Updated: Apr 29
For many years I swam a lot and loved it. However, for some reason, over time, I drifted away from it and focused on other pursuits, particularly yoga.
Recently, however, I was inspired to get back in the pool, and I discovered something quite remarkable.
The five-year gap, and my extended practice in yoga during this time, has changed the way I feel about swimming completely. I always found swimming relaxing, however, now it is meditative in the most beautiful way.
This change has shown me how significant a gap is sometimes to measure and recognise the beauty of personal growth. It is not just the gap in time since I stop swimming that has created growth. It is the gap between everything, including my breaths. Breath retention is something I frequently teach to my clients as a mindfulness coach. The understanding and enhanced practice of breath retention in a solid Yoga practice is rewarding across every part of your life. This is how I meditate as I swim, through the silence in the spaces between breaths, just like on a yoga mat.
When you understand how mindfulness works, the state of flow can become very natural and incredibly powerful, whether that be on a mat, swimming or in your every day. If you are not familiar with the yogic state of flow, it is where heightened awareness meets internal understanding. This combination so beautifully creates action in the right direction effortlessly, affecting everything you do in life by surrendering to it completely. The Yogic act of surrendering to life as it arrives brings wonder and joy effortlessly. Who doesn't want that right?
Swimming to me today is a beautiful physical interpretation of yogic flow in action. Deep awareness, internal understanding and effortless motion in action merging into one, creating flow in the water as I swim effortlessly.
Remember, I had not swum for five years. However, I have swimming muscle memory from years, of hours of training in the pool. I simply and effortlessly pulled that from the memory bank and returned with a stronger sense of mindfulness, and that is where the delight unfolded.
Is there something you used to do in life which you loved and you miss? Returning to that activity with a newfound sense of mindfulness could bring about improved awareness, resulting in delight in that activity that it did not bring you previously.
This beautiful realisation is what I mean when I say to clients that the results of meditation practice, are not brought to life on the mat during meditation, but in fact, are found in everyday life.
Learning to be more mindful will indeed enhance your new experiences in life. Mindfulness can also significantly grow old practices into expanded experiences, just like swimming has now done for me.
Growth can feel so small sometimes in life that it feels hard to quantify even though it is there. It’s a bit like growing your hair. It feels slow at first, then a year later you compare photos, and suddenly it seems longer. Life is like that in many ways.
So if you’d like to see how far you have grown, try returning to a practice you once loved after becoming more mindful. Then through your increased expansion of awareness, return to it and see the results for yourself.
I have had this same experience myself many times over in all parts of my life. In relationships, work, pleasure and sport, mindfulness has brought growth through continual development of awareness and understanding. Growth is ongoing in life as I continue to move forward. We may stop growing in physical height. However, we can continue to grow in many ways for the rest of our lives, should we choose to.
Would like to understand more about how mindfulness can grow you in every part of life?
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Change all begins with you, your awareness and the choices you make.