Hope you’ve had an amazing weekend in the water with friends and family. The excitement in the air about South Africa being fully open to international travellers has brought a different air of excitement especially for the tourism industry, we celebrate this while reminding everyone to stay safe - we are not out the woods yet!
Teaching Freediving has been thee most phenomenal thing, each moment is so sacred... the night before I'm always up excited about the journey of these humans who have elected to trust what they've seen enough to try it for themselves, despite the stories we grow up with.
The joy in my heart remains the most overwhelming emotion through it all.. so yes, I wanna talk about this weekends session.
This weekend, as I shared about her, I couldn’t help but think about the norms and nuances we pick up in our learning, which then become continued norms and nuances of... the teaching culture?
And so as you export the learnt, largely keeping the full process of your teaching sprinkled with your magic,
This weekend I found myself in another new space, a question of Freediving language in black communities, where the concept in the larger space is foreign... so in the various course teachables was me saying, ‘kumele wenze ngathi uyadunusa bese you power from there’, roughly translated as, use your bum to help you power into the duck dive.
Though this is largely a powering from the hip, in the many videos I watched of myself in training, what remained was always my rear holding its own mid duck, and so I used that... with this reference, we moved from the duck being a strange departure, to a little more clarity... and of course we started to make head way into the duck dives, along with the many moments, was a different woman teaching. Teaching differently.
And so from power to dunusing was open water where, suits were a challenge in fit... black women and these suits...that are on any day an extreme sport to get into, there was more.. as we tag teamed to pull them up around the hips and the bums and the bodies.. the question said, are there suits that fit better? The suits were the perfect size because once we’d fought to exhaustion, the suits were the right size... just...
I later guaranteed that the suits would mould and find space once in the water, and they did... and then, the creating of a safe space in these deeper waters... a new trust.. what does it mean to do the ultimate introduction to her.. could it be how in perfect buoyancy, you bop a few times and she places you on your back to float? I don't know, but the honour it was, has me smiling as I write this post...
And later, hair.. braids taking up their own space in these waters, I asked my student if I could help braid the hair back, she agreed. So as she held onto the buoy, I braided, another pair buddied each other on the line... this moment was important... holding space for me and the lived while gloriously being in this space where this hair was safe. It was not too big, it was not awkward commentary, it was hair that was the norm, hair that required no new effort in its existence - on how it could be included in, as a norm.
In the end of our course was more laughs and joy and shares... about the fears of... about these uncharted waters... about new beginnings, about a retelling of old stories differently. That there was fear in the beginning yes, but now there were smiles.. and awe.. and new peace.. a different peace.
What never fails, is her ability to show up and capture hearts in a way only she can. I often speak about how she’s changed my life so deeply, in each moment in the water.. I giddy for the individual exploration with... and the continued dances as she continuously asks,
Who are you?
Why are you here?
Are you present?
And lastly and ever so importantly, are you true.
Thank you for journeying with me in the travels of these uncharted waters.
Last week we spoke to Mariam, a phenomenal human from Kuwait, also the founder of MER. We had the most amazing conversation that was split in 2 cause we had technical challenges, so you can listen here for part 1, and here for part 2, read more about Mariam below,
Mariam was born and raised in Kuwait, she grew up wanting to create a place of belonging. Starting off handling the marketing of luxury cosmetics, she felt a disconnect and a need to bring in all her favourite elements together, into what would soon be, her dream job - Diving, nature and a sense of community.
As the founder of Mer, Mariam’s mission is to create a community for divers alike to be able to travel and share experiences with one another. Hosting liveaboards internationally but put on hold while the pandemic has been in full affect, meant starting day trips out diving in Kuwait to encourage more people, especially women to get certified in diving 💙
A late lilizing for Saturday - Happy Diwali!! And Happy New Week everyone!
*Water Picture by Chris Rogers*