Finding the flow between water and air

As funny as it sounds, air means water in the Indonesian language.

And so, water became the theme during my stay at Gili Air.

I had an intention to get over my fear for under water activities and had signed up for an open water scuba dive. The Swedish dive instructor was kind enough to let me stay in one of the rooms in his house.

Everyone at the Dive Centre was really nice and supportive.

– So you’re doing your Open Water Padi?

– Oh, I don’t know, I said. I’m pushing my comfort zone already with my head under water.

I don’t consider myself a nervous person. In fact, I can be quite daring. With the exception of water.

I learned how to swim late. I hated swim class in school. I walk rather than jump into water.

I am just very uncool around water.

Believe me when I said that I tried. With my wet suit, tank, mask and all. Hearing the sound of my breath and feeling the bubbles tickle around my face every time I exhaled. The slow moves, the world in turquoise blue. My dive master pointing at me to take that breathing thing out of my mouth…my lifeline!

I felt ridiculous of course. Even the Belgian girl with a bad cold could do it. But me, I choked on the water, my sight all blurry and my head starting to expand from the pressure.

As I said, just very uncool.

I didn’t even go out on deep water. I had attempted that once before at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, with about the same unsuccessful result.

I decided to stick to snorkeling and spent the next couple of days on the surface of the reefs around the Gili Islands, watching beautiful fish and peaceful sea turtles.

As for my own peace, I found it in other kinds of water…

At the yoga and meditation centre H2O, in the middle of the island.

The centre was run by an aussie named Bundi, meaning “seeds planted in water” and there was a natural flow around the centre which made me linger longer than I had planned to and open up in ways that were natural and new.

Those four days did more for my yoga practice than the last ten years all together.

Another time I would have stayed long enough to see where the tide would take me, but I left with a reassurance that seeds had been planted.

Now they need time and space to grow.