Wanting to RACE to the end when you reach that magical goal size, number on the scales or bank balance and you can finally relax and enjoy life?
Watch this. I just had an insight while swimming that may help you.
Hi guys. Do you ever feel like you’re drowning?
I’m Kylie Ryan of the Body Confidence Movement that I started with my partner Bianca Aiono. I’ve just come out of the swimming pool – and I wanted to share with you some epiphanies I had while I was doing my laps.
If you ever feel like you’re drowning in life, and that everything is against you and you just can’t seem to get your head above water, listen up.
When I was a kid, I used to have these nightmares about drowning. I grew up in a rural area, riding horses and not doing much swimming. So even though my mum taught us to swim when we were kids, I was never very good.
So at school carnivals, the one or two times a year that I would swim, I would be the kid at the school carnival that would be forced to do the 50 meter race and be drowning halfway up the pool. Terrified, feeling like she couldn’t make it to the end. Because I was just, I didn’t have any practice, right? And it instilled in me this terror of water and the pool and drowning, and who knows, maybe I used to live in Atlantis or something.
My husband is a surfer and so he spends a lot of time at the beach, and we spend a lot of time at the beach as a family. And every summer, I’d go through this of him helping me when I go into an ocean where there’s big waves. And we often do that over summer.
I’ve always wanted to become a really good swimmer. But circumstances, no pool nearby, not convenient, what have you, so I never have. I’ve never been able to action that dream. Until now, now that I’ve moved to this new area in the Sutherland Shire then there’s a pool that’s like four minutes drive from my house
So I’m at my about 10th swimming practice, laps practice, and I finally have the right flippers so I don’t feel like I’m gonna drown. I have my goggles. Just last time I bought the swimming cap thing. And each time I’ve done the laps it’s gotten slightly easier. I feel less like I’m gonna drown now that I have these giant flippers – because they help me get to the end of the pool.
But what I realized today, in my like, 10th practice laps, was at about the, I don’t know, 10th, 15th lap, or something. Normally I would just sprint to the end, to get to the end of the pool and then gasp at the end like this. Because I was sprinting to get to the end and just doing all I could to just get to the end so I could get my head out of the water.
And then finally, at one point, in my swim today, I went, “Oh, what if I stop trying to race to the end and just actually enjoyed the swimming? What if I just tried to do it really slow so I was enjoying the swimming instead of just racing to the end?”
And my body started to relax and I started to notice and pay more attention to the patterns of the light in the water and the bubbles as I could see the bubbles as my hand went through the water, and the sound of the bubbles popping against my swim cap. And I had this really amazing epiphany about how often, we feel like life is against us and that we are not held and that it’s not safe – and that there’s this very deep, unconscious, adversarial vibe with the world around us, like we have to race to the end, race to the goal, get to the thing.
And you know, that old quote, it’s the journey not the destination. The kind of deeper truth of that actually sunk in for me today in the pool. Of how often we feel like we need to race to the end, to get to the goal so that we’ll get our gold star or then we’ll be safe. Or then we’ll have achieved the thing that makes us worthy or makes us feel like we’re okay.
And in racing to the end we miss the journey, right? We miss the experience. And in racing from one goal to the next goal, to the next goal, to the next goal, we actually miss our life because you’re not present in the moment that you’re in, you’re running away from something that happened in the past. Or fantasizing about something that is going to happen or that you’d like to happen in the future – and your energy’s not in your body now.
And so while I was swimming and slowing down my strokes and focusing on the bubbles and the patterns on the water my body started to relax and I actually found that the swimming became easy. Oh my God! And then instead of counting my laps until the time when I could get out and that I was done, suddenly I didn’t wanna stop. I wanted to look at the patterns of the water and I wanted to listen to the bubbles against my ears.
And so then even when I got a cramp in my foot and the water started getting into my ears, I was like, “Oh, these are interesting sensations.” Whereas in the past, that would have derailed me, had made me panic, and made me feel like I need to stop and stretch out that leg, instead I just let the leg rest and I just let the water take me.
