When I was 23, I became a NAUI scuba instructor. After a 10 day immersion class and 75+ dives, I became qualified to take people into any ocean with air tanks on their backs and guide them into the depths, with only me as their rescue should they come into some trouble. Being underwater can bring up a lot of fears that may not be apparent on the surface; and at 23, barely balancing a checkbook; I proudly (albeit innocently) took my role as the caretaker of human life through surf, currents and surface chop.
Of course at that tender age I didn’t see it that way. I fell deeply in love with the gentle (but concrete) physicality of it, the culture that surrounded it (dive, celebrate, dive again, celebrate again)- the obligatory après-dive tequila shot, the sun, sea and sand…the meditative, healing nature of rhythmic deliberate breathing and the promise of a playful life as described in the ubiquitous Jimmy Buffet song. Through my 20’s and 30’s,I taught many adventurous souls to scan the depths of liquid space, even met my (ex) husband, had 2 amazing kids and have dear friends that I love and will continue to grow old with.
Today, at least that lifetime later (plus a half dozen years) I became a yoga teacher.
Now, after 200 hours and 2 years of a solid daily practice, a recognized organization has given me the task of ushering willing souls on the voyage inward, to the deeper aspects of self. Like Diving, I am passionate about this practice; I am lured in by the senses, the culture, the gentle (but concrete) physicality. Like diving, I am hooked on the rhythmic, deliberate breathing…and like diving, I treasure the friendships I have formed to add to an already extraordinary collection of hearts. . Now, after several decades of the wear and tear of a well worn life, I am keenly aware of the risks, and the limits of my own ability to help others with the dangers of coming face to face with the inner ‘sharks” in the unchartered waters of the human soul.
Even though I can now balance a checkbook, there are many other things to balance that remain the core of my daily work.
Still, I am hopeful I can be of service. On my daily travels inward, I meet up with my 23 year old self, and she is cheering me on, reminding me that the only tools really necessary to teach is the willingness to take the journey yourself. This I can do joyfully and with a whole and humble heart.
Minus the tequila shots…!