I am loving the beaches of Bali. As I sit in on a lounge chair and watch the ocean, it appears so peaceful. But now it’s time to go in and surf in that warm water! I dive in, swim in the rolling waves, and attempt to surf. One after another, the waves totally wipe me out and I tumble beneath the waves grasping for air.
In that moment, fear shows up and I consider retreating back to the shore.
This is my first trip to Bali and I am traveling solo. I have only been here a few days, but I reflect on all of the fear that showed up even before I arrived. It first showed up two years ago when I shared that I wanted to travel abroad. What would people say and think?
Then there was the fear of leaving work for a month. Will I get everything done before I leave? Will things be OK without me?
I was then worrying about planning for the trip, nervous during the flight, afraid that my bag might not get there, and feeling anxious wondering where I would stay. It’s just constant, right?!
I flip through my journal and appropriately find this quote from Plato. Courage is a kind of salvation. Courage is knowing what not to fear.
Courage develops the moment we are aware of our fears. Once we bring awareness to our experience of fear, we don’t have to be stuck with it. That is when the fear stops driving us. At that moment, we can choose courage instead of fear.
Courage is a kind of salvation because it allows us to access something greater in our lives. Being beneath the wave allowed me to access courage. When we are uncomfortable, we in the game– we are alive! This gives us greater access to our growth and serves as a guide for our own personal development.
I get that coming to Bali solo is courageous. And being willing try to surf allows courage to continue to show up. I get back on my board and paddle towards the waves. I see a large wave approaching. This time I turn my board around and paddle as hard as I can. For my first time ever, I stand on my board as I ride the wave towards the shore.