We did It, Dear Guides!
Yesterday was definitely not just another typical day. I think I’m feeling a bit hung-over from the entire experience I put myself through yesterday – mentally, physically, and emotionally. But, here’s the thing, Dear One – this is the Sweet Spot of Living, of feeling alive. Turning off the auto-pilot, stretching beyond our comfort zone, breaking out of the ruts and grooves that we’ve worn by traveling the same path so often.
Before yesterday, I had two disparate beliefs. In one, I had a discomfort around water. I learned to swim in pools as a kid, but I didn’t trust that that would translate to open water. I was told stories of people who swam too far and didn’t have the strength to make it back to shore; the person who got pulled out to sea or downriver by a strong current; and, the person swimming in freshwater and got tangled in vegetation – all with dangerous, perhaps deadly consequences. My solution to my fear and discomfort around water was just to avoid it.
At the same time, I’ve seen video and have read descriptions of people kayaking shorelines and rivers, and paddling ponds and lakes at sunrise and sunset. The transcendent peace and tranquility, the connection with the land and water, the ability to observe and be a part of nature, spoke to me. No – it outright called my name!
“Dude, seriously! This is so you!” I would watch the flow of a stream or small river, just soaking in the flows and eddies, imagining what it would be to be right there, carried by this natural flow and energy.
The flowing river has been a powerful metaphor for me, for the deep practice that I’ve been doing as a life coach. And, this moment in time, this opportunity that materialized through Bean, to literally get out on, and in, the river, and the encouragement and enthusiasm I’ve received from my colleagues – based on who and how I am, and what I have to offer, and certainly not on any paddlesports skills – this was a moment for me to live my values, to choose love over fear, to dare greatly, and to risk failure in order to find freedom and success.
Yesterday, I received a lot of loving encouragement from my coaching community, when I shared what I was daring. That was new, to share that vulnerability with them, and they showered me with support. My new instructor team colleagues encouraged me, and guided me in small steps through the kayak work, and very slowly and through tiny steps onto the SUP (stand-up paddleboard) for that assessment.
I did okay with both. Sure, there’s a lot of room for improvement; a lot to learn and practice, which was the goal of the assessments.
But, since getting home last night, I’ve been thinking – damn, I’m 49, and I’m taking on these whole new activities, that are active and dynamic, challenging and different from anything I’ve ever done. Somewhere inside me, another belief has been shattered – about being too old to learn new activities like these.
Boy, does it make me feel young in mind and spirit!
There are a couple sayings from my coaching world that are really resonating with me at the moment – “You have to live it to give it” and “how we do one thing is how we do everything.”
In busting out of my ruts, exploring my boundaries, and trying, just trying something new, I’ve opened my heart even more, and increased what I have to offer.
And, here is a Prompt for today:
Please notice, I didn’t deny or set out to conquer my fears. I put myself in a situation (literally, a pool full of instructors) to test my fears in order to explore my passion.
What passion can you explore in a safe and loving environment, surrounding yourself with encouraging, nurturing leaders? What’s a turtle step to make that happen?
Feeling full this morning, Dear Guides! Buen Camino!