Flopping on the bank, bouncing up and down in the mud, wiggling and squirming, my struggle exhausts me. A wide open mouth seems to gasp, but the dry air does me no good. My greenish black scales and white belly don’t feel like they belong here. A tailflap or another spiky raise of my back spines is useless. These things I can do, my abilities, seem pointless here.The stuff that is naturally me, just isn’t working… at… all…
I want to point our discussion today to CONTEXT. It’s the key. CONTEXT makes all the difference in our world. Nothing else can shift us as fast, as quick and as for real, as a complete overhaul of CONTEXT.
How long have I been here? Too long to remember the before times. What is it like? Tiresome, Painful, Aggravating, Depressing, Hopeless, Pointless, Bleak and Barely Worth the Fight Anymore… But I flop around some more… That’s all I can do… One eye resting in the mud, the other pointed at the sky. My side fin is pinned under me. It can’t lift my body. It takes all my nonexistent energy to quickly heave my being up and (maybe) forward. Or sideways. Just somewhere adjacent, somewhere ever so slightly different. Heck, how do I know… It’s hard to tell where I am, when the only visual glimpse I get of the surroundings is in a sudden fleeting flash of movement, during my exasperating action.
My gills are parched. The land is scary, where I can barely breath. At first I would panic and freak out, and flop and flop and flop some more. Even the slightest splash of the shallowest puddle would provide life again. After awhile, I learned to live without. It’s a sincere and deep suffering, when the air all around, steals my moisture, and leaves me almost without a reason to go on flopping.
Then there’s the caked on grime and muck. I am getting all gummed up and sticky. Little stones and twigs and dead grasses adhere to me. Yuck! I don’t like that feeling at all! It’s annoying and embarrassing to look so ugly and dirty…
I’m feeling alone now too. I can’t remember the last time I was laughing with friends, or sharing a meal with loved ones. I’m the only one like me here. I can see the occasional little ant go by, or notice the black fly who stops to rest on me. A break from his buzzing around. It seems everyone else here, has the tools to make it, in this world, but me. They can scamper over the mud, or fly through the humid air, to wherever they’d like to go. I just wish I was a bug sometimes. Then this life would be easier…
I haven’t eaten in forever. My favorite meals of little juicy worms or spastic swimming larvae, are not here. Not out here on the bank. Even when I see a worm, they crawl right by me, I flop at them, but fail. Boy do I feel stupid.
My plight feels hopeless. So I just sit sometimes and wait. What else can I do? I think it will have to end at some point. I can’t go on forever like this right? So, why am I still here? Why have I made it this long, in this crummy condition? Why am I here, doing this flopping, yet still feel so stuck! And now, I am not just sad or forlorn or sorry about my stuck-ness, dammit I’M MAD!!!
Yeah! This SUCKS! It Sucks! It Sucks! It Sucks! So I silently scream my fishy head off, without making a sound. Flopping around on the land, where I don’t belong.
Until I flip that one most important next flop. I couldn’t see how close to the water I was. And I can’t say for sure if it was even me. It could have been gravity that rolled me. Or maybe someone else came along and nudged me with a boot, or a stick. However it has happened… all of a sudden…
Whoosh, down into the coolness. Water! My Home! I just fell so fast and easy down, down, down into the sweet drink of life. Sucking and slurping and swishing. It’s almost too good to be true! I feel the tingle and the wash of wetness rinsing me outside and in. The caked-on mud and grime now floats and drifts away as I work my fins loose once again.
My equilibrium is returning after so long without use. I can sense things around me in brand new ways. I feel the current, the flow. I know that taste, that smell, everything is familiar again. I am receiving messages from all around. A young frog just exploded out of his hiding place, I may have scared him. The plants wave and rub and touch me, such a welcome massage. A wise old turtle lurks down below me, I feel his mass and just know it’s time to move out of his dangerous reach.
