• Reflection

    Lifechanger

    A freediver friend wrote to me during the summer to tell me how I inspired her, when she heard about that I had decided to dedicate 100% of my time to freediving for six months. She told me she was interested to hear about the thoughts behind it and asked me to write a post about the process that led me to the decision of booking this one-way ticket to Greece.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    A life style

    There are so many things that played a part in all of this. First of all, the freediving that started as a hobby has become a lifestyle to me. It is not only something I do for some hours in the evening. It is the way I think and the way I act. Simply, freediving is the way I live and want to live.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    Freediving releases tension, clears the mind and makes me relax. The first time I felt this I fell in love with freediving.

    Inner experience

    When I do freediving there is nothing else in my mind, neither the past nor the future, I am here and now. When I’m not freediving, I tend to plan too much, and I tend to have too many things in my head already set. This hinders me from living the very moment. When freediving I am where I am, in time and space as well as in my thoughts. Freediving to me is a form of meditation. It releases tension, clears the mind and makes me relax. The sensation of freediving must be experienced, to be understood. These are reasons why I want to do my training and want to come back again and again, the immediate rewards of awareness. The first time I felt this, was the first time I fell in love with freediving.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    External achievements

    Since going to the pool doing freediving made me relax I started prioritizing freediving as much as I could. I started freediving the autumn of 2016 as another form of training. I had spent many years working out at the gym and running in the forest and wanted to try something different. I tried competitive freediving, I really liked it and I was quite good at it, even as a beginner. During the winter and spring of 2017 my training became more serious. I spent a lot of time in the pool together with my amazing buddy Valle, who always believed in my capacity. In the summer of 2017 I joined my first Swedish Championship and after that, several more national and international competitions with great results. My progress was good, and the results improved. In the AIDA Word championship of pool freediving I broke the Swedish national record in DYN with 210 meters. The competitive freediving that I saw as something temporary was not temporary anymore.

    I tried to convince myself that the next competition would be the last. Evidently, this was not the way things went. My passion only grew.

    After my 210 meter DYN-dive together with Valle in Belgrade, 2018. Photo by: Anna Bergengren.
    Not temporary

    During spring 2019 I realized that this thought of freediving being temporary was a lie both to myself and to my loved ones. The mix of the inner sensations and the external achievements really caught me. For a long time, I tried to convince myself that the next competition would be the last. Evidently, this was not the way things went. My passion only grew. Sponsors showed their interest in cooperating with me. During this spring (2019) I realized that I wanted to do deep freediving more seriously and I had a one-of-a-kind opportunity to train and compete together with Michel, an outstanding freediver with a lot of experience and knowledge. I could not close my eyes to this opportunity, this call, and things happened very fast. The decision was not simple, but I never doubted it was right one. I had to try this. To live freediving 100%.

    The inner experience and the external achievements work like wood on a fire and still, there is a lot of wood to keep the fire burning.

    There is more

    In this simplified, and very short, explanation there are so many details not being told. I have not mentioned the importance of the understanding and the acceptance given from the people around me. The actions of people that I know and don’t know. The belief from people who see my capacity. The uplifting words and the invitations to see new worlds. I choose to mention the two biggest factors, which are the inner experience and the external achievements. They both work like wood on a fire and still, there is a lot of wood to keep the fire burning. The fire is my passion. My insatiable passion for freediving.

    Photo by: Michel Filnis

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-08-16
    West Messinia, Greece

  • Reflection

    Balance life

    The whole body strives for balance every second, every day, throughout life. This applies from the smallest elements to the balance as you explore a new path or even yourself. If you get out of balance, a change may be required to not fall. Maybe the change is fighting or to let go of the challenge at the moment to come back stronger and succeed.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    A faltering exercise

    Imagine that you stand straight on one leg with your head up and your hands down. Maybe it is something you are used to and do not see as a challenge. Most likely it was not as easy the first time you tried but you have learned how keep the balance. You may not even need to focus or work very much with your muscles to be able to stand still in this upright position. Probably you can easily catch a ball or simply pour a glass of water from a jug while in this position. You have simply learned how to keep the balance in that particular exercise. Hence as soon as you start stretching any arm or moving the one leg you have in the air, you need to start straining. When you move your leg, you need to balance the weight of it with another part of your body. You need to focus, and your muscles need to be more active. You must be present in your thoughts to not lose balance and fall. A new exercise requires focus and more strength. It requires presence and responsiveness.

