Welcome to Discover Your Depths, a name that came to me in meditation back in 2009 and which has slowly over the years matured to this! Back then of course I had no idea where my freediving and meditation practice would take me, just as I have no idea where I will be in four years from now.
As we enter 2014, Discover Your Depths represents what has become my greatest passion - sharing what I have learned about life and living through freediving, yoga and meditation and using those three mediums to teach and help other people experience themselves on a greater, more expansive and far more fulfilled level.
But behind all of my wonderful, exciting and passionate words, behind the woman many of you consider to be inspiring and courageous who writes and teaches all of this, behind the shiny new freediving holidays, courses, meditation programmes and training is a woman feeling fear and anxiety at finally hitting the 'go live' button to put this website in the public domain. I remember my mum telling me the fear she felt at finally inviting people round to the house she designed and built with my father; "It feels like letting people walk round inside of me, seeing me completely naked." That is exactly how I feel now - if I were sitting next to you now as you read this, I think my discomfort would be palpable. My anxiety feels very, very real.
However I realised when thinking about what Discover Your Depths is all about, that I cannot ask my clients and students to open up to me if I have not had the courage to open up first to them. I cannot ask people to trust me with their own fears, when I haven't been bold or vulnerable enough to show my own weaknesses, to talk about the times when I have felt anything other than inspiring or worthy.
Discover Your Depths is therefore not just my teaching philosophy, but in part it is a chance for me to share some of the more painful, raw and real parts of my life with you. It showcases both my dreams, which can be shattered if you think I'm flying too high, or have nothing special or worthy to offer; and it showcases my darker moments and the journey I came on, the challenges I faced to bring me to this very point, of me feeling fear, and you sitting there reading about it.
Perhaps a few years ago I might have envied the person who has never faced challenge, who has sailed through life without a care in the world, without an enemy or negative comment to combat (do they even exist?). Now, I embrace the depth that we all develop through the pain that life often can, and will, deliver right to our door.
As far as my dreams are concerned, this website also sets out a new direction for me, taking my teaching and the Discover Your Depths philosophy to a whole new level. This website asks me to raise my game way beyond my current comfort levels, to really step out of the Sara that, for a large part, believes that what I did wasn't spectacular, and that I'm not really very special at all, that there is no reason for any of you to want to work with me. This website asks me to step into the role that more and more students tell me I hold for them in their lives - that of an inspiring teacher, mentor and coach. This is a role that frightens me, because it demands that I push myself constantly to be my best. This is exactly what I ask of my students, and therefore it is essential that I do at least what I am asking of them.
To constantly do my best… what does that mean? How does it feel? It feels rather overwhelming - all those early morning meditation sessions, the sacrifices in my personal life, the hard work to travel, teach and share and yet remain grounded, fresh, inspiring and energised. To finally get on and finish writing my book! To begin collaborating with other instructors - to trust others to represent all that Discover Your Depths stands for. To work with really high quality aspirational brands!
But if I am to be true to my teaching, being my best also encourages and allows me to make room for softness in my life. Beating myself with a stick and working so hard that I get physically sick are not very good examples of living in harmony in mind, body and spirit. So, being my best also means accepting sometimes that something might have to give, that I might have to ask for help, that I possibly won't make a deadline, I might need a day off, or might not be able to do all the things that are asked of me next year. I've already experienced that with some elements of this site that I had hoped to have ready for launch, but have not, and so, the good news is, there will be more great stuff to share with you in the coming months. However, the 'not getting stuff done' can be as frightening to me as the prospect of having to do it all. That paralysing fear of failing, or being perceived to have failed - underlining that insipid 'not good enough' that we all have somewhere within us - is awakened and feels so, so real. This is like diving to 104m all over again.
However, if my work has taught me anything, it is that fear is simply a projection of our minds. Of course as a 50m diver the thought of going to 100m was ridiculous and I would, quite rightly, have been absolutely terrified. But by taking things slowly, allowing life to take its path and trying to offer as little resistance as possible to the flow around me, I did eventually, two years later, reach 100m, and did so in the most beautiful, relaxed way. By taking each day at a time I found that the tasks I had once found way beyond my capacity, were suddenly, miraculously within my comfort zone.
So, launching this website is scary today, and will be less scary tomorrow. By next year, most of it will be within my comfort zone again, and I will be looking for my next new challenges… The emails I will receive will hopefully be positive, and if they are not, I will take what I feel to be insightful and constructive, to learn and develop. And I will try and thank you all.
This website is about practicing what I teach, having the courage to understand what my dharma is - the reason I am here on earth, what I can bring and share in this life - and the commitment to live it. Very often this is all about facing our fears, allowing the brilliant person that we know we are inside to come out and shine forth beyond the confines of our 'small self', the one that feels less than capable, unworthy and just not up to the challenge. Most of the time, when we put ourselves out there, the fear of rejection, of not being accepted and loved, can be massive. We all have that vulnerability and fear, but also that brilliance, that potential within us. I teach this almost every day, in the yoga studio and in the water. Today, as I hit the 'go live' button, I'm living it too.
So, yes, it's done. You've seen me naked, so to speak. I hope you still like me. Actually, if you do, that's great, and if you don't, the world is big enough to hold our myriad varying opinions on life. So, I'll just take a deeeeep breath now, and already I can see that it wasn't so scary after all!