Wild Waters – healing depression and other ailments.

I was happily swimming in the sea just yesterday morning, I may spend up to 10 minutes in the water before I give way to the urge to return to my comforts.

After nearly three years of cold water training I can with great confidence share the benefits of this practice as I have experienced it, I have met many people now who take to the wild waters during the cold winter months and in these meetings I have come across many different approaches, tips, do’s and don’t do’s. Due to the diversity, rather than say my way is the right way, I am simply compelled to share my experience and it will contradict and agree with other peoples experience.

Your experience is a valuable experience and I do not feel it can be wronged or righted in any way, its yours, as we share we open ourselves up to learning and growing, I have little time for right or wrong and therefor champion every person who finds there way of flowing with the ebb and flow of the wild waters, if through sharing someone is inspired to take action or be curious to explore another path and maybe try something completely new then great, that is its intention.

When I first jumped into the wild waters of the sea nearly 3 years ago I was DEPRESSED, WEAK and LOST to name just a few states of being that I was experiencing.

This may come as a surprise, just recently someone commented on how positively I come across after I had disclosed to them some of life’s obstacles and challenges that I had faced.

I am no longer DEPRESSED or WEAK, but am always a little bit LOST :), that’s more to do with accepting the unknown quality of life than to do with the fear of being LOST.
I attribute the overcoming of these conditions and the huge improvement in my overall health and wellbeing to the WILD WATERS.
I owe her a lot, for sure breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and qi gong along with playing with family and friends have helped, but connecting deeper with nature has enriched these interactions with life and I usually practice Qi Gong before a dip so that my mind and being is calm before going in.

My focus and clarity have improved, my ability to master my emotions, to be aware of my emotional self is transformational, I no longer need to be concerned about the angry bear within because I simply go and dunk him into the sea, anger can’t penetrate the euphoria of the embrace with the wild waters.

My skin is healing, which for someone who has suffered since childhood with skin complaints this is a big thing, I have also experienced experiences that words cannot bring to life and do justice for so you will simply need to trust me that there is something waiting for all of us in the wild waters that will transform and change our perspective of ourselves, the world we live in and life as a whole.

I found my heart in the cold waters, I felt its thud against my chest, I felt its power reach out through my arms and extending into the abyss via my fingertips, the power of the heart can move mountains and heal our suffering.

Everything takes time, in that first year the amount of pain and suffering I went through is almost indescribable, however with perseverance, patience and belief one overcomes these obstacles and challenges, awakening to a new you and yet that you was always there, but it was hidden from view.

Diving into the wild waters is a way of cleaning the you you think you are and showing you a you that you truly are. Akin to maya the veil of illusion, the sea can and will if you give her enough time pull back the veil of illusion a layer at a time.

Simple but not easy, its a beautiful mix of pain and pleasure, thats cold training in a nut shell and through diving into the wild chasm of the sea or any body of wild water the weight of the depressive self will float away into the there after, it will float back to you and cloak itself around your shoulders, however each time you remove that cloak to the sea it comes back less of a burden on those shoulders of yours, eventually after enough time has past you will no longer put that cloak back on.

Give yourself time and find the love in each breaking wave as it moves your spirit and soul in a way only the sea knows how.

Sending you love from me and the sea.

Matt

Advertisements

Grey days at sea lead to happiness within.

On days like these when the weather does not invite happiness, but rather asks one to seek for it within are some of the most challenging days.I awoke feeling the heaviness of the grey clouds, that feeling of sluggishly dragging one self from the bed and into clothes takes a strength I often feel is missing and yet know it is there,

The walk to the sea, so often greeted by the beautiful colours of a rising sun, always sure to raise ones spirit, however today was a grey morning.

I stood on the jetty as it outstretched into the sea, looking for the sun, but only seeing grey looming clouds with that wet damp feel to the air,

I moved through my qi gong practice and breath to awaken the heavy body I had begrudgingly dragged down to the sea, little sparks of life begun to shimmer within,

I looked at the sea, grey and gloomy, I was talking myself out of going in for a swim and yet a deep yearning to embrace the spirit of the sea rather than the aesthetic beauty of the often present vistas overcame my doubt,

I stripped down still doubting my decision, however I was now committed,

I waded into the grey gloomy abyss, hello stranger she said, I am no stranger I am here often I replied, but you are not you in this moment, where is your play, where is your heart and warmth she asked? I dived deep and touched the sand,

I returned back to the surface with lightness, happiness and joy restored, welcome back she said it’s good to see you again.

