enough to swim in some beautiful outdoor spots in the UK a few times already that year.  On the hottest day, in much slower moving water on lower ground, I had found it pleasantly cool.

I thought back to my first outdoor swim of the year.  It was a blazing hot day, and we’d gone to a popular swimming spot at Claverton, near bath.  It was during the week and most people were in work, so we were delighted to find that we practically had it to ourselves!

The beautiful river at Claverton, on a slightly busier sunny day.

The beautiful river at Claverton, on a slightly busier sunny day.

The water was deep, dark and murky, but the lush green plants that surrounded us provided a strange sort of comfort.  It was impossible to feel in any way uneasy about what lurked in the muddy depths of the river whilst we were in the loving embrace of the verdant life that flourished there.

Birds sang, insects hummed, and the river washed over us.  It was an alien situation, and yet it felt so familiar.  The aliveness of the habitat I found myself in resonated deeply within my body, waking up a part of me that slept during the time I spent in the clean modern artificial world.

The water at this idyllic spot in Claverton wasn’t warm, but it was in a completely different league to the piercing cold of the Welsh waterfalls.

"Neath Waterfall". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neath_Waterfall.jpg#/media/File:Neath_Waterfall.jpg

“Neath Waterfall”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neath_Waterfall.jpg#/media/File:Neath_Waterfall.jpg

I was excited to plunge into the deep pool that had been carved out by the gushing torrent of white water, but I was expecting it to be fairly unpleasant!  I hurriedly tip-toed across the mossy rock – I was partly anticipating the exhilarating thrill, and partly eager for it to be over!

The waterfall was a modest size, but its power was undeniable.  As I got closer excitement took over.  It must have been the way the water hurled itself over the edge of the rock without hesitation that encouraged my unusually wholehearted approach to the experience.

I launched myself in without a second thought.  I was vaguely aware of a slightly painful tingling sensation in my skin, but the sheer joy of being engulfed in this bubbling cauldron far outweighed any discomfort I felt.  It was like being in a huge, natural, extremely vigorous jacuzzi!

By Ulybug from London, UK (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ulybug from London, UK (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

My friend went and stood directly under the roaring torrent of water.  I wouldn’t have thought it possible to withstand that kind of force, but he seemed fine so I joined him!  It was a crazy kind of power shower that left me gasping for breath and laughing hysterically.

A very quick dip is all I usually manage in colder water, but this lively waterfall pool lured me back in for more.  I happily soaked up its invigorating energy, my senses fully absorbed and my whole body buzzing.

I realised that I was ENJOYING myself, and the novelty of this fact made me even happier.  It was a bizarre experience for me to be in freezing cold water and ecstatically happy at the same time.  Eventually I did have to drag myself out of there before I lost all feeling in my limbs.  I felt amazing, fully charged by the waterfall’s power, if a little battered about!  That was one swim I wouldn’t be forgetting in a hurry!

After such an intense start, I floated through the rest of the day in the Welsh woodlands with a warm inner glow, matching the outer warmth of the golden sunlight that filtered down through the trees.  We lay on the grass, did handstands against tree trunks, laughed, chatted, strolled and ate.  It was marvellous.

Are you a mermaid/merman too?  Have you had any unusual outdoor swimming experiences?  Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your stories!

 

 

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