The Joy of Simply Swimming

by Josephine Bell, Personal Assistant, Pottsville

I’ve been staying in a hotel for about a week. Above us is an elegant rooftop swimming pool with spa and sauna facilities. Early yesterday morning I found myself feeling that a swim would be nice. It’s something I very seldom do, but this time I had even packed a pair of goggles as well as my bathers, so I was well prepared and had everything I needed for an enjoyable experience.

It felt very lovely to be swimming in the dawn’s early light above the city and to watch the skyscape change at that special morning time. But it felt even more lovely to be with myself in the pool as I experimented with some simple exercises I had learned from Simone Benhayon an international swimming instructor. As I was playing with breathing through my nose and keeping my head under the water I could feel various tensions in my body and then a melting away of a feeling of driven-ness, of moving forward, which allowed me to feel my body more deeply. But more than that, I could feel the innate joy and playfulness of just being me in my body in the water. This took me back to being a child and how I used to play for hours in various friends’ swimming pools, and the simple delight of it.

I contemplated the fact that over the years I had lost much of the joy of simply swimming, of just feeling the grace of my body in the water, and had therefore stopped doing it very often. Even when I did get into the water and swim, it had become overlaid with the sense of being another thing “to do” because it was good for me, or needed the exercise, or to be more toned, or whatever mental construct was running at the time! I could feel the mental driven-ness of that approach, its narrowness and constriction, and how that way had actually become the norm in so many areas of my life – not overtly perhaps, but it was there in the background all the same. It was a beautiful moment to fully feel just how much this way of living had closed me down to the depth and richness of life pulsing within my own body. In effect I had lost touch with the symphony of me swimming through life.

As I felt all of this and how the beauty of my own symphony was beginning to emerge once again, I also felt a deep gratitude to Universal Medicine (UniMed), Serge Benhayon, and the many UniMed practitioners who have helped and inspired me to start to open those doors in myself that had long been closed and thus find myself, after so many years, inspired to take a delicious dive in a pool on a rooftop in Sydney.

182 thoughts on “The Joy of Simply Swimming

  1. “The symphony of swimming through life” what a glorious description of the grace and ease we can choose in the way move through our life, knowing the wonderful loving ripples we are leaving in our wake.

  2. This is lovely to read Josephine. I’ve always been a water baby and never been one to do laps but always enjoyed the feeling of weightlessness and support for the body that being in the water offers.

  3. I enjoy swimming but would not would be classed as a good swimmer. Still I have always found the steady rhythm of the strokes and the feel of my body moving through the water to be very calming. What I have noticed over the past 12 months is that my swimming has slowed down more as I take my time to enjoy the process rather than rushing through it so that I can move onto the next thing I have to do in my day. I find that on the days I have swum, my body is more fluid in the way I move. Swimming definitely works for me in terms of enjoyment and in supporting me to learn to pay more attention to the messages from my body.

  4. Josephine thank you for sharing how you simply enjoyed being with yourself whilst being in the pool, it is beautiful when we take the time to connect to ourselves and feel what is going on with our body.

  5. It’s unpleasant to realise just how driven I have been in my swimming of the past, using my body as a machine, up and down the pool, with a target number of lengths in mind before I’ve even begun and completely missing the opportunity to simply feel the grace of my own body in the water. Thank you for the inspiration to experiment and enjoy that ‘depth and richness of life pulsing within my own body’ next time I go for a swim.

  6. Josephine your writing is truly lovely, I would like to read more from you please! I can very much relate to what you have shared about how we turn life into a series of “must do’s” effectively draining the joy out of simple pleasures like swimming. It’s also been a long time since I have swam or done anything with my body for no other reason other than because it feels delightful. What beautiful inspiration to return to enjoying life as we did as children, thankyou.

  7. I love the reflection being in water brings. Sometimes I find after being in the water for a while and feeling my body, releasing tension, and feeling the weightlessness that can be felt in water, when I get out I am very aware of a heaviness swishing down on my body, like I am feeling all that has been weighing me down prior to being in the pool. After a while it settles, like it has cleared, because of the letting go I was prepared to do whilst in the water. Being in water for me is very healing.

  8. I love to swim and I love the joy of making my stroke in the water effortless and not splashy. It is only recently I have started to really get how much swimming can be a reflection of life. How each aspect of my stroke reflects how I have chosen to live. I also love the idea that how I swim could be considered similar to how I interact with others, am I creating a big wave for others to have to swim through or am I moving in gentle ripples for others to enjoy.

