“I was seeing you in the sea. I was worried. It’s dangerous.”
This was shared with me as I left the beach when I crossed paths with a dad of a young boy that I had noticed looking at me while I played out in the waves.
Spending 20 to 30 minutes each day jumping and swimming amongst the waves has become my favorite thing to do as of late. I feel so alive doing it, and I walk out of the ocean with my body feeling exhausted, in only the best kind of way.
I thanked him for his concern, but it was something I did everyday and felt comfortable doing.
This wasn’t always the case though. I didn’t even have plans of spending much time in the water when planning this journey to Costa Rica. I hadn’t spent much time in the ocean since I was a young child growing up in California.
As parents of two youngish children and having little recent experience among the waves, John and I heeded the warnings about the dangerous currents here in Costa Rica. Upon arriving, we helicoptered our kids and immediately urged them back if the water went past their knees.
It’s true. The currents can be strong here. Lives have been lost. We’ve heard the sirens as the ambulancia has driven past on the way to help with multiple children that have had near-drowning experiences.
We don’t minimize the need for caution in the ocean, especially when it comes to our kids. John or I are always in close proximity when our kids play in the waves.
All the being said, both John and I have become much more comfortable in the waves and spending time, most often alone, jumping, diving, and swimming among the waves, has become our play time.
The waves: both therapeutic and Insightful
My time in the water, flowing with where it wants to take me, has become a time in my day that allows for a reset and higher perspective on anything that may be challenging me.
There are so many metaphors for life within the ocean. It’s like I download an abundance of wisdom as I navigate the everchanging tide coming my way.
Go with the flow – What I find myself telling my kids and also thinking numerous times while in the water.
Face it head on and with confidence – What I tell myself as a larger than normal wave is approaching.
Take a deep breath – What I do when the wave is too big and I need to go under.
You will come back up for air – What I know when I’m under that prevents me from panicking.
There’s a rhythm, and it won’t always be this hard – What allows me to trust there will be a respite between the more powerful waves.
The more challenges I face, the more my confidence grows in my ability to do challenging things – The more I do this, the more I trust. I’m able to trust myself and my abilities. I’m able to trust my connection of how things flow. The fear surrounding what is possible becomes dampened by my ability to be within that environment.
Our fears can protect us. I understand and very much appreciate the man’s concern, as he watched me in the waves. He has been warned that there have been poor outcomes for people that have ventured out in the waves. Caution is not a bad thing.
However, it’s also possible that our caution and, ultimately, our fear can stop us from pushing beyond our comfort zones and discovering the pure joy that can come from testing ourselves.
Before we made the leap to stray from our country of origin and experience a new way of life, there was a sense of nervousness. We had to push beyond our sense of comfort and trust that what was on the other side would be for our highest good.
The waves remind me that this is how to live each day. Go with the flow. Face your problems head on. Don’t let your fear hold you back. Trust yourself.
We only have this moment, and it too shall pass.