Cleanse Your Fear
It was the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda. It is the longest river in the world. The civilization of Ancient Egypt grew up around the Nile River. It was the Nile River and its natural cycles that supported the Egyptian civilization to develop and thrive, along with magick, of course.
It was just me and the Nile River.
I decided to take it on white water rafting.
Although a grown adult, I somehow grew up on a beach without ever developing the helpful skill to swim. In fact, I was scared of water. It seemed like the perfect way to face my greatest fear, tackle it head on.
It did not start off too promising. There was a language barrier between us, the foreigners, and the guide who took us out on the boat. I attempted to let him know that I wasn’t a strong swimmer. I figured he understood when he made me sit at the back of the boat next to him.
Great, he’ll grab for my life jacket when we hit the rapids.
Not quite what happened.
You might wonder why someone who could not swim and who was scared of water would ever choose to go white water rafting in a foreign country, with a language barrier, on the Nile River. I suppose that’s a good inquiry. It wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve ever done that was questioned or considered nuts!
The truth is, I have this rule. The rule is whenever I’m terrified of something, it means I need to do it. I really, in my core, do not believe in allowing fear to stop me from ever doing anything in my life. In fact, following my resistance has brought me to many great gems.
Fear is a funny thing, you know? It comes up in the most interesting of times and it can be so logical and convincing. It’s like those rumble strips or audible, alert lines before a stop sign. They screech to get your attention, forcing you to slow down for a stop. Fear is a bit like that, screeching at you to slow down and stop. Of course, before a stop sign it is for your safety and you obviously stop. When it comes to your life, fear will screech, seemingly for your safety; however, fear tends to creep in for many things that have nothing to do with your safety. Fear has a tendency to make people stop in life, stopping them from experiencing some of the most joyful, fulfilling moments.
Fear stops people from entering into relationships. It stops people from enhancing their careers. Fear stops people from traveling the world or even to enjoy a party. Fear stops people from quitting a job they hate or ending a toxic relationship. Fear will dress up in reason and convince people of a seemingly logical perspective that is quite frankly, bullshit. Fear literally runs peoples’ decision making and essentially runs their life.
So, there was a point in my life I decided that I was not going to let fear run my show. It was allowed to pop up, because of course it always will; however, it was going to call me into the challenge, every time.
This time… I was most definitely challenged.
It seemed like I made the right decision at first. We were paddling along, surrounded by magnificent green jungle trees and plants. The nature along the Nile banks held colourful flowers and plants I have never seen. We were even greeted by monkeys, the singing of exotic birds, and visits from other interesting furry friends. It was beautiful!
Then suddenly the speed of the boat began to pick up. The sounds of the water changed. The guide spoke to us, I think he was preparing us for the rapids that seemed to be getting louder. Before I had a chance to think things through, we were crashing through rapids. The guide told us when to paddle and when to pull in the paddles and hold on. We were smashing through rapids like a mixer whipping up mashed potatoes. Suddenly, just like the creamy, smooth thanksgiving dish, the water went smooth.
The people on our boat cheered and high-fived the paddles.
My heart was in my throat, beating like an unbalanced washing machine. My knuckles were white from clutching my paddle. I was in shivers, which I would have argued was the cold water, but truthfully, I was terrified.
The guide smiled down at me. I half smiled back, I’m sure with wide eyes and a pale face, but with courage, nonetheless.
I began to second guess my choice to jump in the boat, but of course, I didn’t have time to ponder. The water was speeding up again and the ruckus of water crashing did not sound far.
We pounded through the rapids. The guide shouted to us to hold on. We smashed hard and that was it. The boat flipped over and we were all out. My grip on the boat was a grip, holding on for dear life. We were guided to hold onto the boat if it flipped over, but unfortunately I got stuck under the boat. I was being banged by the boat and the rapids, finding myself being slammed under water. Eventually we got through the rapids, our boat flipped back over, and everyone returned inside it.
Everyone cheered and laughed, clapped and went along being their cheery selves. I smiled that I still had my life, but I’m certain I looked like a wet cat that survived being drowned in a cold bath.
Being stuck under the boat and slammed around did not feel safe to me. I decided next time the boat flipped that I was letting go. It wasn’t long before I had an opportunity to test my new plan.
Crashing through rapids we were called to paddle hard and then drop down and hold on. We smashed into water, seemingly coming from every direction. The boat went up and I was certain it was going to flip again.
I let go.
Suddenly I was under water. It was silent. I could no longer hear the water pounding above me. It was as though time stopped. I knew I would have to surface back up eventually. Eventually didn’t seem to come. I wish I could have screamed, yet I couldn’t make a sound. I couldn’t even hear a sound. Everything was shockingly quiet under the rapids that I knew existed above me.
