One of my favourite things to do in a body of water is to lie on my back and float. My husband has caught a number of photos of me seemingly asleep and smiling in various holiday locations where we opt for a swim.
I find it to be a multi-faceted feeling of bliss and relaxation with the sense of weightlessness as I let the water keep me hovering on the surface. Couple with that the loss of the excessive noise of the world as the water covering my ears gives me a muted/muffled auditory experience and I can more easily tune out to the call for ‘mum’ or any other role that demands my vigilance.
Floating in the ocean is easier in the sense that the salt level in the water assists buoyancy and therefore requires less effort to keep afloat. Unfortunately, unless it is a particularly calm day, floating in the ocean is less of a horizontal experience.
In a swimming pool you aren’t fighting the tide, seaweed or ocean creatures but often other swimmers as their proximity is closer, plus it requires greater concentration or muscle use to keep afloat. What you gain on one hand you seem to lose on the other.
At the holiday accomodation we were blessed to stay at recently in Darwin I discovered the best of all worlds. There was a small outdoor pool space that wasn’t overly used by other residents, in fact almost every time we went it was only the 3 of us there.
As we enjoyed our first swim we discovered that the pool water was not chlorinated as expected for a swimming pool, but a salt water pool. I can not recall ever experiencing one before but I certainly felt as if my floating Christmases had come at once!
No crowds, no waves, high salt, less effort – floating in this space was pure bliss. I could lay back with my hands behind my head and just relax. I barely had to think about anything.
Normally I would be on alert for all manner of things. From my physical appearance to what we were planning to have for dinner. On these occasions, however, I found it so easy to disengage with my stressors and just ‘be’.
Usually I hold tightly to all the complexities I face in life. The interactions, the demands, the changes in society and the need to continue to grow and learn. Taking the time to float restored an equilibrium to my soul.
As I was able to let go I found my mind able to drift to other things and my relaxed brain was freed up to solve situations and concerns had been knowingly or unknowingly wrestling with. There is a wealth of neuroscience to explain this phenomenon and I am grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to do this.
Life is a complicated journey that can sometimes feel like it squeezes the capacity to think straight when you need it most. God does not desire that for His children and in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, chapter 31 and verse 25 He’s says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
What I have discovered is that when I keep an eye out for opportunities to take a breath in life, He provides them for me. I don’t always take those moments, because I can feel that I am too important or needed in life to afford the time to be refreshed. The fact is, even God took a break when He was working, and it is so important for my wellbeing to embrace this practice.
Now I yearn to seek out spaces to help me float through life, without having the need to find a saltwater pool to do so! Although if you have one in your backyard you can let me use, I will be especially grateful!