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  • jeniferfoster2

This week has been awesome!

Updated: May 31, 2023

Every week here is a new adventure. It has occurred to me that my time here is likely time-limited. Because of this, I’ve been trying to dive even more than I had before. Every time I dive, especially when I dive by myself, I am really just in awe of the beauty of the earth and of the oceans. I am truly lucky to be here. I know that.

I’m not lying when I say it hasn’t been a cake-walk here. I love the island and this resort, but neither is without its drawbacks. I’m not going to get into that here and now, however.

What I am going to get into though – is how amazing this week has been! Friday, I was given a “discover scuba” student to work with. This is pretty unusual. Our weeks here generally go from Saturday to Saturday, meaning that guests are usually both coming and going on Saturdays. If you know anything about diving, you might be aware that in order to avoid decompression sickness, it is recommended that one not fly within 18 hours of diving, thus most people are wrapping up their dives for the week Friday morning. It is highly unusual for us to be teaching a class Friday morning.

This week was different, however. The student I was working with had been down to the resort with her diver-husband multiple times, but she was too nervous to try diving. My boss told me that it was likely we wouldn’t do any skills at all but would likely just swim around the shallow area.

She did more than swim in the shallows! She did all of the “skills” required for the dive and did the dive itself. She thought she had only gone down to fifteen feet because she had some trouble with her ears; but, in fact, she had gone down to forty feet. She was ecstatic! I was thrilled! This woman had conquered her fear, and I helped her get there. It was amazing.

When I told her that we had an open water course starting on Sunday, she was ambivalent. She went back and forth until Monday morning. She thought it was too late, but I told her she could still join, but would need to spend the morning doing the coursework.

She joined! The other student was a woman in her twenties, whose boyfriend was also an avid diver. She was excited, but definitely nervous. But, man – these women rocked it! Despite being super anxious about some of the skills, they did all of them.

Have you had days where everything just clicked? Birds sing, the sun sparkles and the universe simply aligns? That was Monday! First, I won wordle, quordle, octordle and sedecordle. I know this is completely silly, but when I win all four, I feel it is a good omen. It was! Monday morning, we wrapped up all of our confined water skills (if you haven’t taken the open water course, there are a LOT of skills that need to be accomplished prior to the first open water dive). They also did their first open water dive.

With that dive, I could see the fire start. They were excited! They were proud of themselves! They wanted to dive! They finished their course Tuesday. They were elated!

Today I was doing therapy with a new client. This is our second session. He is overcome with grief. He fought in Afghanistan. His unit was bombed constantly. A soldier he was close with killed himself when they got home. He feels so much obligation for what happened in Afghanistan: for civilians being killed, for his friend kill himself, for staying alive when others died. He feels that he is required to keep giving, to make his survival mean something.

I was talking to a friend of mine today – someone I hadn’t talked to in about a year. I appreciate my friendship with him, even though he is across the world right now. We were talking about wellness, and the importance of our connection to our environment, and what that means for us right now.

What’s my point? Well, there are days when I feel guilty that I’m no longer doing “something important.” I have always felt connected to doing work with people who are disenfranchised in one way or another. I truly feel we are all connected, and that how I act in the world has ripple effects throughout. Perhaps that sounds hokey, but I really do feel that.

When we think about wellness, one of the dimensions is spirituality. Some people think that means connection to a god. For me, it means connecting to something bigger than ourselves. For me that “something” is the connectivity of people.

This week I have felt significant connection to the environment and to other people. I feel the power of connection and the impact of doing something small for someone else. Joy spreads. So does misery. Where you are depends on what you put out. I firmly believe that, and I’ve seen it over and over.

Thursday I went for a dive first thing in the morning. I went to the same wall I almost always go to. Ten minutes into my dive, I spot a seven foot long nurse-shark. It was beautiful, sleeping peacefully. A half an hour later, I spot an itty bitty seahorse floating along the wall. I watched it attach itself to coral. The big and the small. Each is important in the universe. Appreciation and gratitude help us stay connected to others. My soul soars.

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