Further Reading

One of the aims of sharing Dive Down is to signpost other deep sea divers to some of the beautiful, helpful and inspiring people and organisations out there. The seals appear in the story at the point that Sam the illustrator started to find help in books and online.


There is a short list of some of resources that inspired the story in the back of Dive Down.  They are below with links, along with ideas and suggestions that other people have found on their journeys.

Do let us know if you have any recommendations.

Some favourites from Sam Draws Things

When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times by Pema Chödrön
I love this book so much.  It was a big help during the time when I was creating Dive Down.  A book of advice and meditations based on Buddhist principles.  Not just for tough times, it helps redefine hope and happiness and at any point in your life.

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Reading this was part of me leaving my job to become an illustrator full time.  A beautiful book that analyses fairy stories and folk tales to help women reconnect with their wild, creative, inner selves.

Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson
Beautiful uplifting poetry and photos inspired by love and life.  Tyler Knott also shares his gorgeous words and images on social sites and is well worth a follow for daily inspiration.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance  by Robert Pirsig
I read this a few years ago, and it’s brilliant.  An intense, beautiful and philosophical book that on one level is about a man taking his son on a road trip on a motorbike, with lots of other levels analysing how we think about the world, and what it means to be ‘sane.’

Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book about Depression by Gwyneth Lewis
Written for people in the midst of depression, Lewis shares information and ideas in small chunks to help you solve the mystery of your emotions.  I read this when I was at university and found it really helpful.

The Prophet by Kahill Gilbran
Wise and poetic words on pretty much every topic you need in life.  You can find it online here.

The Ram Dass Love Serve Remember Foundation
One of my favourites – a website, app and Facebook page sharing daily words of wisdom, lectures and meditations from the amazing Ram Dass.

A UK-based charity offering support for anyone struggling with mental health issues, including links to local services.

Find a Counsellor
A UK based website helping match you to therapists and counsellors in your area.

To Write Love on Her Arms
A US based charity offering support and inspiration for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide.  I have one of their Re-blog t shirts and wear it a lot to feel inspired.  It says:

“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living, breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”

The Wild Woman Sisterhood
Inspirational Facebook page for embracing the wild woman, with beautiful quotes and images shared daily.

Mind Body Green
Physical and mental health tips, spirituality, relationship advice and all sorts of other interesting things.

Elephant Journal
Great articles on mindfulness, relationships, health and family.

Sam’s Garden
An inspirational, uplifting Tumblr blog from Samsaran.

5 Rhythms Dance
A therapeutic approach to dance as a moving form of meditation, founded by Gabrielle Roth.  I pretty much hated PE and sports at school, but if there had been a 5 Rhythms class I would have loved it!  It’s really liberating, and can be quite silly – there is no right or wrong; you just let your body take over and go where the music takes you.  I thoroughly recommend trying it.  I’ve been dancing with the wonderful Southampton 5 rhythms tribe.

Charlie Lock’s Skin Care
My skin went a bit bonkers due to stress – and the wonderful Julie Raines of Charlie Lock’s helped heal it.  She helped me to understand the effect of all those stress hormones on my skin, and taught me that looking after your skin isn’t vanity; it’s self care.  They have a lovely spa just outside Winchester in the UK, and are launching a gorgeous range of organic skin products.

Seals & Selkies

I love seals.

I’ve made an Etsy list with some lovely seal arts and crafts things in here.

There are two main species of Seals found in UK waters – the Harbour or Common Seal Phoca vitulina and the Grey Seal Halichoerus grypusYou can find out more about their status and conservation here.

Blakeney Point in Norfolk is an amazing spot where you can take boat trips to see both seal species in their natural habitat.

The Selkies or SealPeople are found in Celtic mythology.  They can switch between human and seal form – often beautiful humans with large brown eyes, sometimes taking revenge on people who hurt seals.  Stories sometimes also feature a human man falling in love with a Selkie woman and stealing her seal skin so that she cannot return to the sea. You can read more in Land of the Seal People by Duncan Williamson.

Recommendations and ideas from our friends

Your Body Speaks your Mind by Deb Shapiro and Subtle Aromatherapy  by Patricia Davies
Both recommended by Sam’s lifelong wild child companion and herbalist friend.

Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis by Sigmund Freud
Recommended by a child and adolescent psychotherapist.

Carlos Castaneda
Sam’s uncle recommended the first three Don Juan books from this author from the 1970s, talking about shamanism and dreams.

The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Recommended by a few of our friends, Tolle is probably one of the biggest names writing about mindfulness and living in the moment.

Colour Yourself Calm by Tiddy Rowan
Adult colouring books are so popular at the moment.  This book is for people of all ages full of patterns and shapes to colour in as a mindfulness exercise.

Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao System and Dear Lover, Way of the Superior Man and other books by  David Deida
Recommended by a sex and intimacy coach for tuning into the spiritual side of love.

The Kindness Offensive
Facebook page with wonderful people doing magical things and sharing good news.

Smiling Mind App
Recommended by a psychiatric nurse with children and adolescents,  an app for meditation and mindfulness.

A good introduction to mindfulness with a website and app available. The App includes little 10 minute mindfulness practices with a very practical approach to meditation.

Waterlog by Richard Deakin and Waterlog Reswum on Facebook
A friend is passionate about wild swimming friend uses his time in the water as a mindfulness tool – he swims in all kinds of wonderful places, and loves this book and FB page.

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