And I was like, “What if the water is my friend? What if the water is going to help me heal this cramp?” Then my body started to relax. And then I was able to relax that cramp in that swim and just keep swimming even through the challenges.
So even through the cramp, even through the water getting in my ear and irritating me, I was able to keep going because I relaxed and allowed life to support me. Allowed the water to support me.
My whole life, I felt like water is an enemy and that it’s gonna drown me. And any time I turn my back, any time I let go of control, any time I stop trying to control the situation, that the water would take me down and drown me. And I realize that this was an unconscious fear I’ve been carrying until this very moment a few minutes ago in the pool.
And finally that belief came to the surface of my consciousness and I was able to let it go and go, wow, what if, like my husband who is a surfer says, and who all the waves pounding him on the sand when he’s surfing and he dives under the thing and gets pummeled by the waves. That would have terrified me. And he always would be like, “No, it’s fun! You just relax and you know that eventually you’re gonna pop up again.” And I never understood that. But now I do.
I still probably might find it a bit challenging to be pummeled under the waves, but now I can relax. Because I know that I can swim and I have my swimming fitness.
And so it relates so deeply to the work that Bianca and I do with women, with their body confidence. Because so often, women and men approach a weight loss goal, approach a body change goal, as just wanting to race to the destination, just wanting to race to the point where you’ve lost that weight. Or you’ve changed your body. And you’ve got that aesthetic result that makes you look good.
But sometimes beauty is not in the picture perfect, perfectly lit, made up face end goal. Sometimes it’s in the goggle faced, bared faced, natural, joy of the journey, in the everyday moments of life.
And so, my encouragement for you today, is to think about where in your life you are racing to the end. Where in your life are you trying to race to some goal? And feeling like the world around you is an enemy in some way? That it’s not supporting you? What if, instead you could focus on relaxing your body, bring your attention back into your senses, and start to notice the beauty around you in this very moment, in this very body?
So where can you notice the beauty and the joy and the splendor, the awe that is around you in this very moment? The more you can bring your attention and focus into this very moment, then it allows you to commit to the practice, to the daily practice, the stacking of habits that is required to actually get that goal.
It’s one of the ultimate paradoxes of life – the more that you set that goal but then let it go and just commit to the daily practice of what’s required, then you will easily reach that goal and more. Without stress, without upset, and even if there’s challenges along the way you will be able to relax and allow yourself to be carried through those challenges. And not let them derail you, but instead allow you to just adjust your course slightly to account for those challenges and keep going. Because the journey actually becomes joyful.
So if you would love to learn how to take this kind of philosophy and approach into your health and well-being journey and stop trying to race to the end when you reach that magical dress size or number on the scales and can finally be worthy and instead you’re just punishing yourself all along the way, if you’d like to learn how to bring this kind of grace into your health and well-being journey, then join Bianca and I on our next webinar.
We’ve been putting together an incredible webinar that will teach you the fundamental foundations of our combined 30 years of experience, to help you understand how you can live in a happy, healthy body, every single day of your life and enjoy the journey. Because your body is here to allow you to experience the joy of life and not just race to the end where you get to have some magical dress size when suddenly you’ll be worthy and everything will be magically fine.
I think that’s it. I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend. And I’ll speak to you soon. I’ll pop the link below so that you can join our webinar if you feel called to it. I would look forward to sharing more insights with you there. Lots of love, bye.
“Having ongoing training is essential for our team and our business. It’s important to look after the people that look after others. Kylie has the experience, professionalism and knowledge to engage with our team and help them understand about human behaviour and why people do what they do. In the wellness and health industry it’s a different sales and service delivery and it’s imperative to keep on top of these understandings to perform at our best to help others. We couldn’t recommend Kylie high enough.”
I have worked with Kylie over many years. She has helped me as a Business Mindset Coach, as a motivational speaker for clients when I had my gyms with Vision and more recently at Flow Athletic. I bring her in to train my Personal Training teams in mindset, communication and how to coach our clients better and excel in our own personal mastery.
I highly recommend her work.