Lessons From a Mermaid

I want to tell you a story about anxiety and the power of self-love…

This October I spent a glorious week in and around the beautiful city of Rome, I was there for my initiation as a Priestess of the Sea, which would mark the end of my second of three years training as a Priestess of Aphrodite with the Goddess Temple.

Now despite being a huge lover of the sea, I tend to prefer to just lay next to it, listening to the calming wave sounds. I’m not what you might call a strong swimmer, I can doggy paddle a length or two of the pool, but I’m not the bravest when it comes to deep water. Okay, this may be an understatement. I am compelled to admit that I swim right next to the side even in a swimming pool, and have to stop and recover if my face gets splashed…

So, when I was preparing to pack for Rome, and our wonderful teacher, Maya, said:

‘Bring a mermaid tail’

I had some trepidation.

I looked up mermaid tails online, and all the websites said:

Step one: Be a strong swimmer.

Hmmm. Reader, I was anxious about this whole scenario.

To give you a little background, I struggled with anxiety my whole life. As a child I was shy and nervous, worried about heights, deep water, social situations, speaking in public… you get the idea. I then reached my adult life absolutely fed up with this state of affairs, and I spent years trying to berate and shame myself out of being so wimpy.

I tried forcing myself to be brave. I spoke to myself sternly. I learnt to scuba dive (all fun and games until they make you take your mask off underwater and you’re sure you’re drowning) to push against my fear of water. I did Go-Ape and climbed Mount Snowden to push against my fear of heights. I gave public talks despite the nervous pre-talk nausea. And I succeeded to some extent, I could make myself do the things I was scared of… but the fear was still there.

And then about a year ago, I started training in the vital and integrated tantric approach (VITA) to love, sex and relationship coaching. And these practices changed my life.

Everybody talks about having self-love, but no-one teaches you how to do it. Now I was learning how to truly nurture myself, how to speak to myself as a friend instead of a critic, how to take that scared inner child and say ‘it’s okay little one, I’ve always got you. You don’t have to do it. I’ll do it for you‘.

And instead of repressing the fear, instead of forcing myself and hating myself for my anxiety, I learned to hold myself in love. And I found a deep inner confidence that I never knew was possible, a confidence that acknowledged and then somehow melted the fear. And best of all, I started coaching other women to be able do the same.

So, back to the mermaid tail scenario…

Was I a little concerned about drowning? Yes I was. But I know now how to hold myself in deep self-love and acceptance, so I did this, and I got in the sea… only to find that swimming in a mermaid tail is seriously the most fun ever.

And the message from the mermaid was,

‘Let it be easy, let it be fun, playful and joyful’

And it turns out, learning to love yourself deeply doesn’t just make fear go away, it opens up space for joy, for pleasure, for laughter, for ease.

So many of us are brought up to be our own worst enemy, criticising and beating ourselves up over every imagined failing. Somehow we think if we are not hard on ourselves then we’ll start to slack, to fall short of some perfect standard that must be (but can never be) attained. But the best kept secret of all is that when you learn to be kind to yourself, you’ll find you’re capable of more than you ever thought, and it will be joyful

Later on the same trip, we came across this statue of a double-tailed mermaid, I fell in love with her grounded power, her ownership of her body and her presence. And so, the second lesson from a mermaid was:

Sit in your centre, and feel your own power

The double-tailed mermaid

If you’d like to know how to truly learn to love yourself, to sit in your own power and make space in your life for joy, I have some 1:1 coaching spaces available. Email me at: Amelie@earthspirals.com and let’s chat!

If you’re interested in training as a Priestess of Aphrodite, my teacher’s website is here

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