What stops us doing things that feel a little bit (or a lot) ‘off the wall’?
But WHAT, exactly, are we scared of?
I was standing at the side of the beautiful Lake Bassenthwaite, in the splendor of the Lake District National Park, Cumbria in the north of England.
It was the middle of May 2021 and it was COLD!
I was wearing a big coat, hat, scarf gloves and wellies and I was still shivering!
Underneath my coat, was my swimming costume!
It was my intention to go swimming!
Alone! Tim and Sophie were watching me from the shore.
I thought getting into icy cold water, amidst biting strong winds, was slightly mad!
I was pretty terrified. I had spent the day before talking myself in and out of going swimming, and not doing it!
I felt bad.
Why? Because I know how great it feels afterwards. That feeling that you did something you were afraid of, and you got through it and that just feels amazing.
However, what I had been really afraid of DID actually happen My worst fear was realised!
Was it? …
Losing my strength in the cold, not being able to swim back to safety and die a horrible, painful death?
Was it? …
Getting cramp, getting into trouble, Tim trying to rescue me and him and me and maybe even Sophie too, dying a horrible, painful death?
No! It was something much less dramatic!
I was afraid of feeling really uncomfortable!
But guess what? …..
- I breathed
- I allowed that discomfort to envelop me.
- I was able to enjoy the cold and see the world from a very different perspective
Wild swimming allowed me to be totally at one with nature
astounded by its beauty
humbled by its power
exhilarated by its connection
I think, when it comes down to it, what we are all really afraid of is ….
That discomfort is a feeling of pain, either emotional or physical.
But what if ….
Pain wasn’t a bad thing.
What if ….
If we embraced the pain, and embraced the lesson it was there to teach us ….
The pain would stop feeling ‘painful’ and instead feel ‘exhilarating’.
What if ….
The pain was showing us how to be ALIVE ?