    Imagine the same exercise but now you stretch both hands to the front and one of your legs straight backwards. Do this with one foot on the ground and stretch until cannot stretch anymore. Be as long as you can in an horizontal position. The more you stretch, the greater is the risk of losing balance. In this position, if something affects you, even though it normally is simple to deal with you might lose the balance. Something as simple as catching a ball or pour a glass of water from a jug might be hard to deal with this time. The farther from the midpoint and the original balance you move, the less distaction k s needed to get out balance. The more you stretch the easier to fall. It requires focus and more strength to cope with the same strain compared to when you stood straight up in the exercise you were used to.

    What do I want to say?

    It is stressful to balance out there, therefore sometimes you need to calm down and not constantly expose yourself to new challenges and impressions. I feel that life is working this way always. Exposing yourself to the extreme makes the presence extra important to maintain the balance. In the extreme, the consequences of losing the balance might also be bigger and create more pain. To back a little bit to start again can be a good option. To start with something small. Sometimes you need to curl up into a small ball and not demand so much of yourself. To give yourself time to recover, releasing the need for control and just be. Give space to reflect, explore and find the strength. Perhaps the big impressions and progress come when doing the least effort. Maybe that is more than enough? To abstain the challenges even though they are tempting is a challenge itself. Dare to relax, to find yourself also in the simple things. Grow slowly until you are ready again to stretch out your wings.

    Sometimes you need to curl up into a small ball and not demand so much of yourself.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    Create a foundation

    The foundation is crucial. Find a plateau. Find a stability in what is new and enter the new challenges when you have found the balance. If the foundation is not stable, you can probably do something fantastic but probably not reach the most extraordinary achievements and neither anything in the long-term. Take your time and be patient. Create a sustainable structure where you are strong in yourself. Grow. Be small and grow again. Learn how to find the balance through the experience. Be present and perceptive. Be aware. Keep the concentration and control for a while and then let go. Everyone must find their own stability and get to know what conditions are best for themselves and grow from there. Build your own foundation. Find your balance and fly.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-08-08
    West Messinia, Greece

  • Reflection

    Addicted to the blue

    Can an interest or a hobby be addictive? I find freediving being addictive to me in many ways. Maybe it has to do with what happens inside. The way it opens doors and presents new worlds.

    Photo by: Michel Filnis
    Stay

    Freediving truly is a drug. It is a drug and it is addictive. From the inner experience to the external achievements, freediving is addictive and it doesn’t let go. It is like the depths of the ocean. The deeper you go, the more the laws of nature want you to stay.

    Unfolded heart

    Freediving opens your eyes and unfolds your heart. It teaches you of when to hold on and when to let go. It invites you to experience life from new perspectives and new dimensions. The hairline limit between dreaming and being awake is faded out when entering the world of total relaxation and awareness.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    “…See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
    And no one knows, how far it goes
    If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
    One day I’ll know, how far I’ll go…”


    Lifechanger

    Freediving, truly, is a drug at least to me, it is an addictive drug. The 1st of July, one month ago, I did let go. I let go of my family, my home, my job, my country to do this. I let go of all this, because freediving tells me to go on. There is more to see, more to explore with all the senses.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    I have a friend, who asked me to write a post about how I came to this decision. There are many factors. Soon I will publish a post explaining some parts, that made me come to this decision.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-07-30
    Athens, Greece

  • Reflection

    The shape of deep freediving

    From the few sessions of deep freediving I have had, I have realized that deep freediving and pool freediving are not the same. What they have in common is the water, the one breath and the divine experiences. The experiences are divine in different ways. Awareness and patience are the keys to find the shape of deep freediving.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    Let go with awareness

    If pool freediving is about holding on, deep freediving is about letting go. Letting go of your tension, letting go of your fears, letting go of yourself. It is about surrendering to the powers of the ocean and welcome them with a loving heart. This must be done with awareness, self-knowledge and respect by knowing and feeling every inch of your body. Every second and every meter you must stay in contact with your whole body, feel the flow of sensations, during your dive.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis

    Let go of your fears and surrender with love in your heart.

