Monday, December 27, 2010

Riding the Waves of Life

When I was 14 I took a trip to Australia with my mom and my uncle Steve. My mom's family is originally from Australia and my mom had lived there when she was a child. She had always longed to go back and when my parents got divorced it seemed like the perfect opportunity to cross the sea. I was ready for the adventure.

We visited family in Melbourne, checked out Sydney, and then headed north to the Sunshine Coast where my Uncle Gary lives. I can remember one of the trips we took to an island off the Great Barrier Reef. We rented windsurfers and a small catamaran and spent the day riding the water in various ways.

I remember being out on the catamaran with my uncle Steve and going back and forth across the bay to catch the wind. We were working intently to get the hang of it and before we knew it we were pretty far out to sea. So much so that we could see the small speck of a lifeguard waving us in.

It was surprising how quickly we had been taken out. The ocean seemed so peaceful and gentle with waves bobbing gently. The wind was not strong, there were no big gusts, just gentle breezes so when we looked up and saw how far out we were I think it shocked us both.

Lately I've been thinking about this as a metaphor for life. It almost feels like going through life is like navigating the ocean. The ocean can be beautiful, peaceful and inspiring and it can also be dark, terrifying, and dangerous.

The surface looks one way and underneath there are currents and undertows that can push and pull you off course without you even being aware of it.

Everyday on the ocean is a different day. You can be floating along heading off in one direction and before you know it you look up and you are somewhere you never intended on going.

Isn't it funny how life can sometimes get away from you in this way too?

Here I am going along, riding my waves of life, focusing on my art, my blog, making plans for my future and then along comes my Christmas wave. Parties, gift wrapping, the joy of children experiencing the holiday, fun with the family, playing games, relaxing, enjoying each others company, being embraced in love and happiness. It's all so beautiful.

Then I wake up and it's all over and I feel as if I'm a different person. Not at all focused on the same things. As if I am a stranger looking through the window at who I was a couple of weeks ago. Not bad, just different.

The kids are home for another week and the new me wants to play with them, hang out with them, enjoy them. The old me knows the week they go back to school is going to be crazy busy and if I'm to go forward with my original plans I need to get busy working now and prepare.

Who am I in this moment? Where am I in this big ocean of life? How do I know if I am on the correct path to get me to where I want to go? How do I know if where I want to go is even where I need to go?

Learning to balance your plans and your dreams with the current moment is a difficult feat. You want to enjoy every moment and live in the now and at the same time you feel as if you need to be thinking into the future to plan and prepare.

I know I could benefit from some "inside time" to go inward and connect with my spirit. This is what has been lacking in the last couple of weeks. There has been a lot of "outside time" with all the focus on the external. I think this is where the shift occurred.

The simple act of writing about this has created a shift and has got me thinking again, got me centered and helped me get some clarity.

Could you use a little centering after the holidays? Perhaps this can be a gentle reminder to take some time to journal, create a piece of art, meditate, take a walk in nature, or whatever helps you connect with your spirit. Now is the perfect time before round two begins...New Years Eve. :o)

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