I recently had the chance to play in the Pacific Ocean for a few days. Wanting to improve at surfing, I signed up for a lesson and then practiced for the four days that followed. When I wasn’t getting sea water up my nose, it was great fun. I learned a few things about courage and not rushing the process. And I may have even improved at surfing a bit.
But one of my most poignant ocean memories is of floating. Floating is not my strong suit. I remember many a floating lesson (yes those were real in my family as a kid) ending with my mother’s discouragement – as my legs once again pulled my fully inflated chest and then face into the abyss. The truth is I still don’t really float, not in fresh water anyway. But don’t tell my mom.
Despite this, on a beautiful recent April morning, in a warm gently rolling saltwater sea, I laid myself back to look up at the sky to rest after swimming. Not thinking much about what I was doing, I let my arms and legs dangle listlessly and suddenly realized with glee that floating was happening to me. With absolutely no effort I was simply supported.
Call it Spirit, Energy Field, Love, God, or whatever you will – I believe this kind of Support is real and ever-present. And I am slowly learning that if I am willing to let go and trust, the more I gain an awareness of being held, which in turn leaves me feeling more connected to others.
We paddle and swim so hard to move our lives in the direction we desire. To catch what looks like the perfect wave. This is beautiful and good, bringing strength and honoring the agency we’ve been given. But if you are like me, you may sometimes paddle too fast or for too long. Or worse, resist pausing to read the waves, to take rest, and to listen to your heart for a needed change.
So consider creating periodic space to pause. And may your practice provide you with an occasional floating lesson, one that lets you feel directly just how held you really are.