Life Lesson #1

31 October 2009

Be in the Moment

I've often told students that diving is an extreme stress reliever because you can't take your problems underwater with you. No matter what kind of a day you've had, the problems are hydrophobic and don't seem to be able to follow you beneath the sea. When you enter the sea, you enter another world, where all that is, is what's right there.

In the water, the most important thing we do is to pay attention. Pay attention to your air gauge (air is important underwater!), to the sites around you and to your buddy. I've heard many divers say one of the things they love about scuba is it forces them to focus on the present moment. They can't allow their mind to wander underwater. The feeling of focusing on what's in front of you and what you need to do to make it safely back is very freeing. In that very moment, there's nothing but you, the sea and your plan.

If you misread the water in a current, or don't adjust your buoyancy to fit with the water (which is bigger and heavier than you), the water will let you know immediately. If we mess up our buoyancy or get into a situation that's risky, it's not the sea that is out to get us. We can't blame the water for our mistakes, lack of focus or bad timing. We are forced to take responsibility for the decisions we've made up to that point, and then work to find a way to fix them.

Paying attention and being accountable for our actions, thoughts and words in our daily life isn't always as easy. Often we try to shift the blame or focus our attention elsewhere. There may not be the immediate consequences when we act carelessly, like there is in scuba, however, there will be affects to our lives that can include drama, anger and unhappiness.

In the water, if we mess up once, we will definitely replay it in our head and do it differently the next time. I haven't met very many divers with the same "one time I did..." story, but I have met many people who get addicted to drama and blaming in their lives and repeat lifes lessons over and over again.

Being truthful with yourself, and others, about your mistakes gives an opportunity to change the course of the dive. Knowing when you're going into a challenging situation and letting those around you know this is more than you've taken on before. When you mess up, let others know. Just like "dive buddies", people really do want to help us through challenging situations. No one wants to see you drown, whether in water or on land. Even the best divers in the world dive with buddies.
What life mistake do you need to admit to, forgive yourself from and resolve to not repeat it again? comments needed below for this one. :)