By Bhavanjot Kaur
“A spiritual person is vast, like an ocean – but very mighty, very powerful.”
-Yogi Bhajan 7/27/1996
I have lived on the shoreline of Connecticut for most of my life and I have spent many days out on the beaches and out on the water. I have collected seashells and I have examined hermit crabs, jelly fish and the like. I have made my fair share of sand castles only to watch the water as it would rise above them leaving the beach looking completely untouched—a new canvas of sorts.
The beach has its own rhythm and its own way of being day in and day out; tide in and tide out; sun up and sun down. There is no rush. There is no expectation. There is no explanation. The beach is just always there, allowing what comes to come and what goes to go. It would seem there is much to be learned from the beach about the journey of life and healing. Perhaps this is the reason I have always been called back to the beach and to the water when I feel a little bit lost in the world.
My four-year-old daughter and I took respite in the beaches of Rhode Island and Connecticut in the warmer months after her chemotherapy treatment ended. The beach had become our refuge. We would fling off our sandals the minute our feet hit the sand as though it were a sacred healing space—and this is inevitably what it became for us both—a place to forget all of our troubles and just fall into the loving and cleansing arms of the salt water. There truly was no one else I wanted to be with and no other place I wanted to be.
As we walked along the beach in Narragansett, listening to the healing sound of the waves hitting the rocks, I looked down and my eye caught something glistening. I reached down and picked up a piece of sea glass. ‘What a lucky find’, I thought. Yogi Bhajan once said, “Every happening is a lesson, a message.” I’m not surprised that sea glass came through as a poignant teacher for me at this time in my life. The poetic dance of broken glass in the salt water seemed the perfect metaphor for this season of our lives. I knew that somehow all of this tumbling in the waves and sands of uncertainty would in some way carry us to where we needed to be on the other side of this experience, swimming safely to shore.
“The best medicine that a person can have is the knowledge and experience that he can swim through every tide and change of the time.” -Yogi Bhajan
When I was six years old, I fell through the ice at a neighborhood pond and was estimated to have been under the water for five minutes. When I was rescued by a diver, I had no pulse and I was not breathing. I was resuscitated on the scene and was very lucky that I survived. I was told that the cold temperature of the water was what saved my life.
Here I am some years later, taking swimming lessons at a local YMCA, aiming to improve my rather clumsy doggy paddle. During a recent swimming class, I was supposed to jump into the water feet first in a pencil dive. For the intent and purpose of this particular lesson, the teacher instructed me to avoid impact on the pool floor so as not to push myself back up and also to avoid potential harm to my legs. The key was to bend the knees slightly before hitting the bottom of the very deep pool, which would allow my body to rise naturally back up to the surface where I could catch a breath. If I pushed off the bottom of the pool with my legs, I would rise to the surface or above the surface too fast and ultimately forego the purpose of the lesson.
I practiced several pencil dives until I started to get the hang of it. I could not help but make the connection to the healing journey with this swimming lesson, especially after speaking to a friend who described her vision of me coming up from under the water, gasping for air after this epic journey with my daughter. Much like this swim lesson, the healing journey requires courage, depth, patience, buoyancy, breath, purposefulness and an unwavering trust in your ability to rise from the depths in your own way in your own time.
We often go deep into the murkiness of the oceans in our minds and into the sometimes forgotten ponds of our souls and into the deep pools of our hearts, seeking healing and transformation, only to find that just when we started to touch on the healing space within, we are drawn back to the surface to take a breath, only to dive back in. Sometimes in these depths we may get lost and lose sense of up from down. Sometimes we might even think we are just drowning.
Then we catch a breath of air only to dive back in, going deeper this time. Sometimes we tumble like sea glass and are shaped and softened by the sands of time. Sometimes we land on a beach watching the rise and fall of the water that reminds us of the vast ocean within us and with each salty tear we are given the chance to surrender to our authentic healing journey now that yesterday is gone.
In the words of the master, “Yesterday you had pain, right? That was yesterday. You faced it. It’s gone. It’s over. You are a winner. Why are you carrying it on to today in your memory? Why? Don’t you know the simple formula? What was yesterday was yesterday. It’s gone. You faced it.”
Re-posted from Bhavanjot’s Blog
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts in Old Saybrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki Master & Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" gong. Bhavanjot hosts a local women's circle and various workshops on therapeutic grade essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and The Art of Reiki Levels I and II. She is a proud single mother to a beautiful and delightful four-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer.