Monday, July 7, 2014

Lessons from Bogie.

Spent all weekend at the beach, which was blissful.

I was a little nervous paddling out for the first time this season into the ocean. It was rather cold and when I got out past the breaking waves, I looked back at the shore. Dang, I was out really far!

Bogie is my paddleboard, something I was blessed to win online last year. I named it, the same way I name everything. (My Jeep is named Randy Moss, after the Patriots' football star!)

I tried to take it all in out on the ocean, and I did. Which is good, because us anxious peeps are always worried about the future. Forget it all, I told myself as I inhaled and exhaled salt air. I realize doing this would make most people anxious. Most people couldn't do paddleboarding. But I found it wonderful.

That just goes to show how we're all different, and how we can't beat ourselves up for our fears. Up ahead, planes were flying. Someone in it may have saw the speck of a girl in Sea Girt, N.J., paddleboarding on a gorgeous Sunday. Perhaps flying was easy for that person, looking down on me, but they'd never think of getting in the water. I looked up at the planes passing by, realizing that I still have some fears. Some things that are majorly hard for me.

There were so many analogies to anxiety and healing that hit me as I paddled along, taking breaks to go on my knees, strike a downward-facing dog or just lay there with my tummy against the board. Even when the surge made me a little seasick, I stayed out there. Sometimes the bliss of doing something isn't realized until we push past fear and uncomfortableness. And not that I was super-scared to paddleboard, but it's just another analogy for ya.

It was weird being in the ocean, and I had to remind myself much like I do with my panic disorder that I can always do something to make it easier. If I was nervous (or saw a Jaws-like fin pop up!) I was just a quick paddle away to shore. I can always get to a safe place.

In many ways, the ocean is my safe place. Sure, sharks and huge fish are in the water. Sure, I hate the way rocks feel under my feet. And there are a ton of slimy and questionable things (especially at the Jersey Shore). But when you take in the salt air and the sunlight's twinkle on the water, and when you feel like you're walking on it as you paddle on it, life feels blissful. All is safe. One is present...if only for a little while.


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