Wisdom from the sea: there’s a right time for everything

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Dear ones,

I’m currently on a deep dive into the world of marketing, finalising and planning the launch of my book. This is my first book and so marketing/promoting/launching is new to me and it’s taking me out of my comfort zone.

At times, I feel like I’m swimming in the ocean without a compass, feeling and guessing which way to go. At times I’m kicking up against the current of my own resistance.

In scuba diving as in life, there’s a time to kick against the current, a time to turn around and flow with it, and a time to get your reef hook out, hook onto a rock and let the rope keep you suspended in place while the current washes around you.

My resistance may be strong, but my intuition tells me that I must learn these new marketing and promotion skills and so this a time to hook in.

The ocean has been one of my greatest teachers. I’m so grateful that I have the ability and privilege to have scuba dived in many wonderful places. If you are unsure of what to do, stay, go, wait, fight, I hope this short poem-story from the sea will help you tune in and guide you.

 

The current becomes even stronger.

We should follow its pull outward

except it will take us off the pinnacle

and into deep blue sea.

So we kick and we kick against it

fighting for each metre forward

only to be pushed back half as far by the swell.

We use our reef hooks to attach ourselves to a rock

so we can watch the grey sharks be nibbled clean

by wrasse at the cleaning station

without constant kicking and swimming and fighting the current

only for another group of divers to move straight towards them

and scare them away.

A common mistake.

Sometimes to get really close to what you desire

you must sit and wait

and let it come to you.

Timing is everything

especially down here

20 metres below the surface

in this aquatic world

where even the fiercest creatures can be shy

and startle easily.

There's a time for everything

to move towards, to move away,

to fight against, to go with the flow

to sink down, to rise up,

to change or surrender your plan

to stay where you are and wait

and bide your time.

Your intuition will guide you.

And it is always the right time to pay attention,

to surrender what you think and watch.

If you do, the sea will show you her ways.

With love and courage,

Kym
xx

How do you cope with sudden change and not knowing what the future will bring?

Photo by Ross Findon

Photo by Ross Findon

After my last blog post about letting go of what you think life should look, I received emails with questions about coping with change and how to let go and get unstuck. These were great questions and useful for us all to consider as we all experience and have to find our way through change.

When life changes very quickly it can feel like the rug is swept out from under your feet and you don’t yet know where you will land.  When the sudden change relates to our living arrangements our sense of security becomes threatened and can trigger our fight, flight, freeze response. A sudden change in our circumstances or expectations can initially shake everything up creating confusion and an inability to see the way forward.  In time when the mud settles, there can be more clarity.

If even just reading this makes you feel uneasy, take a moment to ground yourself in the safety of this present moment.  Feel your feet on the ground, look around you where you are and name what you see, notice your breath and see if you can slow it down and make it deeper and remind yourself that you are safe.

Like you, I’ve experienced a lot of change in my own life. Mine include changes in living arrangements, to redundancy, to relationships and friendships ending and deaths of loved ones. I experienced all the emotions that go along with change: shock, disbelief, anger, confusion, grief, sorrow, uncertainty, fear and eventually even curiosity and excitement about new possibilities.

Packing up my life to travel for a year (which turned into a prolonged period of living between Melbourne and Thailand, travelling and adventures such as walking the Via Francigena) meant that I have spent a large chunk of my life with my belongings in storage and without a permanent home.

Having a home gives us a sense of security and safety, as does having some certainty in our working and personal relationships. A change in our life circumstances can make us feel unsafe.

In my experience, not having a permanent home and travelling meant I had to trust that somehow everything would turn out okay, that I would find a roof over my head and work when I needed it. It helped me to grow my courage and my trust in the universe but I also experienced a lot of fear and shed many tears along the way.

A great example of this trust and courage was my experience when I was walking the Via Francigena and I arrived in Gy, a small town in eastern France with a population of just over 1,000 and was unable to find accommodation. I had been afraid that this would happen.  You can read the whole story here, but here’s the very short version.

