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Swimming Lessons.

November 6th, 2012 1 comment
Galapagos

Learning.

Hello, Creative Beasts! How have you been? I’m thinking about you, and wishing wonderful things for you all. Today is a big day for us, here in America, as citizens make there ways to the polls to cast their votes to determine who will serve as the president of our nation for the next four years. There is excitement in the air, and also, a good deal of tension, to say the least. But you know what? It’s okay.

Above all else, what I hope that people will remember and hold in their hearts at this time, is that no matter what happens, there is a bigger picture. As human beings at the end of the day, we are all still simply human–whether we are democrats or republicans, Christian or Buddhist or Jewish or Muslim, male or female, gay or straight–we are all humans, living together on this planet we call “Earth.” And when all is said and done, our needs and desires are all pretty similar. We all have our very basic needs of survival, and beyond that, I think it’s very simple: we all hope to experience love and joy at some level.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve thought a great deal about things like fear and anxiety, failure, unrest, anger and conflict–and then conversely–peace, love, joy, harmony, progress, faith–and what it means to be enlightened.
As my faith in greatness has grown, I’ve learned that our fears are mostly unnecessary. That said, I still fall prey to fear on occasion. Yesterday, for example, I felt some anxiety about the upcoming election. It felt like I had a pit in my stomach, a tightness in my chest, and at times, I felt short of breath. I had to work through this. Some of it, I talked through with friends, and at other times, I just dealt with it quietly on my own. Today, I feel much better.
Struggles and Challenges
We all know people who are battling something, and at times in our lives, perhaps we are the ones who are fighting and struggling. To these people, I want to express how much I love you–and care. And I’ll just come right out and say that I know that this might sound like a crock of shit. It’s not. Here’s the thing:  Let’s look for a moment at the various struggles people face–for example; maybe it’s a fear that’s holding you back in your career, or perhaps a relationship with another person, or an unhealthy desire. You may see it as a problem, but it just might be your gift. It most likely means that you care about something very deeply–and that means that you have a soul. So while you might sometimes feel like you’re being eaten alive… take a deep breath. This is a good thing!
The Back Float
I believe I was six years old when I took my first swimming class. We lived in Seattle. I will never forget my instructor, Nancy. I couldn’t pick her out of a crowd, now, but I do remember she had long, brown hair, freckles, and was pretty in a fresh-faced, earthy kind of way. She looked like a swimmer… because she was one. I liked her.
It was a sunny, summer morning in the outdoor municipal pool, and the lesson of the day was one in back floating. As little kids, when we are first learning to swim, we are often facing some exciting moments. We take huge gulps of air, and shut our eyes tightly before we plunge into the water. It’s both exhilarating and a little scary, at times–until we become more familiar and comfortable with what we’re doing. Back floating was a very new experience, and that day, I think I was more scared than I was excited about it. I had to put my trust in Nancy, and truthfully, I was only semi-comfortable with that idea–at that moment.
“Okay, Trish. I need you to lean back, and I’m going to hold you up at first,” Nancy said.
I tried doing what she told me to do, but for some reason, I struggled. Leaning into the water, I could feel the tips of her fingers under my back as I looked up at the sky. I must have turned, when I said, “No, Nancy; I can do it, I can do it.”
I think I said it several times before she grabbed my roughly forty-pound body by the shoulders, and dunked me below the surface. She just as quickly pulled me up, blinking and sputtering; feeling a little shocked and upset. She looked me in the eyes, and said, “Now. Are you going to say ‘No,’ to me again?”
I wanted to start crying, but I tucked my lip in and held back my tears. Looking back apologetically, I said, “No.”
“Okay,” she said with a calm smile. “Let’s try it again.”
That day, after quite a few failed attempts… I learned to float on my back. I was so happy and proud of myself. I couldn’t wait to show my parents.
I wanted to share this story, because it’s an important lesson that has stuck with me all of these years. I believe we will have many moments like this in our lives–and at many different levels… if we are lucky. (And let me add that I really don’t believe in luck.;)) Cherish these lessons. You will learn to swim, back float, and much, much more. Have courage… and have faith, peace, and love, Creative Beasts. And as always, SEIZE THE PREY.
p.s. Thank you, Nancy–wherever you are–from the bottom of my heart.

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