What I Learned From Almost Drowning

“A number of years ago while vacationing in the Midwest I almost drowned in Lake Michigan. I had been swimming with friends but not paying attention and got caught far out late in the day. I tried to swim straight back to shore but kept getting pulled further out.

I was exhausting myself struggling against the waves. I realized this and then stopped struggling. I shifted onto my back and floated that way. Once horizontal one is more buoyant than vertical in the water. Fighting the waves, fear and treading water, tired me out. I stopped.

I relaxed and let the water hold me up. Good thing I thought to do this. I learned it while  swimming in the pool as a youngster. You don’t need much energy to just float. So I laid there but was getting carried further out. I needed to rest. Rest I did. Further out I went.

What You Resist Persists – Turn Resistance Into Assistance

Finally, I positioned myself in the water to assess my situation. It was then, from this relaxed place I noticed something I had learned about in a geology class in college. Waves hit the shore at an angle. They don’t line up going straight in. 45 degrees I think I recall.

I watched wave after wave hit the beach. Then it occurred to me to swim along the angle that the waves went in. I did. No longer did I fight against the waves and current. Now they carried me it. It still took quite a while to get back to shore but now I wasn’t fighting.

I was relaxed, calm and new I could make it. I was lifted up on the waves instead of trying to cut through them. Some 30 minutes or so later I was safe ashore. You may take any number of lessons from my experience I share. I will recount a couple I learned right then.

Stop  -Drop It – Go With The Flow –  Let The Current Carry You

I apply them to life as well. When fighting stop and relax. Struggle is exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling with others, yourself or circumstances the struggle will wear you out. Stop and relax. Let go. Get neutral or buoyant and then go with the flow.

Stop resisting because whatever you resist or struggle against persists. When you collect your resources, your energy and can resume in a resourceful state you will be far more productive. This lesson has saved my life and ass numerous times since.

Perhaps, you can benefit from my experience too. Keep a level head. Don’t let fear get the better of you. Relax, let go and let god. Learn how to be carried to your destination. You don’t have to fight. Give in to gratitude. Be thankful. Live and enjoy each moment. You are blessed more than you know. Celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes

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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch

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