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

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Growing an Avocado Plant

Well as a family we are slowly making a transition to a sustainable way of living and one of the requirements of that movement is the ability to grow your own produce.

Living in the U.K the thought of being able to grow an Avocado plant seemed unimaginable, however after watching a few YouTube videos on how to do it I figured I have nothing to loose in trying and so of I went, ate some beautiful Avocado and kept the seeds.

The pictures presented are growth from seed to current state over a 8 month period from when the seed was first placed in water. I lost many in my trials and tribulations, but from those losses I have 3 healthy plants who are continuing there growth despite it being winter, one plant the tallest of the two (I gave one to a friend, so I have two) is growing in a spot where very little sun light gets in during the winter and yet she appears to be happy😀. 

It takes about five years for it to fruit, but that’s cool five years appear to fly these days.

Will check back with you all in the summer to see how they are doing😀.

To you all in great health.

Matt

Happy New Year 

I spent the new year morning in the sea,

I wake to the usual tug of the duvet and embrace of the pillow, I close my eyes willing sleep to come back knowing that it will be a solo swim today,

The sea raises her magnet to the sky aiming it in my direction and pulls me to her,

I find my clothes and pack my bags and off I go,

It’s grey sky’s with a slight drizzle, the wind is at a fair strength but not over bearing,

The tide is out, but she’s playful, I love these conditions and know straight away that soon I would be wading into those wild waters,

Clothes off swim shorts on and in I go,

She rushes towards me at speed, she slaps against my skin and splashes around my waist, I continue forward,

The waves rise higher so does my adrenaline,

I must stay present, if she takes me away on a high a crashing low will follow and yet one must embrace the play,

Rising high and diving under, swirling round and being engulfed by rapturous waves is exhilarating for the senses,

The starling murmeration sets off above me a floating ship riding its very on waves in the sky,

Time to return to shore, but first one must be grateful to this play of the sea and the elements,

This play will ride out for the rest of the year,

Happy new year everyone.

New Years Day in the Sea

Matt

Floating through Depression 

I found the sea, the water the great teacher or did she find me?

It was raining when my depressed self first walk through the doors of self discovery,

It was dark when I first woke to ride down to the sea for my first wild swim, not sure if I should or could!

I knew I was lost, I felt defeated, I felt that sickening feeling of hopelessness,

I wanted it to end and yet I saw know way out,

At that moment my darkness was greater than my light,

A final throw of the dice or at least that’s how it felt would change all this and that was roughly three years ago,

I would wak and wonder down to the sea and embrace her like a lost child who had found their parents,

I would laugh and cry, scream and shout and I would shake and tremble,

I would be given insight into my nature, into my emotional self I would travel,

I was weak, but the sea was slowly giving me strength,

My rock of a family encouraged this journey despite my moods still changeable, but progress could still be seen and more importantly felt,

The gap between my darkness and light began to get closer until they were equal, at this point I had discovered more about my nature than I had conceived possible,

I know I had to swim in the darkness of my being in order to find myself floating in the lightness of my soul,

As I floated out of my depression, I say floated for I learnt very quickly this cannot be forced or rushed it must be taken a wave at a time I began to see and experience life in a much lighter way, I saw the humour rather than the frustration at life’s contradictions, I grew compassionate and developed a great sense of gratitude, 

The journey continues, its destination unknown and I am now ok with that.

To you all with a wish for a bright and happy life that knows the surf of a dark wave.

Matt

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.

Vegan Dahl Stuffed Marrow

Marrow season has passed and I meant to share this awhile back, but life happens.

In its simplest form I filled a marrow with Dahl Lentils and vegetables and it was great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Marrow
  • 1 cup of red split lentils (3cups water)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (ideally your have fresh ones, being honest I went for the tin this time🤔)
  • 1-2 tsp of Garam Masala spice mix
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh date
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • A variety of vegetables to your liking.

Method:

Add the lentils and water to a pan bring to the boil and simmer, add the rest of the ingredients to a blender to make your sauce and mix till smooth. Prepare the marrow by cutting it in half and then cut each half down the middle and clean out the seeds from the middle, place the 4 marrow slices on a baking tray and pre heat your oven.

Once the lentils have cooked add the sauce and any vegetables you want to, no need to over cook at this point as it will cook in the oven, this part is more for the benefit of making your marrow filling.

Pour the filling into the marrow slices cover in foil and place into the middle of your oven on high heat (I’m not good at looking what temp I cook at, I’ve simply figured out how food comes out great from my oven😀). It roughly took 30 minutes for the marrow to cook to a point where it slid of the skin.

I personally was a big fan of this dish, it was simple and very tasty, it can serve 4, but we shared it between 2. 

Enjoy.

Matt

The Teacher with no Words

Recently Cotopaxi got in touch with me and asked me to share a ‘health hack’, which I was more than happy to do. I was motivated by their simple and sustainable approach to business and overall philosophy of life, below is my version of a simple and sustainable health hack.

Words are consider by many to be spells, the words we use are the spells we cast and create as if by magic the life we live and experience. When embarking upon a journey towards great health and wellbeing these words and spells can actually get in the way, whilst they can serve to both inspire, educate and motivate us they can also be a source of confusion and contradiction leaving one lost in their quest to reach new heights of health and happiness.

Being lost is actually a good place to be! One can only find themselves when they recognise they have lost themselves and so an opportunity for growth, healing and great health and wellness begins or at least continues from this point of being lost.

If words can be misleading at times then who is the teacher without words?

There are many and some we even intertwine in our words with phrases such as ‘silence is golden’.

The one I refer to in particular is the sea, a friend once said to me, ‘why do you go and dive into the sea most days?’ I simply replied ‘I wanted a teacher without words’. He was left aghast, but also inspired, he had realised that through everyone’s best intentions to inspire and guide we had lost something profound and beautiful within ourselves, we had lost a connection, a connection with ourselves and nature, there was to much noise between us and our inner selves.

The sea is never the same, no two days follow the same course, at times she’s rough and other times she’s calm, sometimes she makes you laugh and feel playful at other times she scares you so much you surrender all of your fear and dissolve into her flow allowing yourself to be carried upon her waves.

I have personally learnt so much from the sea, deep internal relaxation, movement free from tension, how to be playful, how to float, how to dive, how to hear the sound of the pebbles dancing upon the sea bed.

The list could go on, but one thing I have also learnt is that I am my most powerful and authentic self after a morning dip in the sea, she cleans all my physical, emotional and spiritual dirt every time I make it into her embrace leaving me feeling fresh and anew.

The teacher with no words develops wisdom from within, she does not judge or scold you, but instead shows you what you need to see, feel and hear in any way that will nurture your growth.

When we truly listen we can truly trust, when we can truly trust we are strong in our faith, when our faith is strong so is our love, when our love is shining bright we can give freely of ourselves with no fear or desire, we are stewards of this land, shepards of this moment.

To you all a happy, healthy life

Matt