I left the sea feeling a million dollars better than before I had gone in, I have had this same experience many times over the past couple of years and I know that the cycle will continue and that like the sea has taught me, happiness is so often a choice.

Have a great sea day today everyone.

A Crisp Morning – Training in the Cold

I awake at 5.35am, I do what most do as the alarm on my phone wakes me from my slumber, I press snooze, the hope of eternal comfort is present in that action of pressing snooze and yet the adventure that waits in the midst of that cold mornings chill is to great for me to remain snuggled.

When I’m up I’m an up kinda of person, this maybe an advantage I’m not sure it’s always been my operating system and so I have little to compare it to, however I see the struggle that others face upon waking and I know I do not share those same battles, me I’m ready, I could if absolutely required to run a marathon 5 minutes after getting out of bed and with absolutely no need for either coffee or breakfast, no gloating here I’m simply painting a picture of my waking state.

Hot chocolate with roasted dandelion root, cloves, chai spices and some molasses to sweeten, all prepped and ready in my flask for after my mornings cold training antics, there is nothing quite like the sensation of a warm liquid running through a chilled system to heat the core and get you back to balance, needless to say I never leave home without it.

Standing on the jetty as it protrudes into the sea with a stary sky above and a chill in the air similar to as if you were standing outside in a ski resort, whilst the world around you is asleep apart from the gentle lapping of the seas water upon the shore all is quiet and still, it is in these moments I loose my breath and thoughts.

I must focus inwards and focus using the medium of surrender and not force, I must calm my fears and explore my curiosity, my curiosity of being at complete ease with the cold. I work through a QI Gong practice and after I sit for three rounds of deep breathing, my hands always the coldest part of me take the most convincing that what I’m about to do is a good idea.

This morning I marry focus with determination and intention, I am determined and focused to embrace the cold sea with the intention of completely embracing and accepting all experiences and dissolving all resistance.

I am in my shorts and the soft breeze offers the first blow to my determined will, I hum loudly to channel heat energy through my core and chest and leave through my breath, I slow my breathing down and with it my heart rate. I step into the sea and sink into my hips holding horse stance for a minute or so, I roar at this point and focus on my internal fire and strength then I smile to release the tension, I slow my breath and ease into the cold calm sea.

It’s electrifying, it’s nerve rattling cold, it penetrates deeper and at an awesome pace than I had anticipated. My toes and fingers begin to feel numb and my whole body feels as if sandwiched between to beds of nails, but the gaze upon the red and orange rising sun and the shimmer of light upon the seas surface offered calm and warmth, I breathed in and as I breathe out I sink beneath the sea, the rush of cold around my head and down my back was both nerving and transcendent as if existing in another reality different to the one I’m normally in.

I stay close to the breath and maintain a slow rythmn, sensation surprisingly returns to my extremities and now I even begin to feel the pulse in both my liver and stomach and whilst this to is a nerving experience I also felt very powerful and comfortable and the more I relaxed the greater the energy I received and felt.

Returning to clothes is no easy feat and I must maintain this calm and focus, it’s all to easy at this point to get complacent. The key here is focus on nothing other than the small task your are doing at that moment, don’t stop with your task keep going and before you know it your dressed.

Once dressed the greatest battle with pain commences, on the one hand you have completed your training and you relax into your warm clothing, however as these scenarios combine your body goes through a sometimes unforgiving transition, as circulation returns and flow picks up the discomfort one feels can be very intense, I have stood in a warm shower for 10 minutes before to readjust, however now I’m practicing surrender and relaxation I have noticed my bodily functions have been either not affected at all or return back to normal much quicker than before.

