"We are dancing in a cosmic dance for which we can arrange the music and the choreography." (Chris Griscom)
We were out on the high seas, the rocking of the boat and the undulating swell had us all wet. I was heading for my second scuba dive on Praslin with the White Tip Diver's company. This morning our site was Ave Maria, a rock formation not far from La Digue. We were ten divers in the boat plus the skipper. Once in the water the descent was rough, the current was strong, the visibility was bad, and the water was as murky as chicken soup.
I was careful on the descent, trying to maintain contact with the anchor rope. The instructor, Clive, who was also my buddy for the dive, warned me to go down slowly. He had noticed that on the previous dive there was blood in my mouth - a sure sign that my system was taking strain. Clive asked the four of us in our group to stay close together.
This was my twelfth underwater dive. I was not a 'natural' at diving and also had little experience, so an 18 metre deep dive in murky waters can rattle your nerves. However, since the previous night I had worked on the affirmation: "This will be my best and most relaxed dive ever." I kept repeating this whenever fear or alarm crept into my mind. The more I repeated my "mantra", the more my body relaxed. I was feeling comfortable, my mask stayed water free. I could look around and really "see" and enjoy the coral formations and colourful fish that came by and I ended up having a great dive despite the rough seas and the murky waters. Due to the swell, the blond German girl vomited over the edge of the boat after the 45 minute dive. I, however, felt elation and was well satisfied with my 12th effort underwater.
Danger is not real until it becomes real; fear is all created in our mind. Therefore, as the choice makers of our thoughts, we are the engineers that steers the machinery of the mind. I interpret F.E.A.R. as False Evidence Appearing Real.
In order to tap into one's real power, one must believe that the power of the mind is infinite. This belief has a two fold influence:
- you can steer your body and its intricate chemical reactions with your thoughts
- you create your physical future in the vast cosmos with the visions and expectations you have.
Jesus said to his disciples: "You can do what I do and more!" How many of us are willing to believe that today? Credo Mutwa said: "The power of the soul and mind is infinite. The soul is omniscient and omnipotent like the Great God of whom it forms an infinitesimal granule."
God, and therefore the power of the creator, is within us; we are here to create for ourselves a world of joy and fulfilment. It is merely our own ingrained beliefs that withhold us from the life that we want. Deepak Chopra writes in his book: Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (p 17): "Wherever thought goes, a chemical goes with it". By steering my mind into relaxation mode in the dive mentioned at the start of this article, my body withheld the secretion of adrenaline, which is the body's inbuilt alarm response. So, by focusing on powerful and winning thoughts, we can change our destiny.
In 1996 the final of the popular Energade Triathlon Sprint Series was to take place at Midmar Dam near Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu Natal. This race consists of a 600m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5 km run. A 28 year old athlete Fiddy Gey von Pittius had won all the previous competitions in the series which had been held around South Africa and Mauritius. She was obviously the hot favourite to clinch the series by winning the final. I had missed the Energade competition in Cape Town because of a cold and therefore was not considered a factor in the result of the race at all. I was 41 years of age, and a veteran triathlete. A month or so earlier I had come fifth in the International Powerman Duathlon race held in Upington, a race that involved a 10 km run, 60 km bike and then another 10 km run. What was significant for me was that I noticed that in that competition, my second 10 km run was the fastest time of all the South African women in the field. And with that thought the good seed was sown: Hey, I am not over the wall yet, I can still do it. From this thought was born the firm (and optimistic) belief that I could still win, never mind that Fiddey had so far been proved invincible. These thoughts form part of what I call "The Winning Cycle" in my ZEST4LIFE workshops:
- Your beliefs are a result of your thoughts
- From your beliefs you set your goals and visions
- Your goals and visions determine your attitude
- Your attitude determines your behaviour.
On the morning of the race I was extremely focused ('in the zone' as we athletes call it); completely calm but also excited about the upcoming challenge. My belief in my ability to succeed was so overwhelmingly strong, that I was visibly confident and my behaviour showed it. Despite my age, the younger girls on the triathlon circuit have always had a healthy respect for me as an opponent because of my mental toughness.
The atmosphere at the dam was very festive; there were a lot of competitors, as this race was also the South African Triathlon Sprint Championships. The general public was allowed to enter in the citizen wave. The commentator at the event was singing the praise of the phenomenal Fiddey Gey von Pittius: 'she is unbeatable on the bike, she will definitely make it seven in a row ...' In the meantime a 41 year old veteran had other plans. Because the swim was only 600m it was hard and aggressive. Fiddey and I are both weaker swimmers and we came out of the water together and ran up to the changeover area behind the leading swimmers. MNet Supersport made a lovely video of the race; the commentator's remark was: "And here comes Sibis Mouton, Springbok triathlete from Western Province and, with all due respect, she is no spring chicken anymore!"
My changeover was extremely fast. Fiddey and I set out on our bicycles to haul in the stronger swimmers one by one. At the turnpoint, 10 km out, it was only me and Fiddey in the lead. I was not letting go! I stuck to her like glue! In my mind I was the winner and I did not give an inch; it was like a war out there. The commentator remarked: "My goodness, she is still there!" Fiddey was unable to shake me off. I realized that I was strong enough to stay there. As we approached the changeover area for the final leg of the 5 km run, I spun into a lower gear and gave my legs a rest. I knew I had to leave the changeover area first, to get the psychological advantage. My changeover was lightning fast; I racked my bike, helmet off, shoes on and out I sprinted. I was running above my capacity, drawing on all my seasoned body's reserves. When I run at full steam, I make quite a bit of noise breathing. Afterwards a friend of mine told me that the lady standing next to him said: "Oh shame, she will never make it, she is already so tired." He looked at her and said: "Lady I've got news for you, she goes like that all the time!"
We turned down towards the dam and then were going up the hill again; I could see Fiddey about 100 metres back. I maintained my lead and won my very first South African Triathlon title by 17 seconds! I know my win was a direct result of my belief in my own abilities.
To step into your personal power field, you need to create a firm vision of what you want. Ralph Waldo Emerson said a century ago: "Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen." Deepak Chopra tells us that out intentions have infinite organizing powers. It is your task to keep on sowing good seeds. Seeds of optimism are only possible when you come from love and are living intimately within the will of the Divine. Each desire (literally meaning from the father: sire) is given to us from within, where the Light resides.
Striving to fulfil our desires bring us in touch with our amazing potential. So we celebrate life and do what brings ourselves and others joy. Choose your thoughts wisely; be aware of the latent power within you. Step forward in the space where the magic of life becomes real, where the future unfolds perfectly according to your desires.