“Abundance is a process of letting go;
that which is empty can receive.” ~Bryant H. McGill
When you look at life as if it is a spiritual journey, it allows you to see lessons everywhere. Over the past week I have had the privilege to attend a seminar in a beautiful part of old Florida (Crystal River) and I now am waking up in Dallas Texas for another seminar. Once again fully involved in my over committed life, seeking ways to find balance amidst the pressures.
So while up in Crystal River there was some downtime; an opportunity to go on a boatride up the river to see some resting manatee. These gentle giants (who share ancestry with the elephant apparently), sometimes known as sea cows, rest during the winter in the warm waters near the Crystal River Springs. They lumber inland, sleeping on the bottom of the river bed, rising up to the surface every so often for a breath of air. When truly dormant, they can hold their breath for up to 2 hours.
This boat trip involved many firsts for me, the least flattering was squeezing into a wet suit. Ladies, if you can imagine a ‘Spanx’ which covers you from head to toe and includes all of your limbs, then you can feel my pain! There is no pride permitted inside a wet suit! And then, in the early dawn, we idled on out, ready to find the manatees. We had watched a video which told us of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of manatee watching, since it is their sanctuary, and they are not to be disturbed by humans splashing around over them. They are not to be poked or prodded; tickled or touched; or swam over. Just watched.
But of all of the instructions, none of them covered the art of snorkeling. Yes I’ve seen it before, the mouthpiece attached to a set of goggles, and the pipe going up in the air. What’s so difficult about that? I can swim, I have no fear of water, all I have to do is put this in my mouth and I’m good, right? I cannot describe the sense of panic that descended over me when I hit the water. The goggles are airtight, of course, so don’t ask me why the fact that a flap prevent air from going into my nose bothered me. I discovered how to hold the mouthpiece in my mouth. But for some reason when I tried to put my face into the water, my brain yelled ‘Are you crazy? You can’t breathe like that!’ and I found myself panicking, not breathing, bouncing up and down with the captain yelling at me, stop splashing! I tried to tell him I was not splashing, I was drowning, and everything got very confusing!
Fortunately for me, one of our group, who had stayed behind (and was an experienced snorkeler) saw my plight, and from the boat talked me down. She called me back to the boat, and started coaching me on the art of breathing while snorkeling, and her voice calmed me and got me through my fear. Before long I was able to convince my brain that I could get air from this pipe even with my face submerged, and off I floated, not caring if I ever saw a manatee, so long as I had figured out how to breathe.
I did see a manatee or two, lumbering creatures minding their own business, but I also got to see how easy it is to let fear prevent you from some wonderful experiences. And that unless you are prepared to trust, to listen to calm voices around you, you may panic and go under. As I snorkeled away, maneuvering up a spring against the current, clad in my gorgeous wet suit, I saw schools of fish beneath me, and old tree roots submerged in a hollow, and learned that sometimes all you have to do is float and breathe, and let the currents take you where they will.
On this wonderful Friday morning, I remember a morning plenty years ago when one of my babies was trying to arrive, but my contractions ceased. Everyone in the room was yelling at me to push, but I had no idea how to push without contractions. I feel as if there were about 30 people in the room (it was Jackson Memorial, anything was possible) and all of them were insisting that I was doing something wrong. Fortunately for me and my baby, a midwife appeared at my side, and like my friend in the boat, her voice calmed me as she assured me I could do this. Her voice, and a strong man pressing down on my abdomen, ensured the safe arrival of a healthy baby.
Sometimes, in order to receive, you just have to let go, and then blessings arrive in abundance. May you have a blessed Friday morning family; and a wonderful weekend! And remember to give thanks for the breath!