Life without an ongoing challenge is the enemy. Of course in the middle of busyness, relaxation is often foremost in my mind. But as soon as I have it….. BORED!
A little over a year ago I made a list. What should I do next? I felt dull, dissatisfied. I longed to do something demanding.
Hmmmmmm….. I am big on lists…..
Bike across the continent, east to west.
Snowshoe to the North Pole.
Scuba dive a coral reef.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Walk the Great Wall.
I can’t find that inventory. I know there were a couple more ideas on it, but I don’t remember what they were. After ticking off pros and cons for each idea, I settled on one. It was actually the undertaking that posed the biggest risk for me. Is that why I chose it? That may have been part of the reason. It was also a venture in which I could contribute something, which held priority in making the choice.
In August, I began researching volunteer organizations. It had to be an international entity, I required it be reputable and endorsed by respected people and groups, and it needed to offer the type of volunteer work I was looking for. I settled on Global Vision International. I chose to join a group monitoring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: the Mexico Conservation Expedition.
It was a perfect fit for me. I could go for four weeks (or longer if I wanted) during the summer. The focus was coral reef preservation, which I feel is paramount for our future well-being. And it was a huge challenge, because….. I was afraid of deep water. How crazy is that?
Exploring that fear and subsequently overcoming it became the first step in the process. I asked my friend Elizabeth to hypnotize me so I could traverse my subconscious. A few little clues popped to the surface, which we talked about and I journaled and meditated over. I also went to work in the swimming pool. I joined a club with a beautiful large pool that uses an ozone filter system instead of chlorine, so my skin, hair and overall health were not jeopardized. I was going to be spending a lot of time in the water!
I began by standing on the ledge in the deep end (twelve feet) and putting my goggled eyes under the water, staring at the bottom for as long as I could. That started out to be for about ten or fifteen seconds before I had to look away, panic bubbles rising in my chest.
Breakthroughs came, however. I swam four or five times a week. I took six private swim lessons between September and January. I completed the on-line PADI diving certification course. I finished the pool, outdoor classes, and diving requirements, receiving my Open Water Certification in early June. I purchased all the necessary equipment. I have gone out on a few fun dives with my group from Underwater Connection. Next week I am taking the PADI underwater photography class with them.
In less than two weeks I leave for Mexico. I am a little anxious and very excited!