This morning I was all types of excited to get out on the paddle board for a little morning exercise. Almost as soon as I stood atop it in the ocean something felt off. Try as I might I just couldn’t get my brain to slow down and relax. My footing was totally unsteady and my only focus was on not falling – exactly the opposite of what I should have been focused on.
I paddled out for a little ways hoping to loosen up along the way. After a few short minutes I gave in and headed back to shore. For a moment I paused and just couldn’t bring myself to call it quits so I turned around and headed back out. For a couple of strokes I felt okay, but I was then hit with totally unsteadiness and was unable to get my head cleared. This time I totally gave in and carried my board back up to the shore.
Feeling frustrated I paused and considered going out on a kayak instead. As I attempted to get it out I became bent out of shape from the bugs that decided to swarm me. Once I had the kayak out I realized the seat wasn’t attached and I became more agitated at my inability to get it buckled on.
Right as I was about to throw a tantrum I laughed instead. Are you kidding me? I’m in paradise by the ocean on a beautifully warm and sunny day and I’m about to throw a fit like a little kid!
Laughing at myself I took a deep breath and thought about why I woke myself up early and headed outside this morning. The whole reason for attempting this was to relax and enjoy a nice workout in the morning. This was about the exact opposite of what was happening. In that moment I made the decision to swim with the tide as opposed to against it.
I put everything away, headed up to my room, and changed into my running clothes. Off I went on an excellent 5 miler that was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. It felt amazing and left me smiling.
In taking the time to listen to what the universe was trying to provide I was initially set on imposing my will on it instead. Once I relented and went with the universe I had an amazing time and accomplished even more than I’d initially hoped.
Shortly after this experience I started mentally writing my blog. Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to follow that advice again later in the day. I am very certain that the focus on this concept helped me respond correctly later in the day.
As I went forward with the plan I had in mind I received feedback from my peers to do something completely different. I paused as I heard their advice and had flashbacks to the paddle board this morning. With that visual in mind I considered what the universe was passing my way; wonderful words of advice from peers I know and trust. It would’ve been easy to argue and push back (partially because I can be competitive and want my idea to win – how silly is that?). But had I pushed back it would have been like me fighting the tide… Instead I listened and swam with the tide. As I’ve had more time to consider this I realize just how right my peers were on this one and I am so thankful for their advice.
This is a simple story I’ll remind myself of often in the future. Pause and listen to what is going on around me. Before I fight the tide be sure to see if there’s a way to swim with the tide or if this is the time to push back. Be conscious of taking the time to make the right decision as opposed to just reacting to it.