Tea time, ahhhhhh, that magical moment, the sun has risen, the body is feeling amazing, the mind is awake, the soul invigorated and now that brown golden warm liquid runs from the tip of your tongue to your belly and dances the dance of pure ecstasy.

I have found you can force your self to overcome obstacles and challenges, but if you embrace them and go with the flow free from expectation and attachment then the journey is that little bit sweeter.

To you all in great adventure.

Matt

The Morning Sea Swim 

The alarm rings at 5.35am, the snooze button is the obvious reaction, the desire to cling to comfort for those extra 5 minutes surfaces.

Dressed and ready with a flask of loose leaf tea, I meet my friend Steve and his partner Susan who had prepared the most amazing hot drink consisting of cacao, mushrooms and other delights.

We head on foot to the sea front and enjoy insightful conversation and lighthearted jesting.

To sit upon the pebbles of the seafront before a calm sea in the company of friends is one of life’s treasures, to breath deeply into the experience and pause in the moment of retention and feel the vibration of life all around and within you takes you on a magical journey.

Bending the knees and sinking into the hips, moving towards my discomfort allowing my body and mind to move, to feel the pain and yet to free myself of the pain, creating a freeing feeling from within.

The body warm, the mind calm. The time has come to approach and connect with the sea.

Always excited and apprehensive in equal measure. The sea does not allow you to see the moment the pebbles become sand, nor does it allow you to know the depth you will reach before that transition, she keeps everything Unknown a mystery that lures you into the depths of your very being.

The cold embraces the skin, the concept of the cold encourages tension and resistance to this natural phenomenon. On 3 I dive beneath the sea with my eyes closed and the cold gripping my being I glide through a dark abyss of which I have no power or control over and yet a willingness to accept and connect with.

I rise from under the water to grasp the air and release my fears of the Unknown. 

I return to the breath and begin to embrace the play of the sea, this ability to relax creates an inner fire which warms the whole of my being.

The birds fly over head and the sun begins its accent to the heavens, peacefulness I am, alive I feel.

That magical drink that was made for us was divine, it ran through to the very core of my being.

Grateful I Am.

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

Blue Moon (Ambessa Chant/meditation)

yesterday was a blue moon, which simply means that in the month of July we had two full moons and the second full moon is called a blue moon. We have all heard the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ and that’s because a blue moon doesn’t come round that often and in some cultures the calendar year is extended to 13 months in the year of a blue moon.

We were all excited to get to the woods after dark and build a fire to honour this natural cycle, we joked that on a Friday night in a busy city we were heading into the quiet and darkness of the woods whilst the city was coming to life with all the late night parties and functions that occur on a Friday night!

We found a spot and built a fire, even at this point it feels as though the primal clocks are taking you back to a near forgotten time, a time where gathering wood to make the fire, banter about life and the actual common-unity with nature and man is being left in the rear view mirror.

With the fire burning we offer piece to the north, east, south and west, our gaze rests upon the ever changing flickers of flames that dance from the wooden embers from which they rise.

It is time for AMBESSA! Ambessa is the inviting of the lion spirit within you to surface and come out, to move away from the flock of sheep and roar your true self into the present. It is not easy to burn the shackles of illusion for they are welded together deep within the temple of your being, but as you step upon the earth in the face of the fire and the wind; as you chant the Ambessa a primal force rises and breaks through the restraints you find yourself bound by and a free dance of liberation pours forth from the inner essence of your being. At first you tug upon your chains afraid to break them, at first you fear the unknown that freedom offers, but as you let go of your fears as you dance your dance with reckless abandon the chains will break the fear will dissolve and liberation will be yours.

We then sat in seated meditation and traveled with the freedom of spirit that knows no boundaries, sound filled the air a chant begun and union was felt and finally silence except for the sounds of nature was embraced.

To finish this offering to the blue moon we shared tea and light snacks whilst the flickers of the Flames gently died down.

Life is found in these simple moments.

A couple of hours later we were awake and down by the sea front for mountain practice although today’s was a lighter more peaceful approach and I am left feeling light, energised and deeply grateful for natures playground and the people whom I get to share that playground with.

Below is a link to a YouTube video on our Mountain Practice.

Mountain Practice
To you all in great health.

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach