As we face task after task each day, it’s easy to get caught up in the motor of our minds. But these freedivers are here to let us in on the art of letting go! Here’s what it looks like to be able to focus on what we can actually control in life.

Some of us look at a frozen lake and see an inky blackness that should be avoided at all costs. But there are others who look at that layer of ice and see an opportunity to explore an obscure world, both in the lake and within themselves.

After cutting a hole into the surface, these freedivers lower themselves into the darkness of the waters below, and with just one breath in their lungs, they dive; pushing their bodies and minds to blissful extremes as they float under a frozen ceiling.

Surely, there has to be a payoff to doing something this extreme. Let’s dive in with them and see what drives them to these waters, shall we?

Image: Two freedivers swimming under glowing ice

Courtesy of Last Breath Film

Into the mind of freedivers…

“It’s not a lust for death but a lust to feel alive. I try to think about what I’m doing, and for me, it’s really hard to explain. In those moments, my body takes over and the mind has to be quiet. How far do I have to push? How deep do I need to dive? We all know that point of no return, but that changes on a daily basis. Our state of mind, your physical body, it all adapts to the conditions you’re in on that day and on that dive. If the screams in your mind drown out the wisdom of your body, you can lose yourself.” —Ashley Baird, freediver.

In this breathtaking (quite literally, in this case) film from Perrin James and Last Breath Film, we get to hear from a few freedivers about the magic that happens when you swim the icy depths with nothing but a single breath. It really puts the power of our minds into perspective.

So grab yourself something warm and take a deep breath—here’s the beautiful film, Frozen Ceiling.

Perrin James is a director and underwater cinema specialist. You can see more work from him and Last Breath Film by visiting their website or Vimeo channel!

“We just have to allow ourselves to give up control over our minds and our bodies and over life itself and when we do that, we have a very rewarding experience.” — Kerry Hollowell, freediver.

Every day, we’re faced with a litany of tasks, to-do lists, expectations, and goals. And as we attempt to shape our lives to gain a bit of control, something counter intuitive can happen: the more we fight, the more we lose it.

I find myself here a lot; scrambling for control yet sinking even further, pulled by the feeling of frustration. But this film raises an important question: what would happen if we let ourselves just float? If, instead of trying to control what’s truly out of our grasp (what other people do) we focus in on what we can actually change?

For freedivers, there is a freedom in this letting go, putting themselves in a situation where all that matters is their breath and their bodies. Freediving is the ultimate teacher for putting what you can control and the importance of quieting our minds into perspective.

But that’s something we can all do!

Is there a new activity that you can take up, one outside of your daily routine that can ground you? Maybe diving and exploring the world under the ice isn’t what speaks to you, but is there something else that could give you that connection to your mind and body? That can give you both control and freedom at the same time?

Here are a few other stories from our library that may give you a little inspiration!

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How Can We All Find the Runner’s Fuel

What ignites someones desire to run 100 miles? Turns out they are running on a kind of fuel we all have access to and it's a really great recipe!

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23 minutes

Slacklining: Pushing Limits Around the Globe!

Have you heard of slacklining? It may be an extreme sport for everyone! Really! You can choose your extremes and still do amazing things while pushing the limits of possibility!

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10 minutes

The Wild Potential of Embracing Our Limitations

What if embraced our limitations? What possibilities might we discover if we just owned them and let them force us to get creative. We might actually find possibilities we would never have discovered. Take a look at how remarkable this mindset can be!

Read More

Stay open to new possibilities! You never know what you’ll find when you lose a little control.

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein

Find more activities to explore this amazing world! 

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Notes:

  1.  James, Perrin. “Frozen Ceiling.” Vimeo, 31 July 2019, vimeo.com/351220134. Accessed 17 Dec. 2019.

Sam Burns

Editor in Chief

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.