When immersed in water we feel all of ourselves simultaneously because of water’s hydrostatic pressure which is the pressure exerted by a fluid on an immersed body. This pressure increases with depth but even in the shallows being immersed in water reconnects us with our sense of self in a very physical way. Water provides homogenous stimulus in calm conditions or in a controlled pool environment which awakens all of our senses including interoception, our ability in other words to sense what is happening inside of ourselves.
We might feel a shift of temperature from land to water or the ever changing temperature of water if in the sea. We are likely to feel the pressure slightly differently on parts of our body because of the way we are moving in the water. At the same time, we might feel our muscles relax if the water is warm or our whole nervous system contract if the water is cold. Water reawakens sensations in body parts that have been numbed due to trauma, abuse or not enough use.
We might feel lighter in our bodies while immersed in water, it might become easier or more difficult to breathe, it might become more silent as the input from the outside world eases off, we might even be able to listen to our own heartbeat. Water invites us into ourselves quite naturally, often without noticing unless we engage with water intentionally as a teacher unto ourselves.
“When water is the teacher the practice becomes love.”
Teaching or learning, whichever way you wish to look at it, has been associated with inputting a specific skill received from the outside. The measure of achievement is also most often in comparison to something on the outside we might or might not relate to. This has led to a sense of comparison, of not being enough or good enough and the bar seems to just get higher and higher the older we get.
So when is the bar of achievement finally going to be high enough? When are we going to reach a sense of achievement which doesn’t have us reaching for Mars, digging deeper for even more gold or hating the other who will always be better than us? Water is inviting another way to relate with ourselves and with others. The aquatic environment is a responsive and resonant field that accepts all of ourselves and all that we bring to it.
Water doesn’t care if we have a long breath or a short breath, it just shows us in a neutral crystal clear way where our breath is at. Water supports the understanding of ourselves by being reflective and transparent in its teachings, allowing room for our own interpretation of our embodied messages only we can develop an internal reference for.
By cultivating a consistent practice that gives us feedback we can trust about ourselves and where we are we develop over time, an internal picture of ourselves, of our progress, of our consistency, of our efforts and in doing so we develop trust in ourselves, in our own abilities and unique ways of ‘swimming’. Water is a multidimensional environment that gives us subtle cues on all levels of our existence. Physically, mentally, emotionally and vibrationally water is the ultimate teacher.
By learning from the inside out we have the potential to become strong, resilient and independent human beings because we have learnt how to trust and gauge our own truth and abilities from the inside out. Once we become aware and accept that this shift is upon us and has entered our pools and classrooms we can begin to look at what are the best ways we can elicit learning in and with water.
Water Happy works with water rather than just in it with the intention of bringing our awareness back to ourselves as parents and educators so that we can support and facilitate this important shift which is evolving out of remembering more of who we are. The more we offer learning spaces to babies and children which are held with presence and awareness the more they will be able to unfold their unique skills and abilities which hold hope and new ways for our future.