How the ocean tames my fire.

I live in an ocean community. Over the years I have considered moving to a different region where many of the people that I love live.  But…there is no ocean there.  I have grown up with and some of my fondest memories include the ocean: the sand, the smells, its power and playfulness.  Despite my desire to be closer to my community I know that my spirit needs the ocean to stay balanced.  The ocean tames my fire and I don’t know where I would be without it.

So often, my metaphors and lessons come from the ocean because it is home.

When I need to let go of something, the ocean is there to receive.  Sometimes it is as simple as writing a word in the sand and watching the waves wash it away.  Other times I give myself over to the ocean and float on the waves as they wash and crash over me.  Letting go to the power of the ocean liberates me from having any control over what is happening.  I release my body and mind as the waves pull me and pull away anything that I no longer want to carry.  The waves also remind me there is a power greater than me and when I let go and surrender it is then that I can dance with the power of the universe.

Frequently the dance is playful, where I am jumping over the waves, letting the waves jump over me or body surfing my way back to shore.  I can dive into the depths and find hidden creatures, snails, crabs and fish.  I love letting go of adulthood to frolic in this sacred playground.  Discovering joy in this place gives me the opportunity to be present to what is there in front of me only.  There is nothing else there; except sometimes a few hundred other people doing something similar.

Some of my favorite times are when the ocean is still.  This doesn’t happen too often but when it does it is a gift.  Submersing myself in the water, letting it surround me and being fully connected to it, I find I am connected to everything.  We are all mostly water; we all need water to survive; our food grows from water; the sun evaporates the water into the air to then have it rain down and wash the earth.  There is a cycle here and a connection to our wellbeing.  There is a connection here from me to you to our ancestors to our future.  There is a connection here to me, a place where I find balance and calm a center within myself.

There is so much the ocean heals for me.  There is so much wisdom I gain there.  This makes me wonder: where do you feel at home? Where do you find your wisdom? Where do you feel connected?  I would love to know.

Giving yourself permission to shine!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

There is so much that can hold us back from being our full shining selves.  There are messages from society or our families of origin that tell us we are “too much” or we need to “tone it down”.  There are internal stories about whether or not there is room for us to be our big selves.  We take on all these messages and live our lives in a small box with little room to move and little room to be our authentic selves.  Being in this box we feel comfort and safety and don’t take risks that will make us seen as different or “too big for our britches”.

As Marianne Williamson says, “Who are we not to be” our “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous” selves?  No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs you are on this planet with a purpose.  You are not here to be small or self-limiting.  You are here to be your full expressive fulfilled self.  Some refer to being your big self as stepping into your power, following your bliss or being in the zone or flow.  However you put it at the core of it you will end up living a more fulfilled life.

Being big means different things to different people.  For some it is teaching a classroom of 5 year olds or leading a group of 200 people to become leaders themselves.  For me to be big and shine comes when I am coaching and helping people.  The common ground with living your big life includes living life passionately, intentionally and authentically.  The important thing is to give yourself the permission to be …YOU!

So how do you give yourself permission to shine bright and live big?  You need to know that you deserve it.  This will be easier for some than others, it depends on how deep your internal story goes.  You need to make the decision that living your authentic life is truly what you want.  You have to know that the confined life of the box no longer fits the fullness of you.  Know that the world needs you.  The world, your family, your friends need you to show up fully with all the passion, love and power that is within you.

Let go of the fear that holds back, take the lid off the box.  It may be uncomfortable at first.  When you step out of the box it can be uncomfortable.  You will need to use different muscles, tools and beliefs than you have given yourself permission to use in the past.  You will learn how to walk on these new legs.  Stumbling can be expected the key is to keep going.  If not now when?  Take the leap.  Your life is waiting for you!