Small effort big pay back

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Along with my resolution to just go ahead and do whatever strikes me (and stop procrastinating) I ventured down to the local swimming pool.
My lazy self was arguing all the way. “For God’s sake it’s January this is NOT the time to start swimming again!” Nonetheless, motivated by thoughts of several awful Christmas photos and the fact that my favourite coat is getting tight I stuffed towel and costume in my backpack and grabbed my bike.
The first two laps were tough, having to get my breath at either end (well it had been over a year!) Then it got easier. To my delight I managed my goal of ten laps before the session finished. More than that I felt great – warm, glowy and energized. In fact it felt so good I went back yesterday and added an extra lap to my total!
Sometimes I find that with my body, it really lets me know when it gets something it needed. The “happy feeling” continued the rest of the day and concluded in a good, deep night’s sleep. Sometimes that tiny push of effort makes all the difference!

Life is like swimming.

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One of the keys to swimming is to learn to float, then, instead of using your energy to keep your head above water you can channel it into getting somewhere.
I’ve always felt it strange that after someone drowns their body floats to the surface (face down not being the optimum position for survival, but none the less it floats.) I picked up on my mum’s fear of water as a child and this realisation helped me in my determination to learn to swim – I realised we are made to float not sink.
Life is much the same. Sometimes our frantic fight to stay afloat can be the very thing hindering us. Even worse, sometimes in our panic that we are drowning we can pull under those beloved “lifeguards” who are trying to rescue us.

So how can we learn to float?
I’d suggest,recognise it’s our natural condition to float. Sometimes huge “waves” come at us and we find ourselves submerged. Try not to panic, like the cork we have a tendency to bob back up to the surface after a minute or two. It may not be pleasant but the more we struggle the worse it tends to get. I look back to my childhood in the 50s surrounded by all those post war London folks, if anyone was an example of the “cork” those people were!
The second thing is to understand that the water/life can support you. Though sometimes it can get a bit rough, it is not “the enemy!”
Having faith in something other than yourself can be a great help. It’s easy to lay back in the arms of someone you love and trust. The poem “Footsteps in the Sand” is a good illustration. Looking over the footprints of his life a man berates Christ that at the hardest times he was left alone. Christ answers softly, “You were not alone, those footprints are mine. I was carrying you.” Guess that explains my personal “floating technique”. Do you have one too?