Paddleboarding-Life Lessons

I had never seen paddleboards before, much less tried one. They look like surf boards, but I couldn’t remember being that close to surfboards either. And you stand up on the things and paddle. People riding them out on the lake reminded me of gondaliers, standing and paddling as they floated across the water.

Did I want to try one? No thanks. Well maybe. Yes, please, if there’s still time.101_2662_resized

Paddleboarding: Life Lessons

Relax. Breathe. Distribute your weight. Focus on where you want to go: you will go wherever you focus. Reach out. Dig deep. Push and pull. Give space to fisherman and they will give you grace. There will be waves- enjoy the rocking but don’t be lulled. Be proud of accomplishments but not blinded by pride.

After a few basic instructions (kneel here, this is the front of your paddle, put your paddle here, when you stand put your feet where your knees are), I was pushed out to deeper waters so I wouldn’t crack my head on the rocks if things didn’t go so well. An experienced paddleboarder met me and started encouraging right away.

“You’ll go where you look,” she said, “so if you look down…”

I got the message and looked out toward the horizon, then focused in on the opposite side of the lake. I didn’t feel so philosophical in the moment. I just wanted to stay upright. We headed toward the bluffs across the water and I instantly became acutely aware that many more boats had floated into the cove since the last time I’d been out in a kayak. And fishermen had left many jug lines floating all over the place. My guide informed me there was a woman fishing from the dock and we would need to give her plenty of space for casting. We made a large arc around her, mingling amidst the boats. Boaters greeted us with friendly smiles and talked about their dogs and the perfect day to be on the lake.

Then came the time we had to turn around and head back. For the first time I had to deliberately turn the board parallel to the gently rocking waves. The thought that I might lose my balance tripped through my mind momentarily, but I didn’t have time or the inclination to make that my focus. After two or three rocks, I was turned around, headed back the way we’d come. That was actually kind of fun. I took another breath, reached out with the paddle and dug down deep as we headed for the “home” shore.

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Spiritual Smorgasbord

As I belly up to life’s buffet, I ask myself, “What is it that will best feed my spirit today?” I want a well-rounded spiritual diet that is truly nutritious, just as my body needs a variety of healthy foods containing a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals.

What is on the buffet? An endless smorgasbord, to be sure! Crisp, crunchy interviews; shopping and library casseroles; ripe prayer and meditations; musical, dancing salads; juicy forgiveness; stringy thoughts of yesterday, mixed with worries about tomorrow; egotistical thoughts of sweet, lemony revenge.

My first impulse may be to start with dessert. That revenge sure looks sweet! But I gather myself up and head for the healthier end of the buffet first. I fill my plate with prayer and meditation and a healthy helping of forgiveness. I choose music that relieves the pain in my heart. I meet and talk with people I think I may develop new and healthy relationships with.

By the time I reach the dessert end of the buffet line, my plate is full and I find that when I’ve consumed what I chose, I am quite satisfied. There is no room left in me to desire that sweet-looking revenge, and I realize now that, had I chosen it, it would have made me sick.

Tomorrow will be another day, another opportunity to fill my plate. The smorgasbord is always there, always presenting the opportunity to make tasteful, fulfilling choices about what I accept on my plate of spiritual food.


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