Diving Lessons: The Practice Of Going Deep

I never expected to sign up for diving lessons. I don’t even like the water. At 11, I got caught in a wave. They’ve given me the creeps ever since. But I haven’t got away from the need to go deep.


Diving lessons should be in air quotes. I didn’t take them in the actual water. I learned to go deep right where I was, not to wait for a deeper life. What I’ve shared below are a few ways to dive into life and practice points you can use right now.


go deep

1. You Definitely Must Go Deep

Once we’ve gone 10 feet below the surface, our tank weighs on our back, and our lungs feel brand new by the different way we have to breathe, we forget everything except the safety of the surface. That we keep going is something we need to know and also do. We definitely must go deep. Finding value means venturing below surface level. We can’t dive on the surface.
The process takes time to learn. But going deep doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, what’s deepest is usually clearest.

Sometimes, this is the reason we avoid going deep – we don’t think we’re ready to see what’s clear. In the end, clarity looks like coming back, and it’s a homecoming for the ages.

  • Practice Point: When you feel fear, take it as a chance to see its face. You might be surprised by what it has to say. Fear will tell you more face to face.


2. Heavy Truth Sinks To The Bottom

We’ve all drifted from our coordinates. But when we stayed put, too, it was to the credit of something heavy. Yes, heavy not light.
Let’s lose the myth that what belongs in our lives floats high in the sky where a lucky few reach it by leaving on a jet plane. We aren’t doing something wrong if the world weights us.
Few of us defy gravity, but each of us can dig deep. The truth that keeps us anchored must have weight. It’s heavy and sinks. And to find it we must sink too.
We can’t be sure what’s grounding us while we’re on the surface. Secondary measures aren’t what we need to sink into our lives.
Sinking is scary. It feels counterbalanced to survival. Our lungs are on fire, and we think it might kill us. Will we come back with what’s at the bottom?


  • Practice Point: When life gets heavy, don’t fight the weight. Trust the pull will take you to a deeper place. One of the most profound things you can do is rest instead of resist.


3. What Goes Down Comes Up

Not everything does. But in this case, if you’re living, you do. It’s the hardest one for me to practice. Going down has always felt to me like going away. Letting go is the most difficult discipline I practice.
What does letting go have to do with going down and coming up? Everything. Letting go of the top layer of our experience gets us to the bottom of what changes everything above.
The top layers with big triggers for me are hair falling out and the kind of pain where even the inside of my mouth hurts. I have to let down that big truth and anchor: going down doesn’t cancel out coming back.
Going down to the bottom is what brings us up. To rise above we must go deep. What goes down comes up.
As a result, diving lessons teach us to go to the base level of each moment and not be overcome by fear. Diving lessons teach us to stay with it and go beyond where we think we can get to.


  • Practice Point: Breathe. That’s it. Open the moment with oxygen.

Most of all, being present is vertical, not horizontal. You go deep down into the here you have. Being present is a downward dive for your most authentic experience to rise.
You don’t have to be anywhere but here or wait until life is less difficult for it to mean more. Habits don’t need to be mastered or calendars controlled.
You don’t have to find a place with less resistance, but a way to respond that works where you are. You get better at it with practice.
What helps you see under the surface of your life? Share your best diving lesson in the comments!


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