  9. I can relate to the idea that the simple joys of just being in the moment slowly dissipate as we age.

    But is this a normal sign of ageing? (I think not!)

    We get caught in the mundaneness of life and the simple joyful nature that was once default becomes a conscious task to connect to.

    Why is this?

    Maybe now isn’t the time to answer that question however the value in committing to that has its rewards as this blog beautifully expresses.

    1. ha ha I was just laughing at myself as I read my comment, because I have a tendency to do things for so called beneficial reasons as you have described and I absurdly imagined myself to covert simply being into “doing” simply being because that would be beneficial!

  10. Josephine, great to hear the reversal, or the return to swimming for the joy of it as apposed to the doing of it. This caused me to reflect in the many things that are a part of our lives that have gone to the doing and has lost its joy. Thank you Josephine this a great reflection.

  11. This also reminds me of being a child and the countless hours spent in the pool – just swimming and playing without an agenda or drive. Hmm… perhaps time to consider doing some more swimming again!

  12. Thank you for this delicious dive in the pool Josephine without any agenda other than the purpose of enjoying yourself in full.

  13. I LOVE swimming too – not just because it feels amazing to glide through water, but also because overtime I swim I learn something new about myself and about how I’m going in life.

  14. A great reflection of how we swim through life either with a drive to get ‘things’ done or to feel the movements of our body in everything we do.

  15. Simone Benhayon is an inspirational teacher of swimming and of life, as she manages to bring the two together so beautifully. From the simple techniques that she has shared with me, there is now no difference between swimming in the pool and walking on the ground, mainly because the responsibility is the same, as in both cases we are always leaving an energetic imprint behind for others to walk or swim through. This is a vital key in life and when even just started to be lived, can deeply transform one’s perspective and understanding.

  16. Thank you Josephine for sharing your swimming experience, it reminded me of the times I lay in the water when the ocean was calm, feeling the gentle swell rocked my body gently back and forth, I was in the gentle flow of life being upheld by the ocean. isn’t this how our lives could be, gently upheld by the flow of love within and without and all around us.

  17. I lived in the Caribbean andat the end of a jetty that was a stretch of water that was like a swimming pool. The water was so warm that my body was at ease. I have fond memories of being in the water and simply playing. I would move my body in all kinds of glorious ways simply enjoying how it felt to move. It was pure joy.

  18. It is lovely to let go of our ‘driven-ness’, because when we do , we can start to re-connect to the graceful and delicate us that is always there within, simply waiting for us,

  19. I am just starting to understand and feel how exercise does not have to be a chore, a ‘must do’ or something to be avoided at all cost. This too is thanks to a Universal Medicine practitioner who in just one session supported me to feel that exercise is a really amazing opportunity for connection with myself. For me it also felt like a union with God. This has changed everything for me and I now look forward to my exercise every day. That’s pretty amazing I can assure you!

  20. I love how getting into a pool offers me a reflection of how my life is going at that moment – and the ripples that spread out are so visible in a pool. Yet in life outside of the pool we can also choose to feel the ripples we spread out and those coming back to us from others.

  21. There is something very womb-like about being submerged in water; the stillness, the quietness, the harmony, the symphony – yet even this we have turned into a ‘push’ activity where we let the mind drive us instead of the body guiding us. Your experience feels like a moment of grace in which to feel the playfulness and openness we all had as children that still lives deep within us all, just waiting for a pause in the giddy momentum that so drives us, so that it can bubble up to the surface and be felt once again. I was right there with you Josephine, playing like a child in a pool on the rooftop in a Sydney hotel sitting right here at my computer.

  22. What also rings out loud and clear throughout your words and as symbolised by the pool – is appreciation. Appreciation that no matter where we are nor what our age, we are all the children of God, held by his majesty and learning to swim all over again.

  23. Movement for movement’s sake. In that is revelation, for if you stop and think about it, what makes one movement enjoyable and not another. You lift a fishing rod and it is joyous. You lift a crowbar and it feels like work. That sounds like common sense. However, if you learn to appreciate movement for the joy of the movement alone, you start to realise that there is no difference for example between work and play, or one activity and another. It is all the same.