Suddenly my life began to flash before me like an old movie film. I thought about the time I was seven at a water park in Florida. I went down a slide with my mom. At the bottom of the slide the water bubbled into strong waves, like mini rapids you could say. I was stuck under water then as well. I remember waving my hands around and my mom grabbed my hand and pulled me up.
I thought about that moment and concluded that was likely why I was scared of water in the first place.
I thought about my mom. I wondered if I put my hand up in this Nile River, would she find me? She wasn’t here this time to save my life.
This was it. I was going to die facing my greatest fear. That’s an honourable way to go, isn’t it?
Suddenly I popped up to the top of the water. I gasped desperately and quickly smashed into rapids that took me back under.
I really didn’t think I was going to survive this one. Yet, I heard a voice, a calm and soothing voice talking to me. I remember it saying to relax. It reminded me to put my feet first towards the rapids, as they instructed us before the adventure. It gently told me to relax and stay calm.
I did my best to listen. I turned my body so my feet were facing down river, and I tried to calm my body.
I surfaced to the top and floated along the last of the rapids and down the river. Gasping for God’s gracious air, I looked around for our boat or for anyone from the boat. Nothing. Attempting to stay calm and continuing along, I finally saw someone on a kayak paddling towards me. I waved desperately. He smiled. I started to panic now that I knew I could!
He reached out his paddle to me and pulled me towards his kayak. I held on as he took me to the side of the river to meet my guide and boat. They pulled me back up. As it turned out, the boat never flipped over. I took on the rapids solo.
I looked back to where I came from. I had no idea how I survived it.
The group of rapids that took me under was called Big Brother. Big was an understatement. It was massive. It was also a massive lesson.
It was as though the Nile River cleansed me of my fear. Yes, I decided to face it head on, but it was more than that. I developed a new understanding. It wasn’t about just facing a fear. It was about staying calm and relaxed, even at the cusp of death. It was about trust, letting go, and surrendering. If I fought the water, tried to swim, or panicked, it’s certain I would have drown.
The truth is, I survived that day because of that voice. The voice I heard that reminded me to relax, put my feet first, and to stay calm. I don’t know what that voice was. Maybe it was my Higher Self, or Guardian Angel, so to speak. It wasn’t my thoughts. It didn’t come from me. It was gentle, clear and very soothing. It was that voice I needed to trust. Listening to it saved my life.
This experience was long before I ever found the Mystery School. After studying in the school for some time I took the Mer Magick class. It was a very profound and healing experience for me to connect with water in a new way and with the Mer. During one of the meditations in that class, it was communicated to me that the Mer have always been around me in the water. It was the water elementals and Mer that saved my life as a child, helping me to reach out of the water so my mom could pull me up. Among other experiences, the Mer and water elementals were also with me in the Nile.
Maybe it’s out there to believe that mermaids have kept an eye on me. Maybe not. I think it’s out there not to believe it. What I know for sure was some supernatural source saved me. A voice came from somewhere and it wasn’t me. In short, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters and became one of the greatest lessons in it all is the fact that I was not alone. Something beyond me was taking care of me.
I share this because it wraps in with fear. When we live life with an awareness of other beings supporting us and our journey, why fear anything? When you work with Angels and dragons and elemental beings, what is there to fear? When you know who you are and you have established a true connection to God, to the universe, and to nature, why fear anything at all?
So many people live in fear, make major decisions from fear, and stop themselves from living their fullest life because of fear.
Of course those same people will have logical explanations and be surrounded by others who justify those explanations. Is it really logical to believe there is nothing and no one supporting us on this crazy journey called life? To me that’s just ignorance. We are not educated to explore these other realms, yet now is the time to be open to it.
We all have that inner voice, by the way. It wasn’t some stroke of luck. Many of us hear that voice as well, or get that guidance in some way. The key, I’ll tell you, is LISTENING to that guidance.
Building that relationship with that internal guidance has brought me through many adventures, some challenging and many exhilarating. I was terrified on that rafting trip down the Nile. I was also thrilled and had a blast. I finished that trip, sat at the edge of the river with a cold drink and sandwich, feeling like I conquered the world. On some level I did. Whenever we face a fear and push through, we break through patterns, belief systems, programming, and limitations held on us. Pushing through fear is a huge accomplishment, no matter what level of fear it is.
The question is, what is holding you back?
Go on that trip. Ask the person out. Quit the job. Move out. Take the class. Jump out of the plane. Go to the party. Laugh out loud. Do what you love.
Live. Your. Fullest. Life.
Face your fear.
And listen to your own inner guidance.