I measure the greatness of my summer by the number of sea swims. In summer my intense hot yoga sessions morph into a more fluid like practice of swimming with the tide. I live on the edge of the Pauahatanui inlet with the sea on my doorstep. In the evening when the tide is at its lowest I walk to the tip of the peninsular to my marker boat and dive deep into the channel. When the tide turns the water flows fast like a river so you have to swim vigorously to get to the middle of the channel. After an initial icy blast I turn and am carried on the current all the way down the channel, past kayakers, moorings and the odd shag. After my swim I shower and feel new, like I have stripped away a skin or layer from my day. It brings me back to my wholeness.
Stepping into the current is a way to balance your need to control your life. Trying to be in control of our days, our relationships, our children our health is a path to suffering. I am learning this lesson first hand as my daughter morphs from child (controllable mostly) to teenager. I can’t make her do anything I want. My need to still be in control of another person just causes problems all round.
Are you the type of person that feels safety in trying to arrange your external environment to fit your version of the ideal world? Do you feel powerful when you tell others what to do at work or home? Do you plan meticulously in the hope that your day will run smoothly?
This feeling of being carried by the tide is my yoga practice. It reminds me that life is not about what I can control but about having the resilience and equanimity to step into the flow of what is offered to me in that moment.Some days what is offered is sweet and enticing, others are salt lined.
Practice for today: Take a moment to assess what it is exactly you are trying to control in your world. Now close your eyes and imagine that external event coming to you. See yourself float with the current taking whatever is offered to you without resistance.