Sink, Swim, or Float
Contributor
Written by
Carol Hand
March 2012
Contributor
Written by
Carol Hand
March 2012

We live in a 'sink or swim' world, but there is a third option that society doesn't blatantly advertise, and that is 'float and see where the current takes you.'

 

 

As a child learning how to swim, one of the first things I learned was how to relax my entire body and float on top of the water. This has served me well in many swimming situations during my life. One time when I was 17 years old, I was sitting on the shore of a lake with some friends. It was simply a warm and lazy day of sunbathing. It may sound wonderfully relaxing, but I was getting a little bored. I decided I wanted to swim across the lake just to be able to say that I did it.

 

 

I didn't invite anyone to swim along with me, I was looking forward to the exhilaration of swimming the lake, but at the same time, I was looking forward to the solitude of being out on the lake with nothing but the cool water. It was just me and nature, and I enjoy just being in nature. I was confident in my swimming skills and gave no thought to 'what if I get tired in the middle of this expedition?'

 

 

Well, half way across the lake I did get tired. Did I get anxious and start to frantically swim faster to get to the other side of the lake? No... I almost instinctively knew what to do. I relaxed my entire body, allowed it to rise to the surface completely, and floated on top of the water. I didn't have a care in the world. I soaked up the sun as I floated in the water, listening to the water splash around me and the sounds of my own relaxed breathing. When I was done resting, I completed my trek across the lake. I felt very exhilarated from the swim, but at the same time I felt very calm and relaxed. I had accomplished what I set out to do, and I did it without any struggles or fears. Of course I then had the choice of swimming back to the other side, walking  around the lake to get back to the other side, or hitching a ride from my friends that were boating nearby. I chose to hitch a ride on the boat, but I digress... :)

 

 

If I had become anxious and began frantically swimming faster, I could have expelled every last ounce of energy and drowned. Likewise, if I hadn't learned how to relax my body and float, many years prior, I would have sunk. If your body is tense, if your hips are bent in the slightest way, and you are not completely flat, you will not float on top of water.

 

 

I don't swim as much as I used to, but I am acutely aware of the 'sink or swim' approach many of us take in living out our adult lives. For the longest time I felt like I was in a frantic survival mode, swimming for the shore. I was too tense to float with the current. Where did that get me? Exhausted and gasping for air. It didn't get me to the other side of the proverbial lake. Lately, I've noticed that my efforts to cross the current or change its direction just does not work, and it's not very enjoyable either.

 

 

Sink, swim, or float... Sinking will never be an option for me, and there are times when I must diligently focus on swimming to get to where I want to be, but the more I've seen the value in simply floating where the current takes me in my endeavors, the more I'm learning to just be... be happy, be me... Not surprisingly, when I'm not anticipating all the possible negative outcomes as I often do when I fall into survival mode, I float with the current with great ease, and everyday life is much more fulfilling. 

 

 

Enjoy your Sunday everyone. Stop swimming for a moment today. Float, and see where the current takes you.

 

 

 

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Comments
  • Carol Hand

    Thanks Joy! :)

    Even if you try to follow the yellow brick road, you may not end up where you wanted to be, or thought you wanted to be. I'll get disappointed when things don't work out they way I expected or planned, but then something more spectacular happens. The last few years I've experienced a lot of disappointments, heartache, and health issues, but I am learning to have more faith that I am right where I am meant to be, and just enjoy the ride.