Alana Grainger | Divings unseen gift
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Divings unseen gift

Have you ever had the experience, where for a moment, you’re left in complete and utter astonishment about the place you are? Momentarily you’ve withdrawn from the frontline of your being and a vacuum has sucked you back so you are able to witness an even grander perspective from the vantage point of where you find yourself? These are the moment that bring us to life, these are the times where we see that the road that we have been following, sometimes aimlessly, has actually lead us somewhere. At these breaks in reality, you get the sense that there is something far bigger than you that is over seeing the unfolding of your life. 

Recently I had this exact experience. I was so completely mind blown I found it hard to integrate my thoughts temporarily as the past had rush forth to entwine itself with the present and my awareness expanded instantly. I could barely digest the perfect synchronization of how life had molded me to where I now found myself. Waves of love, gratitude and awe swept through me and I was breathtaken by life’s ability to weave so subtlely. What experience did I have that brought about this bliss fulfillment? Diving. 

Awakening to a harvest that had unknowingly been planted long ago

It was only when I had kitted up and rolled off the boat into the deep blue, deflating my BCD (buoyancy control device) and descending into the unknown below, that my awareness enveloped me. It was only after being completely submerged for several minutes with 20 meters of ocean above me, did I realise just how familiar this feeling was. I was struck with a sense of unbound recognition. The experience of diving had planted the seed of meditation in my mind long ago. I had not consciously been aware of it then, but I experienced the sensations of meditation through the vessel of the body long before I even knew what meditation was. This seemingly insignificant period of my life that I thought would have not further impact on my future had encoded my cellular memory with a resonance that would be experienced in a different way at a later date. 

It is said that people need a reference point to begin to assimilate knowledge. The very outer boundaries, the densest layer of being, is the easiest channel through which to connect with this wisdom as it manifests as a tangible, physical experience. This is why asana practice is so beneficial as it assists people in gaining a greater sensitivity through using the body as a receptor, enabling them to ‘feel’ more deeply.

In the moments that followed, I became unceasingly aware of my breath. As bubbles escaped my regulator, rising buoyantly skyward, I felt weightless and free; suspended in time and floating through infinite space yet integrated and connected to something that was larger than me. I witnessed how my breath directed my movements within this vastness. The ascending and descending of my body was in direct correlation to the rise and fall of my breath. The slower I breathed, the less energy that was being exerted and I came to find myself perfectly balanced in neutral buoyancy. Not too heavy, not too light but simply allowing the current to carry me along without me having to do anything. 

This, I could see, was the epitome of the term ‘flow state’, no energy being exerted as it had all been focused within and the current of life was naturally carrying me forward. All I had to do was be still and instantly I became absorbed and awed by life moving around me. From turtles, to lion fish, to nudibranks, to sea snakes. I didn’t have to go and find them, they all made themselves known when I drew back and open my eyes. 

The planting. 

I didn’t even realised this seed that had been planted some 18 years ago, had laid the groundwork for my immersion into spiritual practice. Without making the decision consciously, I took up diving as I just so happened to be a hostess on a dive boat.  I did nothing that required effort to manoeuvre myself into that position, (as even now, I cannot recall exactly how I got the job…it probably began with a conversation in a bar, as that is where I was working at the time), I simply followed the energy to where I was being naturally lead. 

I gravitated towards diving as that’s what was on offer during my free time. I acquired both my open water and advanced diving certificates without having to shell out a dollar. It all came to me with little to no effort. Did I love diving? Yes. Did make me come alive? Yes. Did I want to do it for a job? No. When I had this realisation, I was grateful for the experience and the new skills I’d obtained yet moved off in another direction not thinking they would be of much use again aside from the pleasure seeking. 

Little did I know…..

Completely unbeknown to me, an invisible thread had wound itself around my being and was guiding me indirectly towards a greater destiny.  I was totally unaware of the direction I was being navigated towards and even when I did begin yoga, no part of diving created any light bulb moments. The veil of recognition and connection was still too thick, I was not able to see or to join the dots. 

When I did begin the practice of meditation, though it was a bit uncomfortable to begin with, but I loved the challenge and quickly got proficient at absorbing myself into all that arose. I LOVED this deep exploration that I was experiencing within. I loved how at times there were strong currents that threatened to carry me off but I actively chose to stand firm (yet soft) in my resolve and continue. There were many experiences when I ‘saw’ and experienced nothing. There was no bright colours or dazzling scenery or even the state of serene bliss. Sometimes it was nothing but a murky, exhausting, choppy and unfulfilling ‘dive’ with very low visibility. There were times when I could barely see in front of me, yet, I was stubborn. I was driven. I was determined. I was unwavering in my pursuit to see what couldn’t currently be seen. I knew there was another world beckoning to me beyond my current experience and I was damned if I was going to give up searching for it because a few bad weeks and months of absolutely nothing. 

The reaping

I continued to sit and sit not knowing what was going to arise but accepting all that did. Loving all that I witnessed to the best of my ability, even when it wasn’t pretty, even when it wasn’t fun. I still don’t know what’s going to arise, yet somehow I know that it is going to carry me to the next place I need to be, and the next and the next. Occasionally my ‘dives’ are dusted with eye popping and mind blowing experiences, as more and more comes into view. Yet, sometimes they aren’t and I get comfortable in the distortion that surrounds me.

It was not until I was back at the very beginning that I had this revelation, of how two seemingly unrelated experiences were connected. A familiar feeling bridging the gap to take me back to what had started it all. Only when I came completely full circle did I see the cycle that had unfolded and how it culminated as part of the whole.

You often don’t know why things happen, why something so totally random shows up in your life from seemingly out of nowhere. Yet, there appears to be an interconnectivity in everything. Maybe the reason you’re living the life you are now is for some greater evolution in the future you cannot even begin to wrap your head around. When you have these experiences of astonishment, you will see just how artfully and skilfully cut the moments of your existence have been refined into perfectly interlocking jigsaw pieces.