A little pot of panic simmered in my stomach and started to boil as I worked through my list of accommodation options and couldn’t find anything. But a very firm voice within me told me to “Keep calm,” which I did. Eventually I found a Bed n Breakfast in Choye, a town 4 kilometres away and after making a phone call speaking only in French with my limited vocabulary and comprehension, I found a room for the night. I was so happy and relieved and even victorious.

That night I wrote in my Via Francigena blog…

“Everything always works out.  We end up exactly where we are meant to be.”

For me this continues to be true, although it doesn’t always feel like it in the midst of change or uncertainty. It is at those times that I find it most useful to reflect on my life, at the path I’ve travelled with all the change, fear and uncertainty I’ve experienced and how life turned out at those times and the gifts it gave me. That is, I give myself a reminder of how everything has worked out okay.

I find that when change comes, my life turns out in ways I could never have imagined.

If you are experiencing a period of change and transition in your life with all of the fear, grief, uncertainty, frustration and confusion that may entail, may you connect deeply with our Mother Earth who supports you with every breath and may friends and loved ones hold space for your uncertainty and unfolding.

With love and courage, 

Kym xx

PS I love to hear from you, so if you have a question or a comment get in touch!

In Germany with 11 days to go

I have been in Germany for almost 4 whole days now, spending time with my dear friend Ina who I haven't seen since I visited her here in 2011. We met back in 2009 in Phuket where she was my dive instructor for my divemaster course. Although we pretended to be very studious, we spent as much time talking about life as we did diving theory and practising diving skills.  A friendship quickly developed and extended beyond the diving classroom to coffees and beer o'clocks, travel and diving adventures. So far it has stood the test of time and distance with her now living here in Bavaria in Germany with her finace and me in Melbourne.

We have been going with the flow. 

Monday was a couch day as I had only 2 hours sleep in over 27 hours transit and it was raining. On Tuesday, we hiked up to the monastery and biergarten at Andachs where we ate their famous roast pork and meatloaf then walked down to Lake Amersee where we sailed to the otherside and back then browsed the nightmarket with its stalls of jewellery, clothing, wine and local foods. Yesterday we shopped in Augsburg whilst today we hung out by another lake near Friedberg and walked through the local woods. And of course we have been doing lots of talking and catching up whilst drinking lots of coffees.

Sometimes we talk about my pilgrimage, the way I plan to walk, how far it is and the potential risks but I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about it right now. Soon enough the time will come for me to start walking but right now I am just being here in Eurasburg with my friend enjoying what each day has to offer and the wide open spaces, the quiet, the green forests, the fresh air.

I am still riding the rollercoaster of pain from my injured left sacro-iliac joint.

 Some days I am pain-free. Fortunately it was fine the whole way from Melbourne to Munich. Then other days, like yesterday and today, the pain returns and gnaws away from my lower back to my hip and down my left thigh. My walking slows and the pain drains my energy.

I don't know how this journey will unfold. I don't know if I will be able to make it all the way to Jerusalem. Sometimes when the pain is bad I wonder if I will even be able to make it out of Rome. 

But as I learned during my Via Francigena pilgrimage, sometimes its best not to look at the destination but instead to focus on your feet and the next step you have to take. This strategy helped me to climb a lot of tough hills and to keep going on some long, tiring, painful days. 

Sometimes we have to be okay with the not knowing how things will turn out and if we are going to make it and just take the next step anyway.

As I enjoy just being here in Bavaria, I feel the great current of life hold me and take me gently into the day to the next experience then the next. Despite the pain and the uncertainty, I trust and I know, that everything is going to work out just fine - just possibly in ways I could never have expected.

View from Andachs monastery

Me and Ina on the way down from Andachs

The enchanted forest

Paddlesteamer coming in to the pier at Herrsching am Amersee

Castle house by the lake at Herrsching am Amersee

Pier at sunset - Herrsching am Amersee

Tree massage at the night market at Herrsching am Amersee

Lake near Friedberg

Path to the forest in Eurasburg

Enchanted forest in Eurasburg