I stand ankle deep in the salty water. The sand under my feet is so fine and filled with small algae, that it feels like silk. Because the tide is low and the slope of the beach is very soft, I had to walk pretty far to get here, where the water breaths up and down the beach. Filled with small holes, shells and seaweed, waiting to get picked up again by the incoming water.
I’m in Northern Norway, at a latitude of 69 degrees. Even in summer, the ocean water is cold. It feels like little pricks of a needle. But I calmly wait until the nerve ends in my feet come to life again and the painful sensations subside.
Cold water has been fascinating me for a while now. But up until now, I only found healing in water that was not yet cold enough to actually hurt me. I found my barrier at around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. Colder water would hurt my skin, especially my feet, so much, that I couldn’t focus and breath anymore.
The colder the water gets, the more attention, focus and calm is required to breathe. The more you are forced to stay present. The more the coldness claims all your consciousness. But the colder the water gets, the more clarity and relief you get in return. For me, getting my neck under the water surface has proven to give me the most of that relief, that out-breath, that relaxation, that clarity.
I guess I just didn’t have any more need of those things. As if my energetic state of being determined this barrier and ultimately, this need.
For the last 3 years, I’m swimming in this river of becoming more and more conscious. In a stream that goes faster and faster all the time. Like an endless rapid. By now, the river is flowing so fast, that is impossible to get out, I can only go with it. It doesn’t even matter anymore whether I fight it or not.
And how could I even escape. This river lives inside of me. I am that river. The increasing rapids, is my own energy, bubbling to the surface, because it is finally free. The more I open up to myself, my inner being, my reflections and my truth, the more my boundaries are broken. It feels like breaking my own shell, from the inside out, again and again and again. It hurts. It hurts to break the definition of who I am, over and over again. It feels like my identity is slowly dissolving, layer after layer. Not long ago I wrote an article about this, for the Dutch magazine ‘De Wereldwijven’.
By this time, I don’t really care anymore. Who I am, what I want, where I’m going and what I like. At the same time, I see my identity merging with my truth. And I do see, just how important identify is, for our time here on earth. How precious it is.
The more boundaries I break, the more sensitive I become. Sensitivity that I, for so long, tried to protect and hide away. But how contradictory it might sound, my healing lies in showing that sensitivity, in embracing this vulnerability. To put it into psychological terms, I’m a “Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP), and I just started to realise that this is my superpower.
My power, my healing and my strength lie in showing that sensitivity, in opening it up to the world like pedals from a flower. The more sensitivity I allow, to more energy that is inside of me, starts spilling out, starts cracking even more boundaries. But also, the more inspiration and creativity can come in. These days, I have so many ideas, so many paths and possibilities that are flooding my mind. I don’t even know where to look first.
The speed by which this shift is occurring, goes so fast that my head is spinning. My skin is crawling. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m so extremely uncomfortable and wringing. But above all, I’m tired. I’m so very, very tired.
I’m exhausted from my spinning head. But I’m also exhausted from all these years of fighting, from maintaining my shell, from fighting to keep my energy in, denied and forgotten.
A few months before moving to Norway, between February and March 2020, I hit a wall. It was not a real burn-out, but it was a wall for sure. I just could not keep living, the way I was living. But you know what? I never gave myself permission to actually rest and recover. So afraid to be unproductive and lazy. Especially because from April 2020 onward, I didn’t have a permanent employer anymore. Which made me even feel more guilty, more stressed out. I felt (and feel) so very guilty about not having a monthly salary. It poisons the luck and happiness I feel to finally have the freedom to do what I love and to make my dreams and ambitions come true.
But most of all, I denied myself rest. I feel like I do not deserve it. The last few weeks, I finally got the backlash. Everything feels like too much now. This reflects to my outer world too. I’m doing too much. My attention is chattered to too many places. This winter, I started all these projects, started building on all these dreams, all these potentials.
I’m writing, both for myself as for online magazines. I’m finally making art and oh, how I love it. I’m telling stories through video and photo. I’ve started a webshop, which channels my passion for self-care, the ocean and Iceland. But, none of those things are successful. All of them feel like they are going nowhere, like there is no audience for it. Like it all falls on deaf ears.
I have no idea what to do about it.
Right now, I’m working as a guide too. And, I’m tired.
So, I come to the water for healing. The flows, streams and waves feel like they help my trapped energy out. Submerging in water helps decrease the feeling of so much pressure inside, that I’m going to cack. It brings relieve in an energetic sense. So, I go to the water, to warm showers and cold streams. I’m still no ice swimmer. Maybe I never become one. For now, I find my healing around 10 degrees. In the salty ocean water from Northern Norway.
Until I figure out what to do.