Let the Sea Set You Free

Let the Sea Set You Free. 

Well, it’s Thursday evening and I am staring at my presentation notes that I initially prepared Saturday. I pondered the week I have had, and as I reread my title, Let the sea set you free… Well, I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. 

When Ally Pratt (Tropic Like Its Hot Tanning ) first approached me about the series, Ride the Wave on her page, I could feel the title in the very center of my being. My body could feel the power of the message… and my heart said Yes!  This is what humanity needs to hear, heck it is what I need to hear. And right away I began to prepare what I wanted to share. As I was inspired I saw this surfer in my imagination.  I saw her taking the waves, magnificent powerful waves and it looked so thrilling.   I thought to myself. Yes, that is how I want to do life.  I want to feel the wind in my hair and the spray of water on my face. I want to watch  the water tumbling over itself while I just ride it out as if I and the wave were companions working together. (link to video presentation of this story)

I came crashing out of my perfect picture in my imagination the very next day.  When I think of riding the wave in this moment as I reflect on my week I see a different picture in my imagination. I see me sopping wet and exhausted washed up on shore.  I am quite sure I have been drug thru the sand that lies many feet below the wave, tossed over top of the wave only to come crashing back into the water, after which I am quite sure my surf board fell out of the air and hit me over top of the head.  And here I am perfecting my notes for tomorrow and I said to myself, as snarky as snarky gets, “Um really… you gonna talk on Friday about what you “aren’t” doing for yourself. Well, be sure you let them all know this is a What NOT to do DYI manual.”  After I got done sassing myself,  I took a breath and read the title again, “Let the sea set you free” and I asked myself “What do I really need for the sea to set me free, like today… not next week when I feel more together and this week is in the past. But right NOW!

Again my imagination and emotions began to roll.  “The sea set me free! Um, whatever!  It is, in fact, the sea  that has me captive I am sure.  Right now I feel as though this wave has wrapped itself around my wrists clenching with all its might and is shaking me all around.  I have eaten way too much sand, my head hurts, and frankly it’s NOT thrilling or fun, and it is all the seas fault.  But it’s funny, as I sit here and really  look at my week, it was all fear, once again, I am the one hanging on.  I am the one worrying about  future outcomes and I am the one who as latched onto a “WHAT IF.”

I am the one who won’t let go and let the ride be the ride, knowing that each wave is different, and even the best surfers eat a little sand.  I mean, I hope to aspire someday to not getting hit in the head by my surf board, but who knows. lol

My mind wondered back to that woman that first came to my mind ON Saturday, the one out there riding the heck out of that wave.  I thought of her thrill in the moment and then imagined what her ride would be like if she was thinking:

  • I hope I do this right.
  • Ugh, Sally is so much better at this than I am. I should ride the wave like she does.
  • I hope the weather is ok tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to surf in a storm
  • I can’t forget those documents for my deadline at work next week.
  • Who is picking up my kids today?
  • I hope everything is on my grocery list, do we need milk?
  • Well, that’s another mistake, ugh, I am never gonna get this right.
  • I shouldn’t be afraid, I shouldn’t be nervous any more. I should know better by now.

I am quite sure she wouldn’t be enjoying herself, and I dare say, I don’ t know how successful she would be.  Yet that is exactly what we do in life.  And that is exactly what I did this last week.  And I realized it because as I was going over my notes, well… my snarky side came out and said… You can’t talk about this, you suck at it right now. 

But here is the thing about falling off the wave, eating sand, and getting hit over the head by your surf board.  The ocean brings you another, and another and another.  And you will see PROGRESSION.. Not Perfection!  But progression!!! 

So let’s talk about some of those tools that I have found very effective in my own life. Even though I may have forgotten to use them these last few days, I am grateful for them and that is why I love to pass them on. So when I finally came to my senses this week,  I dusted off my tool box and began shifting my perspective on this Sea of Mine.  

To hear about the following tools in more detail… check out the video.

*Look for Progression Rather than Perfection!    

~Collect ALL evidence working and non-working
~Look for your growth… not right and wrong.

* Scratch Expectations, They are going to hit you on the head EVERY-TIME.
~Let go of expectations on yourself to be:

  • perfect,
  • “right” level of emotion
  • smart enough fast enough
  • be fluent at INSTAGRAM like the cool kids
  • OR that expectation of how we “should” be processing COVID-19          

~Let go of expectations that look like- “What if it’s NOT what I want?” 

  • What if I choose a wave I don’t like?
  • What if the wave chooses me and carries me off before I’m ready?
  • What if it rains?
  • What if I fall off?
  • What if people judge my choices?

~ Practice Acceptance-

  • Acceptance of self
  • Acceptance of the “WAVE”…
  • Seek the OPPORTUNITY within the wave 
  • Look for and be grateful for the NEXT STEP COMING right to you ( I KNOW THIS IS HARD… I DON’T SAY IT LIGHTLY.. TRUST ME- REMEMBER SURF BOARD TO THE HEAD, YEAH, I GET IT.)

*Stop Comparing yourself to others…. Seriously JUST STOP.

~When using comparison to decide if you are OK, someone will always seem worse than you and you will feel good for a sec… and then 3 hours later you run into someone who SEEMS BETTER than you.. now What???  
~Choose to see you as you are today… And CHOOSE to like what you see.
~Find value in your uniqueness.

*Get rid of that annoying sea gull of NEGATIVE SELF TALK. 
            ~I do workshop on this alone… too much to say… but for real, it is not effective!

If you are interested in more help with Riding that Wave, Building that Self Confidence, or Grabbing a Few extra Coping Skills to help you through those days your surf board hits you in the head contact me. (now is a good time… Summer Sale through end of July!)

Happy Surfing!

Jamie E. Lightner

jamielightner@yahoo.com

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