Truth: I have a lot of fears. In the last few months, my fears have grown to an almost unhealthy level. Fear of driving after seeing some horrific accidents. Fear for my children’s safety. Fear of having a severe reaction to heat the way I used to. Et cetera.

The setting of this story--Whidbey Island, WA.

Recognizing my abundance of fears and how they affect my life, this year my focus is to practice courage.

My first challenge came on New Years Day when I was invited to do a Polar Plunge in Puget Sound–submerging myself in freezing cold water on a 37 degree day at Whidbey Island.

Mt. Rainier view across the Puget Sound.

I REALLY wanted to take the plunge–I worship water and love new experiences, especially those that involve a soul cleansing element and playfulness.

But…

then I saw an ambulance parked on the beach. And, the worry set in. Why was the ambulance here? Is this dangerous? My imagination was unleashed–what about hypothermia, what if my heart stop from the shock, etc..

And, then there was a more legitimate concern.  I could have a severe reaction and start swelling after my body began to warm from being so cold, which used to happen when my heat allergy was out of control 2 years ago. Even though my heat allergy seems to be almost disappearing, you just never know.

So, I didn’t do it when the sirens went off and people of all ages ran in.  I was a spectator.

As everybody ran out of the water smiling and laughing, I knew I should have done it.

I was mad at myself. How could I possibly choose fear on the first day of a year when I promised myself to practice courage and to not let my fear prevent me from living?

So, even though it was a little later than everybody else…

I ran joyously

Dived

and took the plunge.

Oh. my. goodness.

It was absolute bliss.

It was a rebirth, as though the past year had been washed away–the good and bad.

It felt playful, childlike and sacred. I wasn’t expecting to have a spiritual moment. I wasn’t expecting to feel so amazing.

I’m addicted. I’ve found a new tradition to do every year.

On a spiritual level, I feel an inexplicable need to. That my body and soul needed to be dunked in freezing cold water and emerge reborn. I have a whole new understanding of the ritual of baptism. Water has such amazing and mysterious qualities. I feel like I have experienced it and understand its power in a whole new way.

What an absolute thrill. I’ve been giddy ever since. I hope it’s a sign of fantastic opportunities coming my way this year, and me saying YES.

Encouraged from this moment, I went home and took a risk in my art biz that I hope to share someday. Our actions are all connected in funny ways, aren’t they?

What are you saying YES to this year?

 

 

 

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