• Tamsyn Wood

Here I am

I find myself here, ocean deep in waters cold, breathing in heaven, mind still, sound of sea, skin prickles, enraptured by the thrill of salty cold water.

There's a photo of me - I must be about 8 years old, red stripey swimming costume, clinging to the rail of a ladder, big grin on my face, descending into an unheated outdoor swimming pool, I dip just up to my ankles. As a child we went to this 'Summer House' several times, I never once swam in the pool - it was too cold.

I have spent my life avoiding the cold, basking in the sun, I am a sun worshipper! Thermal underwear is a must, I layer up and set my heating up to 'The Tropics/The Sun'.

I was never the gung ho! kid, always too sensible, worried, afraid. I lived in self-imposed safety nets that held me - I made myself secure. I protected myself in this way, the world around me too unpredictable not offered the right tools to cope or grow from pain. It is only looking back that I realise, to grow, to become, to feel safe, to be secure - you have to face the hard, the unpredictable. It hones your skills to cope, to live in the world that is uncertain.

I have, as an adult, looked back through how I was, what influenced me, made me, me. I have had to yank the blanket out of it all, re-establishing who I am. I had no coping skills, I was afraid of just about everything. I never used my voice, wouldn't dare to challenge anyone and desperately needed to fit in and be liked. I never stepped out of a comfort zone.

Alex's accident flipped me upside down. I had to go to places I had never in my nightmares imagined existed, emotionally and physically. I had to use my voice, be unliked, I had to challenge and fight and shout. I had to push my limits, burst through comfort zones and I was so very, very volatile and unsafe.

Gradually, I reconstructed myself. My mind sets. Alex always taught me to be 'A lion in your own consciousness'. I had aways loved this analogy, it offered me a powerful, constructive image of how I should allow thoughts to either remain, or be taken down by lion energy as unhelpful and non-constructive.

It has taken me a long time to rebuild myself, but this is your only option when you have been ripped apart. You cannot hope to gather up all the splinters and piece them back together - it is a futile, punishing task - it has to become something else. You have to become something else.

I swim in the cold sea everyday, a swimming costume only affair! It drives me out of my comfort zone, out of the tropics of my heated house, into the freezing cold, sometimes gale force winds and heavy, broken waves. I am embracing the elements, nature, breaking free of constraints, challenging natural reflexes. I have found my calm, found my medicine, discovered a teacher so brutally loving it hurts and it heals. The sea is mighty, the cold is an unnatural environment for us - we 'always wear a coat', have heating, hot water bottles, we don't expose ourselves to something in nature that is there, always, to teach and aid your growth.

If only I could go back to that little girl in the photo and encourage her to be more free, dive into that cold pool! Take more risks, embrace the uncomfortable, because actually, knowing you can deal with the discomfort, makes you comfortable, makes you confident and more secure in your abilities.

Peace and go-take-a-cold-shower-you'll-see-what-I-mean,

Tamsyn x