    Photo by: Michel Filinis
    Love & Respect

    Let go of your fears and surrender with love in your heart. Trust your abilities, relax and listen. Do this with true love, appreciation and respect to yourself and the ocean will treat you the same way. Never try to tame the ocean. If you fight it, it will fight you back.

    When you are ready to be reshaped the ocean will help you to do so.

    Let the ocean shape you

    When you are ready to be reshaped the ocean will help you to do so. Welcome the embrace from the ocean in all dimensions all over your body, mind and spirit. Be a natural part of the positive vibrating flow that moves you on your path. Let the ocean shape you slowly in the way it transforms a sharp piece of broken glass into a precious gem.
    Be aware and be patient. Slowly you will take the shape of deep freediving.

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-07-15
    West Messinia, Greece

  • Reflection

    Prioritize yourself

    The following text is inspired by a conversation with a friend. My friend had found herself never prioritizing her own needs. She always prioritized work, family and friends before herself. She said “…I just want to feel good. I just want to have the strength to live…” This text is summarizing some of my thoughts regarding this issue. I hope it can help others in similar situations.

    Endless comparison

    In this world we live in it is very easy to compare your own life with the life of others. You can compare with almost 8 billion people on this earth and there will always be someone who is in a situation more extreme than yours. Someone will be more successful, more kind or going through bigger trauma than you. Better or worse, this does not mean that your abilities are not amazing, or that who you are is not enough, or that your emotions are not real.

    Photo: Michel Filinis

    When did money become more important than our own existence?

    Social status and profit?

    I have met so many people who suffer because they see this and prioritize other things but themselves. Very often they prioritize social status, projects and profit over their mental and physical wellbeing and health. They simply value popularity, progress and money higher than their own existence. When did money become more important than our own existence?

    What do you want?

    Many people also prioritize others before themselves which is natural, and a good thing if they are also being able to care for themselves. For the moment it might be easier to focus on the need of others and put their own needs aside, instead of trying to listen and understand their own emotions.

    Listen to your inside. What do you need?

    Stop comparing with the rest of the world and stop being ashamed of your own needs. To prioritize and be kind to yourself is not equal to harming and being rude to others. Listen to your inside. What do you want? What do you need? Stay in contact with your spirit and your body. You are the main character in your own life and you are the one responsible for it. Prioritize yourself and your wellbeing. Accept what you are and who you are. Accept yourself without comparison.

    Photo: Michel Filinis
    An art

    It is an art to prioritize yourself, especially when it is so easy to compare with others and be judged by the others through the eyes of expectations from society. Prioritizing yourself is considered selfish and is not always associated with something positive. It is not the most simple and best solution for everyone around you in all situations, but it is the best solution in the long run for everyone. After prioritizing yourself and your wellbeing it is easier to help others fully.

    You are enough

    Be aware of who you are and what your needs are. Everyone has different issues to work with and different needs. The first step is to close your eyes, breathe, and listen to yourself, your inner self. Remember, you are good enough just as you are, without any performance.
    Get to know yourself. Be patient.

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-07-09
    Athens, Greece

  • Reflection

    Harmonious or obsessive passion?

    Recently I read a text that one of my best friends sent to me. The text is about passion and the two different kinds of it. In the text they call it harmonious passion and obsessive passion. It made me stop and think.

    Expectations from yourself and people around can easily turn the harmonious passion to something obsessive and destructive.

    From within

    I believe that through a true passion that comes from within one can achieve extraordinary and amazing things. At the same time there is a risk that the passion develops to an obsessive passion with a greed for the best performances and results. An innocent passion from the heart can easily develop to an obsession, especially when the honest passion leads to the great results by nature. This can be confusing, to know where the limit is. To understand the signs. The limit between love and obsession. Expectations from yourself and people around you can easily turn the harmonious passion to something destructive.

    Remember the origin

    I believe this is common in many sports and especially within freediving. I have met and heard about athletes who totally lost their passion for freediving because they focused to hard on the results. I have met several athletes who are unkind to themselves. They are unkind since they focus on freediving through external expectations in a result oriented perspective. These athletes have lost their passion through their passion and their extraordinary capacity that comes with it. It is important to always remember why you started. Always remind yourself of the origin. Always have fun.

    Passion have to come from within, not from the obsession of external results.

