Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
I have just taken to swimming in the ocean with my husband David every day. My beautiful friend Barbara Hoi has inspired this new routine. At first, the weather was glorious, making it easier to overcome my inner voice saying, “it’s too cold, just wait, don’t go yet, hold back, come back tomorrow.” Instead, I’d run into the water NOT THINKING, overriding those voices only to find the shock of the cold water completely clears my head and lands me squarely in the moment—BLISS!!
Then David and I head for the shore in (what feels like) our peaceful paradise to enjoy a cup of coffee (me tea) on the beach. HOWEVER, the real test came when it was rainy, cold day. Much harder to drown out the voices then! I had publicly committed to this swimming program telling Dave that COME WHAT MAY, nothing was going to stop me from swimming EVERY DAY. Now I had to follow through!
I bravely stepped outside in my swimmers with just my towel wrapped around me only to find it was FREEZING! I wrapped the towel tighter as it began to rain—drizzling—matching my thoughts about how cold it was. “Why was I doing this again”?
At the waters edge, I threw off my towel and ran in as quickly as I could. I was expecting it to be like ice. To my surprise, it felt almost the same temperature as all the other days. In fact, the water was almost comforting as I escaped the cold weather. It certainly shook me out of my miserable thought patterns about how cold it was. I then realized the ocean is so vast it would take more than one day to change its temperature—in fact; the ocean needs sustained weather changes to heat it or cool it. So from one day to the next it is fairly stable and consistent regarding temperature.
My experience got me thinking about my sense of stability. I realised it was possible to develop the ability of a “consistent” way of being, like the ocean, regardless of life’s “storms.”
When life is not going your way instead of being swept along in any disappointment, frustration, worry, stress or anger, develop the ability to return to you inner calm and peace. Create space around any reactive feelings by observing them in a non-judgmental way and just breathe. As your inner world opens up, you will not only feel calm on the inside, but your outer world will change too. As within, so without.
Article by Deborah Fairfull
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