Friday, December 11, 2009

Waves of fear

Tomorrow is the big day - I get to go swimming. Can you see my forced smile and the thumbs-up sign I'm giving? Weee.

Keith sent an impressive Adobe Flashed invitation accompanied by the music from "Mission Impossible." The message begins, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves taking on areas of your being where you lack power ..."

Because I am pretty sure I'm the center of the universe, I think this challenge and Keith's message are directed at me. Before we started this three-week workshop, I confessed to him that I don't know how to swim. I asked him if any of these mystery challenges would involve water (Please say no, please say no).

He's asked us not to discuss the challenge with anyone (does blogging about it count as discussion?), so I don't know if my fellow To Be Re-ers are swimmers or not. He asked us to identify ourselves as novice, average or expert swimmers. Huh, no category for "Hate to Swim-ers"?

Honestly, I am not afraid of water. I just don't LIKE it. It's wet. And cold. And, when you go to lakes and oceans, there are things floating in it. Living things. Slimy things. Pools are OK, but the water is usually cold.

To my horror, I learned last night that this pool we'll be splashing into is OUTSIDE. Of course it's outside. Why would anyone in Arizona build a pool inside a building? But this is December and we're having unusually cold weather. Of course we are. It was 36 degrees F this morning. I want to cry like a baby, fall to the ground, pound my fists on the pavement and scream, "I'M NOT GOING!!!!"

The water at this pool, I am told, is about 85 degrees. I got out my meat thermometer and ran my kitchen tap until it reached 85. Not quite as warm as a hot shower, but warmer than I expected.

I am not excited about this, people. I am not sure this is a place I WANT to be powerful. I am feeling the 17-year-old rebel burnout from Kenmore High School in Akron, Ohio, getting restless. But I made a promise to myself three years ago when I turned 40: I am not going to let fear stop me from doing things.

Oh, crap.


Keith Jones said...

Noelle, thank you for sharing so authentically. This experience is going to be so much better than you expect. I am confident of that. What's on the other side of this will delight you and make you smile inside. Know that you are going to be in great hands. As a person who is always in control, tomorrow will be different for you. It will be different in a beautiful way. You will need to give up control and trust others once again. Tomorrow you will receive loving contribution from friends in your ToBeRe community. Wow! You give up control and all the reasons that leave you powerless and without results - reasons that rob you of the possibility of an amazing experience. And what you get in return is love and contribution. What a bargain! Sign me up! I know, right?!

Anxiety, pressure and fear will undermine you tomorrow. Being peaceful, calm, open and quiet in thought will serve you best. Those ways of being will create an amazing experience for you. The water is there to support you. Surrender to it. Don't resist it. And slice through it effortlessly. When I learned this, my body and mind created a partnership with water that made the impossible possible. The cold became warm. The far became near. And my fear was replaced by Courage and Quiet Confidence.

Tomorrow will be great. I am already proud of you. And I know what a difference this will make with Adam too.

Your friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi. It's me, your workout buddy. I can't say much - KJ's orders and my commitment. Just know that I believe in you. You're doing this! We will celebrate! Xoxo Adri