As we entered the New Year, I remained deflated. Confused.

As we entered the New Year, I remained deflated. Confused. And lonely, even with a house FULL.

I am a mother of 2 young boys and, often, being the family stalwart left me feeling holistically quarantined.

It was a brink January day when I went for my fist dip. As I pulled into the parking lot at Harbor Beach in York, ME, I became encircled with brilliant, bathrobed, laundry basket carrying, brave community members. I was immediately encouraged and welcomed.

Until this point, my chosen coping mechanisms were those in easy reach (food, alcohol) and I needed a wake up.

Nothing wakes you up quite like a plunge. Whether you only make it to a toe …or waist or shoulders or you fully submerge … you decision is sound, your feet grounded.

Although my first dip was brief, I found myself returning. To the beach, to the community that Amy Hopkins of the Dip Down to RISE Up community has so beautifully, safely, compassionately created. Out of cold, thin air.

I am not so lonely anymore. The sun is visiting, often. And these dippers show up. Always.

My body, mind, and spirit rest in gratitude.

If it calls you, go. Or not.

Still, WE RISE!

-Natalie P.