This weekend I got a bit out of my comfort zone and attended a SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) Yoga class on Sunday morning. When the weather in NorCal starts to reach the temperature of the sun, the amazing Lisa Weber will offer this class at what is called the Forebay Aquatic Center, about 20 minutes from Chico. I’ve done the whole SUP thing before and loved it and I’ve dabbled with yoga, which I would love to do more of, but I’ve never combined the two – so why the heck not? Faced with the opportunity to drag myself out of my cozy bed early on a Sunday to get half naked and stand on a wobbly board in the middle of cold swampy water while attempting poses that I rarely do in real life sounded exactly like the kind of challenge my weekend needed. I’m fairly athletic and a little bit competitive, mainly with myself, so I set the goal for the morning to be NOT falling in.
In my mommy/wife life, I often lack the opportunity to really focus. I can’t think about anything important for a long period of time because my days are filled with constant distractions (kids) and being “in control” is a struggle. As a mom to three boys, I’ve had to become queen of being able to change direction at any given moment. I’ll admit, every now and then, I like to have the fantasy that I know exactly how my day is going to play out and I’ll dream up these grandiose plans of doing some sort of awesome project with the boys or maybe even actually getting out of the house – but typically whatever plans I actually have will be derailed, and well – there goes the concept of control right out the window. This is probably why I like to be IN control when I can be, which honestly isn’t all that often – and usually only pertains to my career life and the little bit of time I get to just be Sarah, with no other humans or plans or ideas or distractions attached. This is also why I decided that I didn’t want to fall the f**k in when I went to the SUP yoga class, as I imagined it would be an entire hour in which I would be completely in control.
So I did the class, and Lisa is so zen and beautiful and amazing, and I love her instruction. As I had planned, I stayed on the board, I hit most of the poses, probably looked totally ridiculous at times, and I even held a headstand for a few seconds, all while staying dry. I also could have pushed a lot harder, I could have definitely lost control and I could have absolutely landed in the water, but I didn’t. I didn’t fall in…
All day yesterday the same thought kept jumping through my mind. Why didn’t I just fall the F**K in? It would have been so much better if I had. Why didn’t I let go just a little bit, push past that point of comfort, and make a splash? I am and always have been an absolute risk taker. I’m a rebel at heart, I like to see how far I can go and what I can do, but every now and then I miss an opportunity to really live because of the lack of control that I often have at home – and when I’m living my “just Sarah” life, I sometimes forget to fall, to give in, to just let go. The reality is, I need that “falling in” part of me. That part of me defines me. It’s why I like to lift heavy weights and and not follow recipes but create them. It’s why I like to laugh too loud and be silly. It’s why I like to take random tequila shots on a completely inappropriate afternoon and it’s why I keep getting tattoos and why I will always wear cowboy boots and it’s why I love to swear. It’s why I love life, it’s why I’ve worked so hard to ditch my insecurities and to be happy. The fact is, I really really like to let go and just be – but after years of being a mom and of not having control over all sorts of crazy shit – I sometimes find myself forgetting about those parts of me that make me ME and I forget to fall the f**k in.
I don’t know why it’s sometimes hard for me to embrace that part of me that makes me Sarah, especially when I know that falling in is all I need to do in order to find what I’m looking for – or at least during the fall I’ll be given the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes falling, and falling really freaking hard helps me to have clarity, even if others might judge me based on how hard I hit the water, or what it looks like from their vantage point as I fall. Every single time I’ve just let go and let life happen, I’ve never regretted the choice to do so, and it’s always been the right thing to do – despite how scary, or cold, or unknown the plummet might be, there’s so much freedom in the fall. There’s hope that everything will turn out exactly as it should. There’s reassurance that once you get back on your board, once the chill of the water wears off, that you’ll understand what you must do to regain your balance. When I made myself stay on the board during that class, I missed out on a huge opportunity. If I could have felt the icy water on my skin for just a minute, I would have felt the heat from the sun even stronger, I would have enjoyed filling my lungs with the warm air even more, I would have pushed through the next pose with greater intensity because I would have known that if I fell in again, it would all be ok.
I’m glad I went to the SUP yoga class and I’ll absolutely go again, but next time my plan is to fall the F**K in. Furthermore, during my “just Sarah” moments when I have a chance to just be me, when I have an opportunity to gain some control, I’ll try to remember instead to lose control just a bit and let the answers come to me, to not be so unwilling to take a plunge, no matter how out of control it might make me feel. I’ll let life happen as it should, I’ll let the cold water surround me and embrace me and I’ll remind myself that falling is freedom. Letting go is what makes life mysterious and beautiful and it’s what makes every moment count, especially the falls.
What are you doing to be a little less in control? What is your big fall that in the end, brought you peace and clarity? Are you practicing your meditation and learning to let go? I know I am. Every time I meditate these days I’m focusing on letting go, on dreaming big, and on trusting. Now dear readers go make a splash and don’t be afraid to fall the f**k in!