© COPYRIGHT 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
I love swimming, not competitive swimming but the relaxing, just for fun kind. Although I was a synchronized swimmer growing up and I did love that. We even went to the Oregon State Games for synchronized swimming. I'm talking about outdoor, summer swimming though.
Outdoor, open water swimming feels so freeing. Floating around, weightless, gliding through the smooth water. The sun on my shoulders. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
One of the things that I love about being in the water is that I can't really not be present in the moment when I’m swimming. I am sort of always aware of how cool the water feels on my hot skin and how light I feel. How refreshing the water is. How you have to actively stay above water. It is an amazing feeling.
I recently tried something new in the water. I tried stand up paddleboarding and I absolutely loved it! I went into it thinking it would be really hard and that I wouldn’t be able to stand up on the board, let alone stand on my knees or even sit on it. I don’t have the best balance or the smallest body so I just assumed it would be too hard for me.
I am so glad that I tried it though, because I loved it! I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully soon. Standing out there in the sun, balancing my body on the board, with the water all around me, surrounded by the beautiful outdoors. I felt at peace. I felt strong and brave.
I think in our everyday lives it is easy to not really pay attention to everything that’s going on right in front of us. There are so many distractions. It’s easy to just go about life without really being present in each moment. Just moving from one thing to the next of things that need to get done and not really being aware of all of the beautiful little moments that are taking place right around you.
For me, sometimes, being present has to be intentional. I have to remind myself that it’s all of the little moments in life that make up the most important memories. It’s being there for my kids when they need me to pay attention to them that helps build up trust that they will need when something bigger comes up later in life. It’s taking that phone call from a friend that you know really just needs you to listen and take their side so they can feel loved and respected. It’s putting your phone down and making eye contact when someone is talking to you, so that they know that you are there with them in that moment.
When you take the time in those little moments to really be fully present, you might start to see things differently. You might start to realize that there are so many little amazing moments in your day that are really incredible. You might start to seek out those moments in your day just to see what is possible. You might even start to realize that life is beautiful, every messy, busy, crazy moment of it.
I hope you will continue to join me on this journey. Take time today to look for those little moments.
When I was a kid we used to go camping a lot. I can’t even remember how many times we went, at least a few times every year. One of my favorite places to go camping was this awesome place in Oregon called Carter Lake. Not Crater Lake but Carter. It’s in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area.
The campground sits right between a cool lake and miles of sand dunes. My sisters and I would spend all day either swimming in the lake or hiking around the dunes. It was beautiful and magical. It was a place where we felt free. Free from our everyday lives. Free from rules and restrictions. Free from supervision for the most part. Mostly free to be ourselves.
With that freedom we could climb, we could swim, we could tell secrets, we could go on adventures, we could make new friends, we could depend on each other and ourselves for the choices we made. We could pretend to be who we wanted to be up there on those sand dunes. We did cartwheels and handstands and we rolled down the hills. We were free.
Not everything was perfect up there on those dunes though. There was no protection from the wind or the sun. It was just miles of sand dunes. The wind blew the sand toward us with such force that sometimes it felt like you were being stabbed repeatedly with little tiny needles. There was no shade up there either, so we couldn’t escape the sun.
The world is funny that way, though. Maybe not everything can be perfect at once. Maybe you can’t have the sun and the freedom and the sand without also having the wind and everything that comes with the wind.
I do think that the joys can definitely outweigh the sorrows though, if that’s what you chose to focus on. I’ve had many sorrows in my life, and many joys as well. I can’t pretend that everything is perfect, but I don’t need to focus on everything that’s gone wrong in my life either.
Maybe that is the secret to life. Balance.
Maybe we all need to have more balance in our lives between work and play, freedom and responsibilities, sun and shade, safety and adventure. Maybe this is how we know that everything is okay. We can use what we’ve experienced, either negative or positive, to be able to see the other side too.
If we look inside ourselves, I think we can see this desire for balance as well. The balance between being selfish and generous, between needing other people and needing to be alone. The balance between setting goals/having focus and having the freedom to make new choices and try new things.
I think we can find that balance can exist in whatever we chose to do in our lives. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be yes or no. It doesn’t have to be now or never. Life can be whatever you make of it, in any situation, at any moment.
I hope you will continue to join me on this journey. You can follow along with the MamaBear facebook page for encouragement, inspiration and love.
helps women improve their lives, families, and relationships through cultivating self-love, wholeness, confidence
All Content Copyright © 2016 MamaBear.Love