choosing my life: lessons from the beach

on Saturday, on the beaches of San Diego my girls were watching the waves and listening to an instructor next to them teach how to tell when a "big" wave was coming. they would watch how far back the water would pull and when it started to build. by those signals they were getting pretty good at foreseeing the force of future waves. the more they adapted to them the more fun they were having. they would wade our to the calm part for a break, and then get right in front of some waves for fun. they were even learning how to let the waves push them towards where they wanted to go and having a total blast.

then there were the kids on the beach (and adults) not paying attention. I think everyone has been caught off guard by a wave's incredible force or the vacuum effect that makes you fall over or get sucked in, only to stand up and immediately be pummeled by the next one. little do they know just moving ten feet farther in they would constantly be in the calm part of the waters. sure you have to brace yourself for a few swells to get there, but the calm is there.

I quietly sat on the beach yesterday morning as they collected sand dollars thinking about the waves in my life. our lives. your life. I think I was deep in thought because these were the same waters where my aunt Claudia chose to end her life. she decided she didn't want anymore waves. so she swam out for the ultimate peace. the end. she gave up and in. I know she is truly happy and peaceful now, but I hate what she had to go through and decide to do to get there.

I want to learn about the waves in my life, in this world. I think that's why I love self help books so much. because the more I learn about other people's waves, and how they navigated them successfully, gives me confidence and belief. it gives me confidence and belief that I can choose my life, choose how to get out of the waves and NEVER feel like giving up on life altogether is my only option, for me or my family. no one should have to choose that.

the waves. can I help other people see the waves, and go "there's a big one coming, get ready." "you can do this, just wait a moment and then move forward." or "jump now!" or "run away!"?

I can only do that by learning from others and from my waves.  the natural and man made waves are there, they are constant, but am I paying attention? am I learning how to navigate them? am I learning where to go when I need a break and peace? am I learning how to use them to have fun and enjoy them and where they take me? are they natural waves of learning OR am I creating them?

a big wave this year was one I created all on my own:  the saying "the only ships that sink are partnerships" came true. I was left with a business decision, to either quit also, or go forward...alone. I chose the latter. I'm all or nothing and I can say that 18 months ago I was still almost 100% completely driven by my ego so gosh darn it, "I could do it, I was going to do it, I was going to prove everyone wrong!" (insert maniacal laugh)

so I dove in to the business and didn't look back. I was raised to see that "struggling" and "difficulty" was a sign of success. this also causes depression, but you know, I was really "DOING IT!" so the more I struggled starting the dance studio and managing it and my home life and my marriage and my motherhood and and and and! the more validated I felt I was doing the "right" thing. every time I smacked my head on the beach I felt justified for the struggle. pain is natural. suffering (choosing the pain over and over again) is NOT.

over the past 9 months I have spent time every day in the morning and afternoon learning about peace. learning that I can have peace instead of sadness. instead of depression. I am learning these truths through meditation and being still. I have been listening to my heart. listening to my creator. listening to my desires. listening to the word of God. and honey, ain't none of my desires or His for me have to do with managing employees or a studio.  NUH UH. those were not natural waves. and they weren't from me.

so I took a deep breath, I don't know exactly what IS right for me all the way, but I didn't care. I surrendered. I looked at my huge ego and cut it off (still chiseling away, I'm sure this is like a 200 year process).  I started cutting back and focusing on my true goals and desires I realized that most of the "things" I were doing were to please other people and punish myself. unfortunately the world looks at both of those things as "success". these were waves I made on my own and was choosing and they were just pummeling me and I couldn't stand up to see where I was or where I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be with. and, oh yeah, my face was NUMB. (another post there)

so my face was gently and not so gently telling me something was wrong. this was wrong. you aren't paying attention. wave. wave. wave. pummel. pummel. pummel. stand up.

so I let go of fighting. I looked up, braced myself solid for the next few swells and waded in a little more to the calm.

I released pleasing other people. I focused on loving myself so I could give MORE love, instead of being a victim. I let go of the super woman picture I had of myself in my head and heart. I took a long breathe in and a long breathe out and found out how to have FUN in the waves! after all, "life's a beach and then you die" right? hehe

but truly, I'm happy and peaceful here. I like these waters. I can see the waves of life, and when and if I want to jump in. sure there aren't as many people out here, most of them are still on the beach, jumping up and down over each little wave and enjoying it. it's louder there. it's more crowded. you don't really have time or the need to think there. the waves tell you what to do. they force you. your choice and agency are pretty much out of the picture there. jump. run away. run towards. jump. run away. run towards. jump. run away.

all of that movement and you haven't gone anywhere at all. but most people are happy there and that is good!  I'm not better for wanting to be out of it and into the calm part, for choosing to wade in deep enough to be in the waters that make bring me peace, I can actually handle peace now. I think that's part of progression. everyone gets tired of the waves and thinks "there has to be more to this". you see a few other people doing life differently, that are happy, and you think, "THAT. I WANT THAT."

I'm so glad I waded in. Plus there's a little secret here (you can touch the bottom, I promise!)

I do desire someday to be the veterans that are swimming way out in the deep. they do it calmly, and efficiently, and it's complete silence out there. they are in total control of their direction of their life, but because they've surrendered. they know how the ocean pushes and pulls, they know they can work with it, instead of against it. and they choose the ocean every day.

that is true living to me. choosing your intention, choosing your life, creating it exactly how you want and not paying attention to the crowd in front of you on the beach. you aren't better than them or vice versa. you just are. and they are. and life is. and I'm sure my family is worried at how crazy my writing is now, but's where I am.


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