Swimming in Fear
On a recent hike up a North Shore mountain in Vancouver, British Columbia I started to anticipate the swim in a fresh water lake that was both our destination and reward. The perfect pause following a rigorous climb. Upon arriving, the scene did not disappoint, the water was pristine and mirrored its surroundings with perfectly timed ripples. I couldn’t wait to plunge into the water… so I thought. That was before a flood of my own ripple- like thoughts flowed through my head. What if the lake was cold? I was getting over a cold, I could get sicker (is that a word?) How deep was it? What kind of rocks were beneath the surface? Why wasn’t anybody else swimming? Should I wet my head and finish the hike with wet hair? What about how I looked in my bikini, did I look okay? Regardless I ended up jumping in, it was cold, I assume deep, as my feet didn’t touch the bottom and I enjoyed every minute of it. Chock it up to another lesson in the power of awareness I reminded myself, I saw my thoughts and recognized some fear and doubt. I was happy I didn’t allow this moment to be stolen from me.
Feeling fear is often a sign we need more information. Isaac Lidsky writes in his book, Eyes Wide Open, ‘the more we are fearful, the more we don’t know…this emotional component is an indicator to broaden our perspective and get more information.” He continues to say and I quote, “there only ever is, this moment.” Just like jumping in the lake, maybe I just needed to dip my toe in? Lets deal with “real” information not the “reel” that plays in our heads, lets question our fearful thoughts, source some facts and then jump in the lake regardless.