  24. “I had lost touch with the symphony of me swimming through life”. What a most beautiful realisation Josephine, and as I read it I could feel how I too had been dis-connected from my divine inner “symphony” for way too long. I just love how particular, and often unexpected moments in time, can bring us such life changing and joy-filled messages.

  25. I had the same. I never really liked swimming as it was a too serious business. I just was swimming the normal ‘ swimslag ‘ as learned in the Netherlands. Your arms make a side ward stroke. And your head is above the water all the time. This way you learn it here as a kid. Like to survive. But with Simone Benhayon I learned that swimming is not about that. Swimming I got to experienced as a playfull joyfull thing to do. I bought googles so I could start to put my hand under the water and started to do freestyle. What an amazing discovery that was. I feel now I am one with the water just very playful and lovingly enjoying it.

  26. Awesome sharing and that conclusion you came to Josephine about “the symphony of me swimming through life.” is very appropriate and relatable. Water surrounding us and feeling holding of our presence in it, brings that joy of lightness and expansion as we were when children. Is there a reason this needs to shut down in adult life? Only as you state because we take on the heaviness of expectations and react to the feeling of pressures imposing on us instead of remaining complete in who we are and appreciating our own symphony as we swim through life.

  27. Thank you Josephine for sharing your beautiful rooftop swim with us, I remember floating in the water with its ebb and flow moving my body and feeling the joy of being held in weightlessness. A beautiful surrender.

  28. There’s something about swimming… it’s like it magnifies how we are feeling. When we feel joy and playful it is absolutely amazing to be in water

  29. I love this line “In effect I had lost touch with the symphony of me swimming through life.” Very beautifully expressed.

  30. That is such a great analogy, swimming through life, it really illustrates the flow we can be in and the grace of our movements. Because, effectively, we are in a soup of energy with space being our water, so every movement is a ripple and is felt by all. We are in it all the time! So… are we in the joy of swimming through life or the struggle?

  31. Dear Josephine,
    Thank you. I am not one to swim, but I too feel the joy of the symphony of life. There was a time where I would have looked at you with a lost look on my face if you had mentioned symphony and life in the same sentence! Now though I feel the truth of symphony in life, in fact it is a joy to feel and to live by. Is it always easy? No, it is not easy to feel what my body holds from the years of living that were without symphony. Yes it is the most beautiful feeling in the world, to stay with myself as I feel what I do, knowing that the beauty and warmth inside me is me.

  32. Allowing ourselves the pleasure of a thing we love but held back from is truly healing, letting go of the mental constructs surrounding it.

  33. I loved being in water as a child before it became all about swimming and survival, then I wanted to avoid it at all costs. I feared swimming lessons and being pushed and prodded to move along, even though I felt like I could never breathe and I was sinking. The fun and joy of just being in that quiet weightlessness was far from me, yet, Simone Benhayon supported me to get back to that feeling in the water and to feel and listen to the instant communication coming back to me from my every stroke and movement.

  34. The other day I was in the pool and I felt how I made swimming about prooving how far I could swim and breath through my nose, it was not playful at all.I knew I could choose differently and I did. Just like you Josephine I enjoyed my body and the silkiness of the water, the ripples and how I could glide under water. And I remembered that as a child I loved to be under water, like being in Heaven.

  35. I love swimming and gliding through the water. I find that it is an incredibly effective way to be playful with myself. However, I also know how easy it can be to go into drive to get to the other end etc.. But the moment I let that go and just allow myself to be, all the tension in my body drops and when this happens I feel incredibly held.

  36. Its remarkable when we return to an activity that supports us and we realise that we had stopped doing the activity or removed the quality in the movement, making it less than it could be. I find this occurs for me many times, I return to doing something just for fun and how good that feels and realise I had disconnected from letting myself feel how good it is. Perhaps with exercise this relates to how conditioned we have been to make exercise a doing before it is the being that makes it so enjoyable.

  37. I love swimming, being in water, exercising in water and yet I very rarely do it. I don’t like being in swimmers and I don’t like being cold… bit of a problem! But your blog has inspired me to approach it differently and I can feel how much I could approach this differently, not out of need but simply because it would be fun again!

  38. It is beautiful to read this again Josephine and reflect on how empty it feels to be driven by a concept of the mind, an ideal or belief, thinking we have to do something a certain way to achieve a certain result that gives us recognition of some sort. Yet all the while we forgo a far deeper and greater wisdom that knows what is needed and is awaiting to guide us, in honor of the oneness that we are and belong to. This is the deliciousness of our connection to ourselves, one that we can choose to live with through whatever it is we do.

