Photo credit: Kate Webber

In the three months since my Farallon Islands swim, much has changed. And equally much has not changed. For me this is the ultimate struggle; having the patience to trust the process when I am enticed by agents of change, especially when it scares me and takes considerable effort. For when you stretch beyond your capabilities, possibilities of Self begin to sparkle in the distance above. A mesmerizing sight, glistening with an allure that is captivating in the truest sense.  With each bold step toward reaching those possibilities, there adds a richness to my soul I know I can never achieve if I did not forge ahead. I do not want to stay the same, I want to explore how far I can possibly go. And the only way out is to cross the chasm of vulnerability, despite the cacophony of self-doubt and fear that echo persistently off the canyon walls.

None of these swims are simply athletic events, but a particular stage of metamorphosis. They change you. And that is precisely where I thrive. Such that the soul crawling out of the water onto dry land completing a swim - crying and exhausted - is a completely different embodiment from the one who jumped off a boat, in the middle of the night and surrendered herself to the magic of the unknown. The swim is merely the catalyst that forces me into the exploration of a new realm of Self.  An unpredictable journey that only truly commences when you return to land. And for me the struggle in the aftermath is far more tumultuous than swimming through the craziest swells of the wild and untamed ocean. Indeed, elbowing my way out of this cocoon I have outgrown is a painful tussle.

Yet as uncomfortable and isolating this new space is, I remind myself that this is exactly what I signed up for: the beauty is in the battle. And it is so scary. Yet I know now that if I can endure this discomfort of patience and fear of vulnerability, the most authentic gift of life lays just on the other side.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”  — Marianne Williamson