    Photo: Michel Filinis
    Way of thinking

    I always say, that to achieve good results focus must be on the process and not the result itself. With that way of thinking there is nothing called failure, only lesson if you prefer to put it that way. With the wanted performance deep in your mind the way of living to achieve what you want will come naturally. Passion have to come from within, not from the obsession of external results.

    Zero points, valuable experience

    In the last competition I joined, my way of thinking was out of balance. I lost the connection to the love for my passion and I focused on a certain result. In my dive I was disconnected to my “diving mode” since my mind was focused on the result. When in “diving mode” my mind and whole body is fully connected in a deeper consciousness. The communication with the whole body tells me when to end my dive at the right time. This, to be able to do my surface protocol with control so that the judges can show me a white card without doubts. This time, I was disconnected. My mind was disconnected from my body. Communication didn’t work. I blocked the communication with an obsession for a long dive. A too long dive. I wanted the result so bad that in the end, the dive resulted in zero points. On the other hand, the dive gave me a thousand points in experience and an important lesson. This performance gave me so many, extremely valuable knowledge. Better to learn the lesson now than later, since I am preparing myself for a season of new disciplines. Deep diving season approaches and all that comes with it.

    Live & achieve

    Let the achievements be the result on your way of living your passion in a harmonious way. Never let your passion break you down. If you accept the fact that great results will come with the process, progress will come, and there is nothing called failure. Follow the journey, welcome and embrace all results.

    Photo: Michel Filinis

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-06-15
    Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Reflection

    Closer to life

    When taking time to just be, the amazing world will expose everything in this extraordinary existence of life and all parts in it. From the biggest forests, mountains and oceans to the smallest elements of us there is vibrating life clamoring for attention.

    Listen

    The clamoring is obvious when taking the time to use and listen to all senses. When taking time to listen, see, smell, taste and feel, the ability to perceive even the smallest movement in this life will develop. The ability will develop and proliferate. New unexpected thoughts and sensations will come to your mind and body.

    Movements of life

    One day I saw a pigeon sitting on the bannister of the balcony with the back towards me. The pigeon was sitting there so still and quiet and I approached slowly it to come closer and capture the moment. When standing there one meter from this other being I realized I was so close I could see the small movements of its body. I could see the pigeon taking its breaths. The soft feathers on its back were moving away and towards each other in a repetitive way. I was so close I could see the essential movements of life in the body of this other living being. The small but so important movements of life.

    Through breathing

    To be able to come close enough to see, hear or even feel someone breathe is something special. There is so much someone’s breath can tell if it’s fast or slow, regular or irregular, shallow or deep or no breath at all. Breathing connects us. It connects all living beings. We breathe because we live, we live because we breathe. Through breath we bring life to others and they bring life to us.

    From the inside

    To see these movements and having time to reflect about something as basic as breathing, I feel that I come closer to life. I experience life with my inside, through my senses. I beleive an extreme focus on the outside inhibits our ability to come closer to life. The focus on the outside makes us sick and it consumes us slowly until we don’t know who we are. We don’t know who we are except from our apparition as a reflection in the mirror. Come closer to life and live. Experience your life with your inside. With your heart. Through all of your senses.

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-05-04
    Tranås, Sweden

  • Reflection

    Listen & Live

    Everywhere nature is so strikingly beautiful, full of life and welcoming love. There are innumerable places to acquaint, bays to enjoy, rocks to climb and depths to transcend.

    The inner voice

    The waters of Greece invite you to go deep, develop and explore not only the world around you but also your inner self. The ability to move in three dimensions of space arouses the feeling of being in another world. Less physical gravity somehow releases the logical thinking mind and the dampen isolating sounds invite you to come closer and listen to the voice inside you as the water embraces your whole body. Liberty is the word. Liberty is the freedom of letting go and release your self physically and mentally.

    Photo: Michel Filinis
    Embrace life

    Walking around the ruins of ancient Greece awakens my mind and reminds me that the time on earth is precious. The time as a human on earth is precious and it is our obligation to welcome and embrace what is given to us. We have to listen and recieve what the Universe offers us. Listen to our inner voice and where it wants to lead us. Every living being has a gift. Every human has a gift that it is their own to possess. The gift is to be. It is so simple but still so complicated. We are so busy doing what we think we ought to to do in life that we completeley forget about being. We are so in to fullfill the obligations at work and the expectations from society that we translate this to demands that we lay on our selves in our lives. It is an art to be satisfied without achieving or analysing. It is a rare gift and it needs training. Training to be able to feel the presence of the vibrating life on earth and recieve the caresses from the Universe.

