Immersion

It was cool this morning, a mere 56 degrees as the sun was climbing into the sky and I was climbing into the pool. There was not as much of a jolt as I expected when I jumped in. The starkest contrast happened in the first lap or two, when my arm reached out of the warm cocoon of the water and felt the sharp coolness of the morning dawning.

As I peeled through the clear water, I kept hearing the word immersion. 

How often do we immerse? Today, I sank into the embrace of the warm water, protected from the morning cold, and I was reassured. Comfortable. Confident and content.

In our daily lives, do we every really immerse? Think about it. When you wait in line, you scan your phone to look for missed emails, calls you forgot to return.

How many parents are with our kids and glance at our phones to connect somewhere else? Do we ever really unplug, disconnect from expectation and demand?

And if we are to immerse, in what are we immersing? Belief? Prayer? Meditation?

Judgment? Anxiety? Chaos?

I know someone who thrives on dysfunction. (Don’t we all?) This person does best surrounded by a swirl of conflicting demands and the refrain is usually a music of complaint and chest-beating as if a badge to wear proudly, as if to say, I endured this and still I march on.

I know another person who immerses in soul-touching. This person builds the day around devotion to meditation and prayer, to going inward, to purifying thought and word.

Who faces the world better? Who is at peace? And really, who can make a bigger difference, leave a legacy of meaning?

And so as I peeled back the water again and again, back and forth in the lap lane, passing my companions who dared to venture out in this early dark morning, this cold dark, this gloaming time between sleep and consciousness, and found reflection, revelation, peace.

Today, I drove north to familiar trees and hills, for a weekend of teaching writing and practicing yoga. It’s my first Writing + Yoga Retreat with my friend and colleague Katherine Austin, and it’s an immersion kind of weekend.

We have to step outside our normal surroundings and our daily expectations and demands to truly hear our own voice. To know who we are. To identify with our purpose and our path.

This life is a journey and it’s only going to take us somewhere special and profound if we can eliminate the clutter and immerse in enough silence to hear Truth.

When we’re running too much, packing it all in, we’re simply running in circles. Never getting anywhere.

This swimming thing I’ve been writing so much about: it’s no big secret. Anyone can do it.

The inspiration, for me, is that I commit to it, I wake early and go outside my comfort zone and gather with a community of others striving to rise to a challenge, and I dive in.

I simply dive in.

The water holds me. I plow my way through. I am reminded how strong I am, resilient, and I see that over time I am getting stronger, refining my strokes, feeling more confident with every passing lap.

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