On Friday evening, after I took my meds, I tossed the Frisbee into the pool for Mabel. She’s such a water dog, navigating around the snaking cleaner hose, onto the loveseat and out of the pool. I threw it four or five times and then I was hot enough to go in too.
This is that time of year when the water is cooler than the outside air and I have to ease in, one step at a time. My mind says to go slow but my body pushes forward into the water, the coolness sharp against my bare torso, and then I am in, all the way up to my neck. It only takes a few moments of moving in the water to acclimate to the temperature and feel one with the water.
In the past I would start with laps and stretching and splashing in the water. But I know I need to move slowly, with awareness, and not overdo it. So I dog paddled into the deep end and pretended I was a buoy, my body suspended vertically, floating and lifting with the slight movements of the water.
With each inhale my body lifted, exposing my shoulders, and with each exhale, my body lowered so that the waterline was right at my lips, and I blew bubbles into the water as I pushed the breath out of me. Rising and lowering, I envisioned my spinal disks floating into place. I imagined that the tinglings down my right thigh were on their way out for good.
But when the throbbing started in my butt, I was ready to float. But there was sewer roach on the cleaner hose. Marika and I have a save-all-bugs policy, but I wasn’t willing to scoop him up in my hand. So I picked up the hose and scooted him toward the side of the pool. But he fell off. I maneuvered the hose under water to catch him as he was sinking and he finally grabbed on. I was almost to the edge and he fell off again, but I got him back on before he went too far under. I dropped him on the pool deck and watched.
At first he didn’t move at all, but then his antennas started waving and his head moved and, even without my glasses, I could see the dark of his eye and the serrated fringes on his legs. His underbelly was a radiant golden fan. I said a prayer for him to recover, then scouted for any other bugs I could save before I floated.
I saved three, didn’t save two more. And in between, I kicked my legs even though it hurt. I told myself my body needs to move, to not stay stuck here. And I remembered when I was in the belly of this whole sciatica journey, how I had to scream out loud when I got up from my chair, consciously claiming that I was moving though the pain.
And I decided, in that moment, that I was ready to move through this pain again to whatever is next.
I raced myself around the deep end, breast stroking with my arms, bike peddling with my legs, until I was too sore to continue. And then I floated.
The sensations in my whole right side were magnified in the water – the pressure in my hip, the aching in my butt, the buzzing down my right leg. I kept breathing into the sensations, imagining that the water was neutralizing the electricity. I moved my hands under my thigh, pulsating the water like a massage. And I breathed.
There is something so amazing about being weightless, feeling so held by the water that it is hard to discern where my skin ends and the water begins.
I rested on my back, feeling the evenness between my left and right hips and legs now that the sensations had subsided. I breathed into my whole body, feeling my bare skin rise and lower at the water line.
I rolled about 70 degrees to my right, envisioning my spinal fluid sloshing to new places, healing and lubricating my entire backbone. Then I rolled on my back and rested before turning on my left side to repeat. I settled onto my back again, watching the sky turn clockwise above me as I breathed into my body, feeling it expand and relax as I surrendered a little more to the water.
My ears were underwater so I couldn’t hear the palm fronds brushing against each other in the breeze or the chirps of the sparrows on the seed feeder. I could only hear the water sounds of the pool filter and the power of my own breath.
I thought about a friend who is on fire with her life. She loves her work, is excited about learning more, and she has propelled herself into a realm of great success and connections.
And then I cried, because I want to be excited about my work and my life, too!
I stretched my body long and leaned my head back until the water was up to my hairline and my hair, underwater, floated like a hundred mermaids’ tails. I leaned back even further so that the water covered my forehead, my eyes, my cheeks, my bottom lip, until only my nostrils were exposed. And I was so calm, because I knew I just needed to inhale to raise my body up to keep the water from going into my nose.
The metaphor was not lost on me.
Just breathe. Deep. With faith. And know you will not drown.
And I realized that, until now, I wasn’t ready to breathe that deep, to let go of that much, to move through this place of not knowing what’s next.
Because I hadn’t let go of my own plans, my deep need for control. I hadn’t yet let go of the old dreams I had.
But there in the water, floating and fully supported, I let it all go.
I don’t need to know when I’ll be back at the beach. Or where the money is coming from. Or what my new work is. I don’t need to know if or when Marika will move to California. Or if we’ll live on the road for a year.
I just need to know that I’m on the right path. Right here. Right Now.
That YES! Whatever I want to do/be/have is absolutely possible. And it can be anything, as long as I REALLY believe in it… WOW!!!
I remember being in this place before, in 2008, a year after my heart surgery to remove a benign myxoma. I had no idea what was next, but I knew it was bigger than I had been living.
Within the next 2 years I went to a women’s retreat, got certified as a Life Coach, and then worked with a high level business coach to grow my Mac training business. And that’s how I was able to make the plan to move to the beach.
None of those things had been in my original dream vision, and yet it was exactly what I needed to be and do and have.
Remembering this, I am feeling lighter, hopeful, ready. I am actually excited about the unknown instead of freaking out that I don’t know. Because I know I am on my path and it’s leading me to something wonderful.
And I have less pain!
And so I have started to ask myself those important questions again. What do I really love to do? What knocks my socks off? Who do I love to work with? How do I like to connect with others? How can I best serve?
And how do I want feel?
I don’t need to know the answers right away.
I’m actually enjoying the spaciousness of possibilities, the excitement of exploring and opening, once again, to the questions, knowing, trusting, that amazing things are unfolding.
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