Hello there Bliss seekers. I often get asked if I surf, the answer is no, I don't. Considering this blog is largely focused on the ocean and features quite a bit of surfing, you may be slightly confused right now. As I mentioned in my 'Spot The Surfer' post, I possess a bone chilling fear of deep blue water which has been with me for as long as I can remember. The truth is, this fear doesn't inhibit my love for the ocean. I adore spending hours by it, playing amongst it and swimming in it; yes I can swim. Much of my personal bliss and solitude comes from being near the ocean.
As long as I can touch the sand on the bottom with my feet, I have as much fun as the next person. The minute I find myself in water out of my depth, my bliss turns to pure fear. It is a fear of drowning and is due to the fact I survived a near drowning as a very small child. Anxiety and absolute hysteria any time I was near a pool or the ocean prevented me from learning how to swim until I was 8 years old. In the end it was watching all of my friends and family having fun in the water and the gentle encouragement of my Mum that got me swimming. Learning to swim was definitely a turning point. I no longer had a fear around pools, and I actually ventured to a depth past my ankles in the ocean.
By the time I was in high school I was body boarding with a group of girlfriends (out in the deep, blue water), and finally began to enjoy the ocean soaked lifestyle that my coastal village provided. I seemed to have overcome this ludicrous fear, and was looking forward to progressing on to a surf board. Unfortunately, I was talked into going out into some rather large surf with a group of friends, and I ended up being smashed into the hard sandy ocean floor at the whim of an enormous first wave in a huge set. I sustained no major injuries apart from swallowing way too much salt water and being extremely short of breath. This is nothing unusual for any surfer, body boarder SUP boarder or ocean sport enthusiast. The fear of drowning that I thought was long gone came rushing back and I lost my desire to learn how to surf. Hence the reason you see lots of surfing pictures on this blog, with out me in them.
The one regret I have is not getting back out there and conquering my fear. I watch my family surf just about every day and wish I could be out there with them. My fear, it seems, is bigger than my desire to surf as I just can't get over it. All the motivational mantra's and inspirational quotes in the world don't have any impact when I swim or paddle out of my depth. I know I have to walk or swim head on into the fear before I can get past it, but I just can't do it. I do however find plenty of My Ocean Bliss on the sand, through the camera lens and in a depth of about four foot of water. Does anyone else out there have a fear of deep water? Perhaps you did once and have over come it. If so, I'd love to know how you did it.
Sending you Much Bliss, Heather xx
All photos by Heather W