    Photo: Michel Filinis
    Clarity

    When I listen to my inner voice I start experiencing life through a different perspecitve, in an other level. All scents become so distinct so as the different tastes that touch my tounge. The colors appear more clear and luminous. The vibrations of the sounds are more determined as they penetrate the air. The structures and shapes invite me to touch and feel with my whole body. To touch and feel life. All of this stimulates and energises the creative mind. The urge to create is a fact. The physical and mental sensations amaze me over and over again and as I listen I fall in love with life again and again.

    Photo: Michel Filinis

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-04-26
    Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Reflection

    Mindfulness is the key

    There are many important components to become a good freediver. Training set up and diet are crucial. But for me the mindset is everything. In my dives I use mindfulness as natural way to meet the dives.

    Physically we need to be totally relaxed, mentally we have to be ready. Ready to push ourselves until the body screams for a new breath… We have to welcome this with a calm and focused mind.

    All athletes has their own secrets

    Most of the time while spending time with freedivers I’m struck by the friendly atmosphere, it doesn’t matter if it’s training, a mini comp, the Swedish Championship or even the World Championship. Although we’re rivals and compete against each other, it is freediving we have in common. I meet people with a passion for freediving and some who even has freediving as a lifestyle, our conversations and discussions are often about training, diets or mindset. It is so exciting that every athlete has their own set up and thoughts behind their achievements. In one way it feels like we share a common secret. The secret of how to stretch, what some people would call, ” the boundaries for what is possible”.

    This photo is from a STA training with my apnea club Juniordykarna. I heard someone quite new to freediving reached 5 minutes.
    A calm & focused mind

    Every athlete also has their own secret. The secret of how they’ve reached this level and how they are able to do these extraordinary things. Some people choose to share the secret and some people don’t. In my opinion to be a master of relaxation, concentration and focus is crucial within freediving. Physically we need to be totally relaxed, mentally we have to be ready. Ready to push ourselves until the body screams for a new breath. The need for a breath manifests itself through contractions in the body, the body is trying to take this breath, but we know we can do more. We have to welcome this with a calm and focused mind.

    A calm and focused mind. The bikini is from the Ocean Positive collection from Fourth Element.
    Precense & Distance

    First I need the mental stability. With a stable mind I can get everything out of my physical capacity. The mental and physical strength is so closely interconnected to me and I feel that it becomes extra clear through my experinces through freediving. I use mindfulness in my dives. Mindfulness is about conscious presence, being here and now without valuing or analyzing. In the dive I have to be fully aware of what is going on with my body and I have to accept what happens. With that I can be aware of my actions with a kind of a mental distance. This mental distance makes me experience a physical distance as well. I observe what happens. I observe but I don’t value the signals unless they are crucial to my consciousness. I’ve now reached a level in my development when this way of meeting the dives with mindfulness is so natural to me that I do dives without feeling any discomfort at all. I just enjoy the dives, enjoy being.

    While doing Static I prefer being cold. Here I wear a rashguard from Fourth Elements Ocean Positive collection.

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-04-09
    Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Tips & Excercises

    Tip – Three steps how to Accept & Move on

    This post gives you a tip of how-to deal with situations or events that you experience difficult or heavy, accept them and move on.

    Photo: Daan Verhoeven
    The three steps

    1. Welcome what happens
    What has already happened you cannot change. You cannot reverse time. All you have to do is embrace the moment.

    2. Focus right
    Ask the right questions to yourself. There are two possible ways to go:
    – Is it within your control? => Make a change!
    – Is it out of your control? => Let it go!

    3. Put the situation in the right perspective
    Zoom out in time and space and see it all in the context as part of life and universe itself. Usually the issue it is quite small and the consequences are irrelevant in the bigger context.

    Reflections

    Through these three steps it is so much easier to handle situations without paying too many unecessary thoughts. The risk of enlarging the issues to something so much greater than it really is is reducing. It feels more natural to accept and move on. This mindset is connected to a philosophical orientation, stoicism. To know how I think in some of my own situations you can read this post Accept, Focus & Move on .

    Be kind to your self, be kind to others.

    Nicole Edensbo, 2019-03-11
    Gothenburg, Sweden