Big Waves and Letting Go
I love boogie boarding big time. I've been trying to get my ride on with the kids as much as possible this summer. I feel so alive when we ride side by side and I see them laughing and screaming with me. Super joy! I was working all Labor Day weekend on my website with my friend and her husband. We had our fill of screen time so my friends hubby and I decided to go to the beach while my girlfriend caught up on work. We went to a different beach than what I am used to and I remembered that the boys weren't too happy about the rocky ocean floor. They weren't kidding! Those rocks where like mini boulders shooting at my shins! So not sexy but I went in anyways.
Iboo, my friend's husband was already so much further ahead of me in the water and quite honestly the waves were intimidating me. They were so much bigger than what I was used to with my boys. Plus the fact that the ocean floor totally dropped once I went past the white wash on the beach and I could not stand whatsoever! Ugh the water was deep enough for pools of sharks and whales and things to eat me up with! Iboo was waving at me and to avoid looking like a goofball I paddled out on my boogie board to try and catch up to him. Futile attempt. He had to come and tow me out sooo much farther into the ocean, my small hands holding on to his ankle leash.
A flood of things happened. My inside voice was saying HELL NO! This is deep, it is way far out there where the wild things live and the waves are BIG and STRONG! I kept looking to the shore and back to Iboo. Do I ask him to take me back to the beach or just suck it up and keep riding out into the water? I took a deep breath and remembered what I have been telling myself: stretch and push yourself outside of your comfort zone Christy. So I did just that.
Iboo muttered something about the waves not being any bigger than what I was used to, that I needed to swim really fast to jump on one of those "little" waves and that the shore was where I'd get hurt, not out in the deeper waters. I half believed him and started to engage in the action of catching a wave.
See when I am with my boys I am guaranteed that I will be riding waves. Lots of them. I know the water, the beach, the way the waves ebb and flow and the size is manageable for me. I can stand on the ocean floor and feel sand not mini boulders. It's safe and comfortable and fun.
This new place was NOT my playground!
When I knew we were going boogie boarding in the morning I was already super stoked to know I'd ride some waves. I felt the outcome of the high and the rush before I even knew where we were going. What I learned in the water that day would serve me well.
I didn't catch one wave. Not one. And it was OK. It was actually quite satisfying.
Once I let go of the idea of catching a wave I surrendered fully into the moment of where I was: in deep water with big waves. I attempted to catch several waves but I knew my limit. I honored my courage to be that far out in new water, the fact that it was deeper water than I am used to and the fact that the waves were not kid-sized goodies.
I was a WARRIOR!
This allowed me to FEEL where I was. I felt the vastness beneath me and the board. I listened to the way the waves roared and crashed around me. I felt what it was like to be on the tip of the wave as it growled underneath me and I could see from the break of the wave, the power as it ripped into whitewash below me. I could ecstatically sense the height of where I was at in relation to it all. It was exciting and scary all at once.
I was stretching myself outside of my comfort zone and I was reminding myself the high isn't always where we think it will be. For me the high and the ecstasy was in the foreplay the ocean gave me before she pounded her waves to spill out onto the shore.
We search for highs to dull our pain. We search for the thrill of experiences and sensations so that we feel alive and euphoric. We search for the highs so we can feel like we've been successful.
Yet the joy and the ecstasy can be in the journey into that experience. When we let go of our expectations of what it should be we can allow ourselves to enjoy the ride in that moment.
I didn't catch the wave I went out there for but swam away knowing I had pushed myself just enough to feel full satisfaction in the surrender. I felt new ways of being with the ocean and she embraced me, showing me just how powerful she is and if I could just be with her, just how powerful I could be in the letting go...