When I was a little girl I used to throw tea parties with my best friend on the bottom of the local community pool. No props were needed, we’d simply stand on our tippy toes, take the biggest 8-year-old breath imaginable, then exhale all the air out as we synchronized our way to sitting on the bottom of the pool.
The scene was always the same – legs crossed, eyes protected behind goggles, hair floating over our heads aimlessly, and pinkies raised high as we sipped tea at our very fancy party.
Life was good on the bottom of the pool. The screams from the younger kids were muffled, the reverberations from dads going off the diving board were put on mute, and we often stole a few extra moments of peace and quiet by pretending we didn’t hear our mothers yelling that it was time to get out, dry off, and go home.
While underwater tea parties might sound like nothing more than child’s play, thirty-some years later, I still use the technique to keep from losing my mind when the going gets tough.
That’s right, nothing like an imaginary underwater tea party to make all your grown-up worries go away.
I started embracing the idea of peace and quiet on the bottom of the pool after listening to a guided meditation one morning where the narrator recommended thinking of your truest self or your soul as the deepest part of the ocean—always stoic, always calm—and to imagine the circumstances of your life as the winds that rough up and blow around everything on the surface.
The point is that the winds of life will always blow your way in the form of everything from a micromanaging boss and a forgetful spouse to a failed project at work and a child struggling at school. There’s little you can do to prevent these natural disasters from coming your way, but you must know that anything sitting on the surface (like your ego or self-esteem) is going to be battered and tossed around unless you can retreat to the stillness of your true self. Because beneath all that hullabaloo, your true nature, the core of your being, is calm, cool, collected, and silent. Always has been, always will be.
Just like the bottom of the pool. Continue Reading