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Finding Bliss IN THE OCEAN SHARNI QUINN


“I am in complete bliss when I feel my body move in water, when the lines between me and the sea become blurred, gravity disappears and I feel myself held by the ocean.”


Tese are words from self-confessed, na- ture-loving ocean fanatic, Hanli Prinsloo.


Hanli is an eleven-time South African freediving record holder,


inspirational


speaker, writer, ocean adventurer and the founder of the I Am Water Trust. She is pas- sionate about the ocean, conservation and sharing the ocean’s beauty with people who would not normally have access to the un- derwater wilderness.


She envisages having the ocean loved and protected on a greater scale than it is today - dreaming of freedom and preservation for ocean creatures and for more people to ex- perience the wilderness that makes up the blue hue of our small planet.


Hanli was instantly drawn to freediving. As an eager swimmer and enthusiastic scuba diver she fell in love with the sport and de- scribes herself as initially being “driven by a sense of curiosity about what the human body can accomplish underwater.”


However, Hanli, as any passionate being liv- ing their life purpose, has found it challeng- ing to stay on her path and follow her bliss. “It took me years to make my dream my life and livelihood, I was close to giving up many times.” Hanli says that at one point, “I was exhausted and burnt out – working so hard but having nothing to show for it. I began ques- tioning what I was doing and kept thinking: what about me? What am I getting out of this? Is any of this worthwhile?” Her obstacles have been making ends meet and creating a sustainable day-to-day life doing what she knows to be her purpose.


Our challenges in life are huge lessons to help us learn and grow. As Hanli states, “Sometimes we find ourselves drifting from our path and need a little guidance: something that pulls us back towards ourselves and reminds us of our purpose on this planet.”


At a time in her life when she found herself drifting from the pastime that she loved so much and losing her inspiration and bliss, she was reminded to be present and stay fo- cused through an amazing encounter with one of the most majestic creatures in the ocean. A baby Southern Right whale paid her a visit and was resting under her surf-


80 INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN MAGAZINE


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