‘We detect rather than invent our mission in life’
This statement suggests that we all have the ability to develop a sense of awareness of our own unique abilities or can learn to acquire it and improve on it. It’s just a matter of choosing the direction in life that we want to excel in.
I just posted this short comment on Aharon Solomons‘ facebook page, (//www.facebook.com/aharon.solomons?) after a discussion and review of some of the freediving training webinars he has been publishing.
‘The lesson to be learnt is to take your time over depth to the point that there is no aspect of rejection in whatever manner it presents itself.‘
We have all been aware of moments of absolute focus where everything moves with ease, and of others where it’s quite the opposite and that the emotional structures created usually correspond with the outer structures of either one of those environments unless we are able to construct some kind of mental conditioning that can change them. Therefore, I am also interested in what it takes to create that positive environment which will enable us to continue to feel that we are capable of anything and that all obstacles can be overcome, and stay in it more often than not.
After all, we all have hopes and dreams of that ‘how to’ formula that would help us fulfil them and this is a description of how an idea I had has turned into a freediving mindfulness experiment.
I had been wanting to rediscover depth but in a new way and took up Qigong again, a gentle form of martial arts that I had initially studied 25 years ago. Even in as short a time as 6 months, it has helped me become much more aware of the least significant movement in my body and in becoming highly sensitive to the physical release of those tensions as soon as they occur. If this is the case physically I believe that the knock on effect will be that with more practice, it will also significantly increase my ability to shed other non physical stresses more effectively.
…but it’s also a matter of outlook. If we could simply understand that within any disappointment, or failure, or a retreat, ‘where there is no aspect of rejection‘, means that by definition there is also a feeling of hope. Of course there is the angst over when things aren’t going quite as planned. We’ve all been there. The mind spirals with rhetoric about what went wrong, or what wasn’t good enough, or what was too much to deal with. However, every effort embodies something positive and every lesson can be an inspiration.
What we need to learn is how to believe and know that what we aspire to is possible and that there is nothing accidental about it.
Neither Aharon nor myself practice or are advocates of sport hunting or of animal persecution but there is a useful old spanish proverb which says,
‘It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bullring’
Over the winter an idea came to me for a freediving project, ‘Return to Source’. It would mean taking a few months off from my ordinary work efforts to make something extraordinary happen. The plan; to join forces with Aharon again in a freediving training partnership for about 2 months, and for us both to set new personal depth goals but to follow our long-term personal teaching convictions and to document how we progress.
The idea is to discover what really safely works in freediving and what doesn’t and where we might all be better off starting from, today, 20 years down the line of freediving instruction and innovation.
We started training two weeks ago in Eilat, Israel and so far it has been incredible even after only logging 8 very interesting simple freediving training sessions. THAT alone is exciting enough. Right now the difference is that the experience is not only surprisingly intellectual but also, because there is a personal challenge involved for us both to set a goal and compete after several years off the competitive circuit, it’s equally visceral. Each freedive is almost as if someone else is doing the diving and the dive comes almost simultaneously with its own analysis. That has been interesting as it is providing us with a more precise mental catalogue of what happened during each dive than in other previous training periods and returning to analyse the session is more like an objective exercise with immediate conclusions and where visualisation exercises and even dreaming over the consecutive nights has brought its own insights and inspirations.
The overriding feeling might be obvious. That probably the most determining factor even this early on in the game, is the positive relationship between how relaxed or in the ‘zone’ we feel and the ease of the dive, and more than not, the subliminal influence of how much importance we attribute to each performance, i.e. whether we carry an expectation of a certain result. Far more negligible are strength, force, or even physical conditioning.
Aharon Solomons and I are the two founding members of FREEDIVERS Education and Coaching, //www.freedivers.net of which Aharon is head consultant.
For the last 20 years we have shared, debated, and observed in our own practice of the ‘sport’ how training techniques and instruction have changed positively due to the new scientific information available on human physiology at depth but perhaps sadly also negatively due to the commercialisation of the sport and reduced emphasis on its prime principal , ‘self-awareness’.