  39. It is deeply beautiful when you can reimprint something that you have always done with a new way of being with it, due to the deep connection you have now developed with you. Thanks to Simone, I too have realized the power of water and the lessons or delight on offer within it.

  40. I, along with 9 others, had a whole day in the swimming pool with Simone Benhayon – Boy oh boy was it revolutionary! What was taught goes way beyond form and technique, focusing on how we move with our bodies in every moment.

  41. A beautiful read, I can relate to what you share about swimming becoming another thing to do, when in truth swimming is a moment to reflect and be joyful in life. Moments to truly enjoy the flow of water and flow of life in just allowing, no doing.

  42. Yes, since I had a session with Simone I have begun to see swimming very differently. There’s something magical about water, and when we surrender in water we can defiantly feel a lot more.

    1. I am not great at swimming but I realised when I surrender it is very difficult to sink under water. Our body naturally wants to float unless we choose to tense up or harden our body.

  43. There is a way to move through life where we are not affected by the hum and buzz around us. It requires us to connect to the innate pool of stillness deep within us and allow our movements to be guided from this. This helps us to observe life and not absorb it. A stark contrast to this is the alternative way that has sadly become the norm whereby we harden our bodies and let the mind drive our physical vehicle in such a way that we become a part of the cacophony of life and not the symphony we in-truth are when we allow ourselves to sound our true note through such true movement.

  44. How beautiful… the symphony of swimming, and it can be like that can’t it …. So graceful and fluid and harmonious, like being held in a wonderful consciousness.

  45. That was beautiful Josephine, it gave me a moment to feel the space that resides within. When this space is felt, we feel the enormity of who we are, and as you shared how small our world becomes when this enormity is not lived.

  46. It seems there are many simple joys in life that we rush past in our pursuit of happiness, or security, or recognition or approval. Is it worth the trade off I ask myself?

  47. To simple be and enjoy the movements of our body is extraordinary and yet something so natural to us. It is a blessing and very freeing when we allow ourselves to come back to this way of being and live it every day more.

  48. There is so much to appreciate in the simplest moments in our lives isn’t there? They rarely involve accolades, awards, praise from others, cameras, recognition. Mostly they are moments of real connection and heartfelt joy, harmony, love, stillness and truth. What you share here is one of those moments – wonderful thank you.

  49. It is lovely to follow what our body tells us Josephine, what you’ve share really confirms this and then inspiring us through your beautiful blog.

  50. Ah, this was lovely to read Josephine. How important it is to enjoy the simplicity of being with yourself in the moment, what ever you are doing.

  51. There is something about going for a swim and doing laps — It is a whole body experience and especially breathing through your nose that supports your connection to your body as taught by Simone Benhayon.

  52. Inspiring to read Josephine, and yes it is common for people to run their lives with ‘I could feel the mental driven-ness of that approach, its narrowness and constriction, and how that way had actually become the norm in so many areas of my life’. Great to be aware of this, at every level, then we have a choice to let it go and not run our lives, as you did.

  53. What is so special about what you share here Josephine is that you allowed yourself to feel all that what you felt, and simply observed, and the deep gratitude you felt what had all been given to you. It is such a stark contrast to the always critical and striving for more and better mindset that is so prevalent in this world. No need for that – but simply a surrendering to what is there.

  54. A very stilling read, a bit like I’m in the pool with you, I love how you surrendered and just allowed yourself to feel and observe, ‘I could feel various tensions in my body and then a melting away of a feeling of driven-ness, of moving forward, which allowed me to feel my body more deeply.’

  55. What a most beautiful and revealing moment in time for you Josephine; a moment to treasure when you “felt the beauty of my own symphony was beginning to emerge once again”. I can feel you swimming in tune and in joy with the water.

  56. ‘…it had become overlaid with the sense of being another thing “to do” because it was good for me, or needed the exercise, or to be more toned, or whatever mental construct was running at the time!’
    Ah Josephine, I so hear you! What you’ve expressed here feels like a big part of my life – the mental overlay I’ve placed on just about everything I do. I love the feeling of freedom you found in being, not doing; feeling your body, the simplicity of the swim and the enjoying the gorgeous location and early morning sky.

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