Sunday, September 11, 2011

Life Lessons from My Kayak

Overall, I can easily say that my life is pretty wonderful.
But I am human. Even I have my sad days, or moments of helplessness.
There will always be challenges and life is not always puppies and rainbows, but I am always so happy each day when I wake up and know that I still have the ability to breathe, move, laugh, smile, and make decisions for myself and care for the ones I love.
I can give much thanks to all the time I spend on the water, with my kayak, for giving me a positive outlook on life.
I can rely on the ocean to help soothe my sorrows…and to teach me a lesson, or two.
I go kayaking to make my life better, to gain perspective, and to renew my will to move forward regardless of what obstacles may be waiting for me along the way.
When the going gets tough, I go kayaking.
The moment I’m out on the water I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be able to move. Without fail, if I’ve hit the water to work out some demons, a moment of calm can override my volatility, within moments of my paddle hitting the water.

While kayaking, I am easily reminded that I cannot fight the tide. I have to go with the flow, relax, enjoy the journey...all the good, the bad, and unexpected that comes with it.
Life is very much like ocean kayaking; one cannot truly be happy when fighting the ebbs and flows of life.
When I go kayaking, I ride a fine line between control and surrender. I find this balancing act to be wonderfully invigorating and very therapeutic. While kayaking, the water is my master and I’m always aware that Mother Nature is really the one in control.
As in life, while on the water, things can turn ugly without warning and I must not fight them. If I try to fight the tide, I will exhaust myself and, in a truly challenging situation, there is a chance I may die.
I have learned many lessons about life while being challenged on the water.
I’ve learned that proper planning, my ability to be alert and connected with body & mind is essential to keeping me safe and happy while on my adventures. Knowing better not to throw myself into harm’s way by putting myself into situations that are beyond my ability is essential to my safety, longevity, well being. I also choose my kayaking companions wisely. I choose to surround myself with kind, considerate, and productive people on the water (and in life)…if they have respect for their well-being it is pretty easy to assume they will respect others.
Kayaking has taught me that if I do not take inventory of all my gear and make sure that my kayak is in great condition, I cannot expect it to keep me safe. I take care of my body the way I take care of my kayak…as if my life depends on it…my life does depend on how I take care of it.
I’m not saying everyone should go kayaking (most people are freaked out by the water) but I do encourage everyone to start moving, start taking inventory of the people they surround themselves with, take inventory of what they have been doing to and with their body.
I encourage people to get to know their body and their mind. Respect it. Stop ignoring it. There is so much we can learn when we stop trying to turn things off.
I encourage everyone find their “kayaking.”
Life is as difficult as we want to make it. J

Enjoy the ride!

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