I Love physical exercise, I always have and now at sixty I believe always will. Exercise has given me numerous opportunities to connect mind and body with emotional patterns and self correct when necessary. This morning was one of opportunities. While swimming in the middle lane, I found myself between two swimmers whose rhythm (frequency) was very different from mine. On my left was a male over 6 feet, twice my size and an excellent swimmer. To my right was a women 15 years my senior doing a water aerobics routine as she recovered from surgery. I found settling into my rhythm was a challenge. I call it “anticipated resistance”; as I had decided finding rhythm would be a challenge even before I entered the pool. I took a deep breathe as I became mindful and intrigued by what would be required to move through before I could settle in and swim the 3/4 mile.
Irritation was front and center. Where was the calm I had anticipated and looked forward to? The waves were not my waves. My first solution was to become a competitive swimmer. I began swimming harder and faster to match or exceed the waves created by the swimmer to my left as I left my natural wave behind. In matching or exceeding the rhythm of another, waves began crashing into each other and left no space for flow. The result, water chaos and me choking on my own wave. Interestingly protection showed up too. I found myself concerned about the swimmer to my right and the impact competing waves would have on her healing. And then I swallowed another gulp of water. Ugh.
Resonance frequency is what my husband who started his career as an ocean engineer calls it. In physics the definition is reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object. Imagine a wave crashing up against a sea wall and another coming up right behind it. The energy builds and builds, until a soft wave pauses the energy and allows the energy to move through it instead of holding onto it. Aha moment ….I can choose to be the soft wave, in the pool and in life.
Pause and recenter, trusting I could keep my ‘head above water’. The pool is 4 feet deep and I’m 5’6″. I began by standing and grounding my feet on the bottom of the pool. Looking up and out, I could trust I was safe. Drawing inward to focus on making space for my breathing then breathing. Timing each stroke with a breath and repeat, stroke, breath repeat, stroke, breath, repeat. Soon I realized I had softened my resistance to the waves and had found a flow that worked for me and did not require competition, subservience or frustration. Mind body spirit connecting through the heart while keeping my head above water.