Sharon Salzberg once analogized life to rowing in a row boat. We put down our head and row. We row to get to the place we want to be. Row against the current. Row despite our pain. Row until our muscles hurt. And when we finally look up we realize that despite our rowing, we are in the same place. We have forgotten to untie the boat from the dock.
We often cannot let go of the things we need to in order to get to where we want to be. Despite our best efforts, we can't shake ourselves free from things that hold us back, whether it be fear, expectation, attachment to others, or lack of confidence. I'm trying to notice what this "rope" is that can unsuspectingly hold me back from pursuing the changes in my life that I want to pursue.
But what if we go one step forward and just jump off the boat altogether? What if we don't confine ourselves to being on a boat at all, and instead, imagine ourselves as the water on which the boat float? What if we saw ourselves as vast, flexible, malleable, uncontainable bodies? How would our life be different if we thought ourselves, not as body, but as an ocean--taking comfort in the sound of the waves that our breath makes-- crashing to shore on the inhale and rolling out to sea on the exhale. Our moods mere tides that pass through the day. Our ability to spread out expansively due to the vastness of our mind. To flow with the storms that life may bring. To seek the stillness of the ocean's morning's calm. To hold people up through the supportive buoyancy of our nature. This is my desire for this year--to embody oceanic traits.