Diving In Again

An art brut illustration of rolling ocean waves, blue, red, and earth tones with a bit of green.
via DALL·E 2

In March 2020, when my husband and I first moved into our van, our plan was to shower at gyms and community centres. As they were all shut down, that didn’t happen, so we found a private section of a local lake to wash in, and we still keep going…

Why? For me, in addition to being physically cleansing, I’ve found that completely immersing myself in natural, cold water is psychically cleansing too.

When I feel stuck in mind loops, cold water therapy feels like pressing a mental reset button. It’s reliably calming. I simply can’t deny the instant mental health benefits that it consistently offers me: clarity, bravery, and resilience.

Clarity

When it feels like there’s been a tornado whirling through my mind for way too long, plunging into the cold water forces me to transfer all that energy into my physical sensations (so I don’t die), and any useless troubles just… vanish. Even more powerfully, when I enter into cold water with an intention or a question, the universe seems to always deliver a gentle solution.

Bravery

When I know what my next step is but panic immobilizes me, one way I’ve found to hack movement is to zoom out and witness myself doing what I’m afraid of, using my mind’s eye. I’ve also filmed myself going in to cold water, which has motivated me to at least try to not look like a complete fool...

It’s difficult, but it’s really as simple as believing that I am capable of putting one foot in front of the other. Going through such an extreme process has made the fears in other areas of my life feel much smaller. New fears (deeper ones) still come up, and there’s still an element of risk, but overall everything feels notably more manageable.

(Emotional) Resilience

When the shock of the cold is expected and planned for, is it really so much of a shock anymore? The more familiar I become with fear, anger, grief… the more I open my eyes to my reality, the more my path becomes clear. Looking back at everything I’ve been through, major  and minor, graceful and awkward, I know that if I can move through something once, I can move through it again (maybe even better).

An art brut illustration of rolling ocean waves, blue, red, and earth tones with a bit of green.
via DALL·E 2

The Ocean

This upcoming full moon (Saturday, September 10, 2022)  is occurring in Pisces, a mutable water sign, and I always think of the ocean when I think of Pisces. It’s vast, nourishes a wide variety of wildlife, and is a common peaceful place for people to visit. It can even have spiritual effects.

Full moons represent a culmination of energy and a peak of public awareness. What mysteries may come to light this weekend?

Jupiter rules Pisces and is currently retrograde in Aries (a fire sign ruled by Mars). A retrograde Jupiter ruling a Pisces full moon feels like an invitation to dive in to a metaphorical ocean… again.


The benefit of diving in to something a second time (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) is that there is more experience to draw upon. After all, experience only increases. This weekend, perhaps we will become aware of an opportunity to do things differently, better, more intuitively, wiser.

An art brut illustration of rolling ocean waves, blue, red, and earth tones with a bit of green.
via DALL·E 2

I think of the ocean I’ve been swimming in lately. Sometimes it’s silky and clear, sometimes it’s weedy, and sometimes it’s rough and cloudy. There are variations in the quality of the water, but…

...it’s still water, it’s still cleansing, it's still healing.