The Day the Ocean Swallowed My Ray-Bans

(Or How to Survive Life’s Choppy Waters)

I was on vacation in Costa Rica and it was – ya know – hot as an oven. I was headed to the ocean with a boogie board when my husband said, “I wouldn’t wear your sunglasses out there.” Boldly I said, “Why not? I’m just going to float.”

   The foreshadowing was not subtle…and neither was the humiliation.

Once I recovered from numerous spin cycles in the whitewash, it was painfully easy to see the metaphor between my water world and the real world. Have you been through a time when you were getting pounded from every direction? Or found yourself in a bad luck rut where something crappy happened every single day…for months?!

When those waves keep hitting, it can be hard to find your footing, a direction – and uh, your sunglasses.

My instinct is to turn my back to the waves. It seems logical to brace myself against the giant force headed toward me. Sadly, this didn’t work in the water and it doesn’t work so hot in my life either. I only get beat up, tired and want to quit — so I went looking for some wisdom on how to better handle the big waves. I added a splash of my own thoughts on how to deal with super-crappy times.

  • If you see a large wave approaching, the best tactic is to swim straight toward it. When you get close, take a deep breath and dive down to the ocean floor to get through the wave.
    Me: Shorten the distance between yourself and your challenges. By going toward a scary thing, you can tackle it before momentum builds — giving you the option to ride the wave or let it pass.

  • If you find yourself caught by a wave and tumbled around, don’t fight it! The wave will let you go in a few seconds. Then you can surface, breathe and look for the next wave.
    Me: If you’re engulfed in a super-crappy mess, stay loose and trust that you will be released. Relaxed awareness brings the perspective and clarity needed to make the best decisions. Now you can choose the wave you want.
  • If you feel like you’re in trouble, wave at the lifeguard and ask for help.
    Me: Or wave at the life coach! Seriously though, help is there for a reason. We all need someone to toss out a floatie when we’re tired of treading water. If you feel like you’re being swallowed up, wave your arms — and remember this:

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