Zen and Now

Clinical hypnotherapist Lesley from Sussex changes her mind in water.

I thought I knew what to expect when I embarked on my 8 lessons of ‘Swimming Without Stress’. I was wrong.

It’s almost the exact opposite of the normal experience of learning to swim.  For me, this had entailed a few lessons to stop swimming with my head out of the water and to try to learn front crawl. I had to give up after I injured my shoulder and thus ended my swimming career. I felt disappointed and a bit hopeless. I’d always felt that swimming would be an ideal exercise because of the water supporting your whole body thus giving a sense of ease to the ‘exercise’ experience.

Fast forward three years and I decided to bite the bullet, smile as I put my hand in my pocket and book a course of 8, one to one lessons with Ian and Cheryl at Croft Farm.

The whole experience was delightful.

Both Ian and Cheryl are generous, kind and intelligent beings who share their wide knowledge and experience with the student swimmer, and start slowly but surely to build up the confidence and ability needed to swim without stress.

Muhammad Ali may have been able to ’float like a butterfly’! I, however, can now float like both a jellyfish and a mushroom and I can tell you that the experience is soooo relaxing that I was rendered speechless, which, if you know me, is some feat! Starting to take on board the whole sensation of allowing the water ‘to support me’. Letting go of my ideas and concepts and allowing the feelings to be foremost.  After discovering how the water can become ‘home’, a place of comfort, and only then, being led by the teacher into using my cognitive ability to think about the position of the head, the neck, the back, the hands, the feet, all in their rightful place. Back on dry land, whenever I hear the word, ’HEAD’, I think of Cheryl, who is not a shouty sort of person, as she shouted it at me. (She had to shout as I was both under water at the time and also a bit deaf.) All in all it is a very Zen like experience, as you find that quiet, calm place, within and beneath the water; you find your natural body alignment, and then the ’mindset’ settles as a wondrous harmony throughout your whole being. It’s about being not doing. Mindfulness within the water. Noticing what is Now. That to me is ‘Swimming Without Stress’. It was truly wonderful. Thank you so much.

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