Johnnie Moore

Fear and free diving

there's more to meeting fear than our thoughts
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

beyond the narrative in our heads

Transcript of this video:

In her book, Fear Less, the psychologist Pippa Grange tells the story of a freediver, someone who is able to go to great depths in the ocean on a single breath, which requires quite a lot of, I suppose, what you might call mind control to overcome fear.

And there’s a point apparently in freediving where you swim down deep enough in the ocean that the changes in density mean that you no longer have to propel yourself downwards.

You’re actually drawn down into the depths.

Which is a pretty bizarre experience and the freediver has to manage all of his fear and anxiety around that and he explained that in those moments he enters a kind of trance state where he thinks of himself as having four states: his body

his mind, what he calls his undermined or unconscious, and finally the life force.

I found this quite a powerful way of thinking, and it’s been quite helpful to me to bring that up under moments of stress, to remind myself that there’s more going on here than just this anxious narrative in my head.

I’m having a physical experience which I might pay attention to and slightly adjust.

There’s another intelligence at work in my head which isn’t always presenting itself to consciousness that might be taking care of things in some way.

And sometimes there’s just the life force: as I sometimes discuss with friends even in those moments when we’re feeling really bleak our heart has a habit of continuing to pump and our lungs are continuing to breathe as if there is a life force that is determined to keep going whatever the narrative is that’s going on in our head

Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash

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