Still in disbelief, my recharge is almost instantaneous. I am wide awake and electric with energy! In my first real try, I Zing! and I Dart! and shoot around effortlessly, carving intricately around rocks, over submerged stumps and under an angled fallen limb! Haha! What fun it is to swim again! I am strong and sleek and made to glide! It’s just so nice to see all of my world, my eyes are wide open again. I know what’s ahead of me, where I want to go, and how I want to get there. I can plan and shift and go as slow or as fast as I’d like to. It’s up to me now.
Feeling refreshed, full of life, clean and at home again, I can look for nourishment. I grab some quick snacks under mossy rock. I cruise on. I am really feeling giddy now. My fears are gone. My belly is filling up, and there is plenty to eat here.The bleak hunger that was killing me, is now a smorgasbord of choice morsels!
What’s that? Movement and silver flashes up by the rapids! A whole school of friends! Wow, what fun they’re having! A few quick wiggles of the tail and I’m with them! Jumping and frolicking, daring each other and taking a leap up and over some rocks! Whoa! Not sure I’m ready to jump up and out of the water again just yet!
Ha, these are the finest fishy friends a bass could ask for! They have no idea, that it was just a short time ago, that I was struggling up on the bank by myself. Amazing to me, that now it just doesn’t even matter! My past was long gone the instant I hit that water! I could be myself again!
My true self is such an easy thing to be… Me! When I’m where I’m supposed to be. My struggle is gone, barely even a memory! All I can do is thank God. Way back on the dirty dry bank, I didn’t want to flip or flop or hardly even shrug. I almost, just almost, Gave Up.
But I didn’t. And how, or why or who could’ve known when that struggle would finally end. If I really think back, I know I had given up, over and over and over. It was a series of letdowns and actions and hopes dashed again. But that final move, that final flippity flop, or gravity roll, or nudge from another, was so slight, so small that I didn’t see it coming.
My CONTEXT was reborn in an instant. My CONTEXT, that seemed like death, is now washed with life. My depressing and pointless attempts have ended. It’s now time for flight and fun and freedom again. All in a shift of CONTEXT…
And the amazing thing about this story for us human beings is that when this shift of Context happens, it’s instant. Context lives in our minds. It’s not all about our surroundings. Context is how we process the world around us. It can seem physical however. That is how strong our minds are. It can physically feel like a dying dried out fish, hitting the cold fresh water of a stream, to shift the Context of our minds. It happens in a tiny moment, right where we are at. It takes no change in location, or job, or purchase, or sale, to feel the bliss of a Context shift.
I’m writing today, living in a new world. A new context. Right now I breathe in a minty brisk air. It’s invigorating! Right now, my mind sizzles and pops with creativity. Right now, my heart is exploding with fullness of love and deeply connected peace. I am in knowing again.
I want to publicly thank my wife Lindsay, for being the spark that ignited this most recent big shift. Wow. What an honor, to share our lives and moments like this together. These are special ones. I appreciate each delicious breath. We did ask for it in prayer. I have asked for the help of others, of Coaches. I am in full awareness that I was nudged back into the freshness of a world I belong, by a power much greater than my own little flip-flapping could ever accomplish. Thanks be to God.
Are you feeling the fresh and fantastic ease of your natural confidence and power? Or do you struggle and gasp and feel the pain of separation from your true calling? Or have you wiggled yourself into a nice shady spot, in the cool mud, resigning to make the best of the situation. Do you say and believe things like: “It is, what it is”, and intend to just ‘get through’ life, riding it out, in tragic comfort on the banks, nowhere near the fun of your true fishy potential?
These choices are ours to make every day. I suggest to keep on flopping, don’t give up, you never know when the next step is the one that makes all the difference 🙂
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
(attributed to ― Albert Einstein)
Shift your CONTEXT by talking with me about ‘Struggling or Swimming?’
You’re invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in our online workshop – you’ll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to work with us, at 5:30 CST. You need a device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it’s actually really easy ) Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – before Tuesday – I’ll send you the hangout invite through Google+ when we start.
Check out last week’s hangout here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!