Lessons For survival – let go and float

In our teenage years, my sister and I used to hit the pool every weekend as we improved our strokes and stamina. And when I was at college I continued that practice with my fellow students and we kind of “challenged” each other with new targets each year.

We would attempt to swim across lakes in the summer. Getting into the water was winning half the battle.

And I felt great when I made it across the lake in beautiful camp Kanawana, Quebec. I thought my training has prepared me well and I am ready to take on more challenges.

During one annual camp held at Pulau Ubin, Singapore (this was many years ago, the island does not look the same now) a group of us decided to swim across, touched the tip of Johor and looped back to Ubin.

Please do not ask me why I did that. It was an impromptu suggestion, I wanted to stretch myself and I went.

I had not swum out into the open waters before that. The shore did not look so distant but I had not factored in the waves, the wind, the traffic and my own reactions when the rubber meets the road.

I swam hard and before long was tired out by the waves. I had also swallowed mouthful of sea water when I panicked!

I knew the moves, but I had not anticipated the waves and the wind. The shore suddenly seemed so far away and with every wave I got pushed back a little. And the harder I swam, the more tired I get.

I was not ready for this. There were also jelly fish; the water was choppy and the waves strong. Fortunately, instinct kicked in and I learned to ride the waves and let it carry me before I take the next stroke.

It was slow but I was able to conserve energy and made it to and fro – with some treading of water in between as I regained my focus, my sense of direction and confidence. There were brief moments when I reached out and held onto the edge of the one little kayak that was “escorting” us.

Yes, it was not glamorous. I did not go unassisted all the way. But when you need to survive, you set your ego aside and do what is essential. I learned the trick of letting go and of going with the rhythm of the wave.

It is a nice feeling to be carried by the waters, and to know that when you are exhausted from swimming, you can tread water and float (or hang onto something that floats).

I am not advocating inactivity nor passive non-productivity. I believe in the discipline of work yet I know there is great wisdom in letting go and floating when the season is for us to nurture and toponder on the really important things in life. Less is more. The more weights we carry, you faster we will sink.

So remember to float at times and we need to do that mentally, spiritually and physically. And we can apply this lesson to our work, our plans, our businesses, our relationships and our health. Sometimes nature wants us to step back and recharge and get ready for the summer. When spring comes, when the timing is right, we will launch our new plan and get into action.

Floating is effortless and rejuvenating.


About the author:  Louisa Chan is a Certified Professional Coach and Master Mind Leader who works with women entrepreneurs seeking holistically healthy lives while pursuing efficiency and success. Louisa was IT Project Manager Professional and a HR Consultant who has lived and worked in 6 countries. She has been featured in National Press and magazine and speaks for various local women’s associations.

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