Fear and Kayaking- Part Two
Sea Kayaking in Hawai’i: a day that gave me lessons about myself dressed in the mantle of panic. In the solution.
I moved into my yoga practices. First- breathe. Then be sure you are rowing effectively, find your balance, engage your core, use all your muscles; not just the easy to get to ones- save your shoulders, your back and your hips from harm. Concentrate on integration. Feel your feelings. Ooops! My feeling is PANIC!!!! No! No! No! Back to breathing. Breathe in, exhale slowly, you are safe, you are strong, you can make it.
Next in my yoga practice is to work through the restraints and the observances; the yamas and the niyamas. First is non-harming; quit yelling at your husband. In spite of the fear you made the choice. He isn’t having the same reactions you are. Leave him be. What is the truth? Am I really afraid of dying, or is it just fear of in-ability and weakness? No, I just don’t want to be UNDER the kayak and I don’t want salt water in my nose. I can deal with that. Breathe. Stealing – nope, clear on that one. Attachment? YES I am attached to bliss and being calm and I don’t like this anxiety masking as excitement. I am also attached with my ego to being “one of the guys” and “doing what I committed to” regardless of my concerns. That is on me. Excess? Yes, I am indulging in my excess of fear and I am closely in danger of blaming others for my choices. The anger is becoming intoxicating. Am I holding on to the anger to energize me?
I am acting like a baby. Looking at the observances – how can I find contentment? I look around me; without the lens of fear there is some beauty. The water is so rough that the waves have waves. And these wavelets over the reef reflect the sun and there is gold, blue, aqua, white and brown all together creating a beautiful dappled look such as one might find in beautifully craft diachroic glass beads. The sun is warm, the islands off the shore are… not close enough! The shore is too far away as well! Back to the sun on the water and the colors of nature.
Breathe. I look to my practices of cleanliness: am I clear in my relationships with my husband and with our friend? I am still teetering on the edge of blame. That is not where I want to be. Feel it. Self study will reveal more on this. Consider discipline and transformational change. The discipline I am practicing is inward looking, breathing and rowing. Contemplate and practice. Don’t give up on any of these.
The self investigation reveals that I do not trust. I do not trust my guides to have correctly assessed my abilities. (I am weak, I will not be able to handle an emergency, I would not know how to get back into my kayak in this kind of water, and so on.) I dont’ trust them to find the right path between the shoals and avoid the worst of the waves and currents. They are “guys” and a suggestion made is one to be challenged. Never mind the warnings or the dangers. Do I have a flaw in my trust of MEN? This needs further examination, truly. I love my husband. I really like my friends. But this is all too much! My fear is covering my faith.
Surrender- yes… this is all I can do. I surrender, to the internal journey as well as the external journey. The breath is my charriot and I ride to peace. It helps that we have made it to the island. I breath and re-set. I walk on the small beach. The waves are so mighty that the path around the island is blocked. So we kind of wander around, eat snacks, and I get some nice photos of nesting birds.
We get back in the boats after 20 short minutes and head back to shore. No, the way back is not much easier than the way out, but like a trail horse I head back home with renewed vigor, heading for the beach like my life depended on it.
We get back, relatively unscathed. What I have learned is that I am not a person who takes challenge for pleasure. I enjoy the quiet, the silence, the ease of communing with nature. I am not one to try and conquer or challenge her. This is the big lesson; that breath, awareness, feeling my feelings and using my physical cues to investigate and understand. And that I have a big ego that will get me into trouble if I let it.