I have always innately understood the importance of embracing the ebbs and flows of life and all of the processes therein. Sometimes though, when the ebbs tug at my feet, I can feel myself shoring up for a fight and a panic sets in. NOOOO! I don’t WANT to feel this way.
As much as my preparations and sailing goals have been flowing lately, this morning I felt that familiar tug……the effing ebb!. Maybe it will be little and maybe it’ll be big, but either way, it sucks and I don’t like it one bit! Since I hate it so much, Idecided to let it sweep my feet out from under me and pull me out into the tumultuous sea of emotions for a bit to see what I need to learn from it. The main gist of it for me this morning was discouragement. I am a go-getter, and a tenacious one at that, but every now and then something seeps into the cracks of my resolve, and shakes me up. Sometimes it is a self-made head-trip (I am a real pro, especially at 3am), and sometimes it is the words of another that spark this self-doubt. I am working hard on not taking either to heart, but rather letting them go by me and be a part of the ebb. It seems easy enough to understand, but man when I am in it, can I ever hang on to those head-trips. Sometimes so much so that they begin to feel like they define me.
I am grateful for age and a bit of wisdom, and the quickness that these factors bring to my ability to move through and see through this kind of illusion. I am also so grateful for my mentors and friends…truth tellers with strong backs, a couple of whom reached into my treacherous waters of self-doubt and pulled me out this morning. I needed that today, and am so thankful to be reminded of what I already knew! It is normal to get discouraged, and it is normal to have moments of self-doubt. What I am trying to change about my relationship to these things, however, is the importance that I give to them when they rear their heads.
As I write this, I am reminding myself why I am pursuing this sailing adventure…….it is a very personal vision quest and a platform upon which I can stand to see clearly who I really am and of what I am really made. All I can ask of myself is to put one foot firmly in front of the other as I walk towards my goal and hold my intention clearly in my minds eye. I can feel every emotion along the way, but hopefully will not let that de-rail me to the point of deep discouragement again. I have taken this emotional morning in stride, and allowed this ebb, but am also now shaking it off and stand poised, ready to dive into the flow again.
Here is a beautiful poem by one of my favorite poets, David Whyte. He speaks beautifully to the importance balancing intention with letting go and trusting.
TO MAKE A PROMISE
Make a place of prayer, no fuss,
just lean into the white brilliance
and say what you needed to say
all along, nothing too much, words
as simple and as yours and as heard
as the bird song above your head
or the river running gently beside you.
Let your words join
one to another
the way stone nestles on stone,
the way water just leaves
and goes to the sea,
the way your promise
breathes and belongs
with every other promise
the world has ever made.
Now, let them go on,
leave your words
to carry their own life
without you, let the promise
go with the river.
Have faith. Walk away.