My intention was to have this particular post describe the wonders of swimming the lake. It would discuss how, after great trepidation, I jumped into the dark waters, swam to the other side and returned to the dock victorious. It would be filled with a detailed description of the entire experience and how, after swimming, I was liberated from the thick and limiting fear and how that would translate into other things in my life.
Can’t write it.
Not because I chickened out. Not really. Though, I am sure, there are some New Age Gurus that would suggest that I manifested the obstacle that prevented me from completing the task I had set forth.
Friday night I started to develop “a little cough.” I thought nothing of it. Probably an allergen or something I ate (I have recently given up wheat because of exactly this problem). So I blew it off and went to bed after watching Shutter Island with the boys.
I woke up Saturday morning with full-blown bronchitis. I mean full-blown, most people would “run to Doctor’s Care, Bronchitis.” Usually, I have a sore throat that appears prior to any and all illness. My lymph glands freak out and I crave sleep. But not this time, evidently my warning was the cough.
So Saturday morning I dug through the medicine cabinet and found our Cold/Flu formula. The trick with this awesome anecdote is that you have to take it “at the first sign” of illness. It’s written right on the bag by our wise Doctor of Oriental Medicine. I was just hoping that I had not missed my “first sign” by blowing off the cough.
So I took the herbs and I stayed in bed. I drank hot green tea, mint tea and nettle tea.
I started to hear the song, “I’m A Little Tea Pot,” because I was drinking so much tea. This is also how I knew for sure that something was out of balance because I drink boatloads of tea instinctively when I am sick.
Tea is my friend.
I turned off the air conditioning and opened every window in our house (no easy task – especially if you are out of breath from bronchitis and have to climb a lot of stairs). I curled up in bed and stared out at the lake. The wind blew through the trees and through my windows and I closed my eyes trying “to be one” with the discomfort I was feeling.
The thermometer revealed a temperature of 102.3. Now this required additional allopathic medicine which I am not a big fan of to begin with – but a fever is a fever. So a few ibuprofen and green ice tea were now added to the multiple doses of Chinese Herbs.
I’ll be honest. I felt like crap. I wanted to swim the lake and rationalized a million times to Sunday that I could go down to the dock and slip into the cool waters and gracefully swim across the water. I imagined how it would be healing and I could tie it all in to a great post on the blog; how I overcame my fear and swam the lake with a fever and when I emerged, my fever had diminished and I felt healed on a physical, as well as spiritual level.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
It wasn’t happening and my attachment to my intention of completing the swimming task by the end of my vacation was going to have to be released.
Scott arrived with a healing bowl of miso and sea vegetable soup and I sipped at the broth and chewed on the wakame. I think I babbled something about going into the lake and he just nodded. I babbled on a little about being sick and trying to be in the moment and be present with the discomfort, finding peace with the breeze and the trees and the leaves. He nodded.
I think I was “tripping” a little bit between the ibuprofen and the herbs.
And even though I was disappointed, I knew that the attachment to swimming the lake to prove something was not any healthier than the attachment to the fear that I had (and still had) when thinking about making the trek across the waves.
I had to sit with that thought. Tripping as I was on herbs and ibuprofen.
Attachment will make us mental. Goals are good and they provide a direction, like a road map. We all need a map of some sort otherwise, we are just driving around aimlessly. Our personal goals and our plans anchor us to the realities that we deal with on a day-to-day – our jobs, our homes, our families – even our dreams.
But how much attachment do we allow for those goals? Do we obsess? Do we step on people and destroy lives to reach them? Do we throw ourselves under a train if something doesn’t work out that would have brought us closer? Do we swim a lake with bronchitis to prove a point?
The answer is “no,” clearly. And if you answered “yes” to any of those questions I would like to suggest some reading that might help you.
We set the course, we work toward it and we let go.
Attachment is exactly that – it attaches us and holds us and hinders us. If we are attached, like a hot air balloon is to the ground (Albuquerque International Balloon Festival reference) then we never soar. Seriously, it may seem corny, but if we limit ourselves to what we have decided to be the best outcome, we miss the possibilities that come along that may be better and quite possibly intended for us all along.
By releasing attachment, we open ourselves up to all the possibilities that the Universe can offer. By releasing attachment we rip the blinders off so that we have a panoramic view of the possibilities rather than the myopic view of what we think we want.
A funny thing can happen on the way to obtaining your goals. Life. Life can happen and all its wonderful unpredictable, infuriating, loving, joyous, healing energy.
I have said before, we make plans and God/dess laughs.
And as I stare out at the lake tonight, the last night of our vacation before we return to work, watching the sun set and the bats begin their nightly dance, I have to laugh too.
This obstacle has actually strengthened my resolve to swim the lake. I find myself, as I write this, in a completely different place with the entire intention. I look forward to diving into the waters. But not so much to “beat” the fear or “prove something.” No, it’s more about embracing it as a possibility, as something I have not tried and I can’t help but wonder what that simple act will bring and open up on the horizon.
Much like the butterfly effect, I can’t help but think how my ripple on the lake can change things and my thinking as well.
I made a plan and something set me of course.