Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Yesterday, I went on a sunset snorkel cruise with the Tedesco Dive Team. I met Billie Tedesco through a Bonaire Facebook group and she graciously invited me to dinner with her fantastic crew earlier this week. (You can read more about that wonderful experience here.) Her kind, funny, authentic, and warm crew were just the people I needed to surround myself with. We cruised out of the marina, got to open waters, and sailed toward Klein Bonaire, which Nate (who is like a real life Encyclopedia Brown) explained, means "little Bonaire." The island is uninhabited and part of the national reserve. We moored near Klein Bonaire's seawall. I put on flippers, snorkel, and a mask and jumped in. As the warm water enveloped me, I looked down. Leafy reef life waved at me. Fish darted toward and then away from each other. My breath echoed in the snorkel, rushing in and out. "Slow down," I thought. I swam away from the boat and floated, concentrating on my breath. I listened as it slowed. Spindly coral tubes reminded me of desert rock formations. Electric blue fish weaved in and out of hidden holes in the reef. A group of long tiny yellow fish swam to my right. "Thank you," I thought to myself as I focused on my breath. In. out. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As I struggled to heal from chronic Lyme disease, I slowly realized that disease is truly "dis-ease." I read the science behind trauma's effect on our bodies at a cellular level. I realized that in order to heal my physical body, I would need to heal my soul. Along my journey, I worked with western doctors, western Lyme specialists, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, Chinese herbalists, energy healers, reiki practitioners, a somatic therapist, my ampcoil and more. Some helped, some didn't, but every single one was worth trying.
Breathwork meditation was one of the healing modalities that helped. The type of breathwork meditation I practiced is more than simply focusing on your breath. It's a series of inhalations to the chest then to the diaphragm, and out. You do this over and over and fast for about 30 minutes. It helps to oxygenate your cells and shake loose stored trauma. The first time I did it, I cried. I didn't expect to do that. I didn't expect to feel anything at all. But I sobbed angry forceful sobs. When it was over, I tried to sit up and my head spun. I wasn't sure what happened, but I knew it had done something. Healing is like that. You're not always sure what happened, but you know something happened. Yesterday, as I listened to my breath and stared at the beautiful sea life below me, I knew.