I’ve been holding my breath lately. It’s a trying season as a mom. I feel heartache over a relationship’s end. And, not surprisingly, simultaneously, I struggle with my writing – with my very voice. (Isn’t that always the way of it?) Other voices do not, however, seem to struggle at all.

Instead, they seem to breed, proliferate, and increase in both intensity and volume. The ones who tell me I’m crazy for ever wanting or expecting anything else, any more, anything better, any goodness, grace, or love…I know they are ridiculous, of course, and I work to silence them. But they are persistent. Always attempting to pull me under.


If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

I remember reading one time that if you were ever caught in dangerous rapids and could not get yourself to shore, the best thing to do was to take yourself completely underwater. Apparently, underneath the surface, the water is smooth and calm. And once not being tossed about, you can swim more easily to a place of safety.


I take a deep, deep breath: I’m going farther down, into the darkness. Dropping into the very things that attempt to hurt, frighten, threaten, overwhelm. Going way under the surface. Letting blessed darkness surround. Diving. Floating. Trusting the unknown. Trusting myself. And hanging out with mermaids.

This is where the Sacred Feminine abides,  where the Sacred Feminine shows up, where the Sacred Feminine resuscitates and restores. This is where I willingly, and yes, often counterintuitively descend. This is where I find what I have needed and longed for. This is where I can stop holding my breath.

For this is where I can breathe.


Maybe you can relate to this whole holding your-breath thing. Maybe you feel stuck creatively, vocationally, or relationally. And/or maybe, just maybe, like me, even in the midst of all this, you feel pulled, lured and enticed even, to the darkness; under the surface; into deep seas; where the water is warm, still, and safe; where the mermaids play.

Here’s why: You and I are not merely human. We are far, far more; able to breathe underwater. Let’s go there together. You’ll see. It’s home. I’m sure of it.

“Human?’ The girl cocked her head the other way. I caught a glimpse of pink gills under her chin. ‘My sisters told me stories of humans. They said they sometimes sing to them to lure them underwater.’ She grinned, showing off her sharp needle-teeth. ‘I’ve been practicing. Want to hear?” ~ Julie Kagawa