Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Swim Like Nobody's Business
Once I had the privilage of hearing Nora Roberts speak at a conference. This past Sunday, my pastor preached about something similiar to what Nora had to say back then about swimming pools. Both topics resonated with me in a profound way, especially since we just took our pool cover off. And so, I got to pondering, like I always do, about Nora's speech, my pastor's sermon, swimming pools, my life and where I see myself yesterday, today and tomorrow.
First, before you jump into a pool, make sure there's plenty of water!
Second, now that your pool is full, DIVE or JUMP into the water! That's the first step in bringing your dreams to life.
Can't swim? Invest in a buoy or an innertube. Be careful, intertubes have a tendency to spin you round and round until you're so dizzy you don't know where the deep end is. Want a body-length float to ease your weary bones and take in some sun, complete with drink cozy? Be careful not to get so comfortable you fall asleep and drift off course.
How does someone achieve their dreams in a swimming pool metaphor? As Nora says, you must JUMP in and paddle yourself to the other side or chance getting nowhere fast. You can tread water, doggie paddle, or swim like a fish, whichever methods you choose. But first, you have to get into the pool and then, you must move forward. Nevermind the pool can be a scary place, especially when it's filled with other writers trying not to drown, kicking and slapping the surface to reach the other side. Magnify that image by thousands and you've got a tsunami headed near you.
So how can you swim the vast pool without losing sight of your goals?
Rule #1: JUMP in the water.
You can slide in, JUMP in or step down the ladder one run at a time, but you MUST be in the water at some point. Forty feet of water or more rests between you and your goal - the deep end. Some writers never make it. Fear overwhelms them and makes them sink like a rock. Fear of failure, of success cramps others calves. Whatever your fears, whatever obsticles you face, don't EVER give up! The deep end of a pool shouldn't be feared. In it's depths can be found strength, endurance, and gumption to survive when life-guards have been called and all others have turned around and gone back to the shallow end in order to stand on their feet.
Rule #2: TRUST your limbs, your intuition, your talent, your ability to make it to the other side.
Within each of us is a dream, a goal the Creator has nourished for a purpose. If we give in to exhaustion. If we call out for a buoy. If we turn back before reaching the other side, we cheat ourselves and will never know what could have been.
Rule #3: Never lose sight of your TARGET goal.
When you're in the pool, focus on what you believe, what you know, the goal that's worth swimming your butt off for. Winston Churchill said, "Never give up!" Don't watch the other swimmers or compare yourself. That's a waste of time. Some flail about like drowning rats, clawing in a panic to use you to keep them afloat. Some prefer to dunk you under the water when you get too close,rather than see you succeed. And then there are those - I love these the most! - who cheer you on from the sidelines, and even within the pool itself, urging you to stroke, stroke, stroke the water until you grasp onto the opposite edge in rapturous glee. It is there and only there, success, like a waterfall, soothes with ten-thousand delights.
If you jumped into the water late last year, entered the Golden Heart and finaled, you're enjoying the cooling effects of that waterfall now. If you didn't final, like me, take heart. We jumped in the water when so many others didn't. We kicked our feet and swam with the best as far as we could go. We didn't turn back. Remember, the prize isn't a contest final. The prize is the ultimate goal - the deep end. We reached it simply by submitting our manuscripts for the contest.
Rule #4: Swim like nobody's business!
Share your sink or swim stories with us today.