Courage is the love affair with the unknown!
Can you imagine a life where taking a shower filled you with fear? Imagine having to come up with excuses every time others invited you to go for a swim because you, at 45, did not know how to swim?
These questions were the condition of my dear friend Tiina whom I met in 2007. A year into our friendship, I discovered that she had a serious fear of water. Tiina joined me the next year on a trip. There, I floated in the sea while Tiina sat on the shore. She seemed to have a curiosity and interest in the water. I asked her to simply lie down safely on my hands for a moment.
There was a moment, just for a second or two that I did let go. She was floating peacefully on top of the water for the first time. It was something unbelievable for her, as she felt so safe. She felt so powerful and so potent after she got out of the water, like she had conquered something life changing. Truly that was it!
One year later I traveled to Hawaii to swim with wild dolphins. I realized that I was facing my own fear; I was terrified of immersing myself in deep water. I was discouraged until I met a woman who worked with water therapy (body aquatic work) and taught something called Dolphin Dance. Later I found free diving and my personal record became a 23 meters of depth (watch the video here)!
I was elated to have found such teachings and was eager to return to Estonia and integrate the new learning into my work. With this intent, one week later, I magically connected to a woman who had a small private pool. My friend Tiina was one of the first brave guinea pigs. We began her water therapy sessions in a hot bath. I taught her how to breath in and under the water.
After gaining some confidence, our sessions moved to the small private pool. To learn proper swimming techniques, I took her to the shallow end of a big public pool. With a snorkel and a mask on, I asked her to lie down in the water facing down. I asked her to look down at my feet while holding her and begin stroking the water moving through it with her hands. Doing so, she started to move. After five minutes I let my hands go as she was swimming on her own!
We progressed to the deep end of the pool where one edge measured 5 meters. I showed her when I let myself totally go in the water, how my body was pushed up to the surface and bobbed. This was to help her understand it was impossible to fall below the water, sink and die. After earning her trust, we soon swam together to the other end of the pool. What progress she had made!
Tiina decided to join me on one of the Adventure Tours I facilitated on the Big Island of Hawaii. I began these to help people to change themselves and their lives by facing their fears and challenges. During the first days of the tour, the group takes part in water therapy in the hot natural ponds.
We then venture to the ocean for swimming with the wild dolphins. The first time Tiina laid eyes on the wild dolphins in the ocean, she felt that they simply helped crack her fear code. It was unbelievable. She was so exited when she came out of the water like a happy child just having accomplished something BIG. Her tears of joy and happiness were mindblowing! I was so happy for her.
Eventually, Tiina began to assist me in on future Adventure Tours. When co-leading an ocean swim, there was another woman facing her own fears about the water. Tiina held her hand and said
“Imagine that I am the FEAR and you are holding the hands of the fear. The moment you are ready to let go of it, just do it!’. The woman swam with Tiina hand in hand for 5 minutes building courage and simply let go the moment dolphins came. Later she came to Tiina and said “Do you understand what you just did? I am not afraid of the ocean, swimming or deep water anymore. Thank you so much!”
Most people think that fear is attached to them, but Tiina showed that it is the other way around; we are attached to the fear. We have to make the choice to let go and choose something different. It is up to us. Life begins where fear ends .
Tiina took the steps to meet the fear and uncover it bravely. Challenging one fear can help us with others. She now invites everyone to join the Hawaii Adventure Tours and recommends the water therapy as often as she can. For Tiina, the final icing on the cake was experienced during what we call ‘the human dolphin swim’ in the hot ponds in Hawaii. All of the participants close their eyes and lie in the hot water, starting to breath in a certain way and begin to move around together like a group of human dolphins – gently passing, touching and caressing as we slide by one another. The touch, the intimacy, and the trust that she experienced with others were a form of meditative relaxation for her.
When you are with dolphins, it does not matter if they are wild or human dolphins, they are playful, present, and relaxed with others at all times. When I asked her what has changed in her life after she conquered the water fear she said:
“Everything has changed! I trust life and my intuition more. I flow with it. I am more connected to the feminine in me. I am not afraid of the new, it, on the contrary, excites me! I am inspired to help others challenge their fear of water. I say YES to challenges of life! I found the content center in me where I can be content even if the biggest storm is out there and the waves are hitting my head, down there – deep in the sea bed, it is quiet.
After 2 months in Hawaii with Crystal, I learned how to live intact with nature, relax totally from top to toe. I know how to talk to the ocean and I trust it. I know how to be! I am now much more grateful for the small things in life. I love my shadow. The most amazing impression for me was the Ocean. It is so special, totally different in every moment, the bigness, power, gentleness.
During the last swim the dolphins came to say goodbye, by swimming underneath me making a spiral up again. They swam away very slowly, waving with their tails. I shed tears, but in my heart knowing that they would be with me wherever I go in the world! I let my fears go into the Pacific Ocean and I hope they are having fun there! I am now living my life as a miracle!
Crystal did not only help me to conquer the fear of water and depth, but also the fear of the unknown. We watched lava flowing with the local guide just couple of meters from us, we walked in the jungle and climbed into the lava cave to meet the total darkness. That was not all, we also had special sessions where we learned to trust life more with our eyes closed. The water therapy and dolphin dance with humans and all the ocean swims and other adventures, especially as guided by Crystal’s knowledge, presence and softness were mind blowing and amazing and outstanding!
Crystal has worked with groups internationally for the last 13 years, so she has all the knowledge and experience how to sense and perceive where people are and how to softly and gently, but firmly help them to live life without fear, as this can open the door to the paradise. Inside of you!
As the master Osho once said: “Courage is the love affair with the unknown!”
Crystal Ra and Tiina in Hawaii, January 2012
You can contact Tiina personally at www.kohalolu.com, if you would like to ask more!