Ruby Allure's Books

Ruby Allure's Books
Ruby Allure's Books

Thursday, 30 June 2016

And Then What?

And Then What?
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It's a strange question to ask yourself. And then what? There is something a little all over the place about it. The thing is when you reach a goal  that is when you ask the question 'and then what?' This came to me while paddle-boarding the other morning. I woke at 5.30 in the morning and the conditions were perfect. I clambered out of my bed and pumped up the paddleboard and set myself a-float (on the sea) by six. I know... It might be considered a little strange to be out on the water with no one around at that time. Yet strangely I have the most insights and writing inspirations at that time. That morning I did not have a goal, although for a while I had been wanting to achieve the Boscombe Pier to Bournemouth Pier before work. The thought entered my mind but I did not think too much about it. Instead I went into a beautiful paddling rhythm with turquoise waves lifting me on my journey.
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I used to dislike waves when I first started paddling because the sneakers usually threw me into freezing cold water. After a few splash downs I got back up and learned to relax into the waves and relax into allowing my body to balance using my hips. This was a huge lesson because I learned that the more I tried to control, and the more rigid I became, then the more likely I would end up submerged. The other side of the paddleboard lesson was learning to relax and go with it. The more relaxed I was then the more effortless the journey was. I simply seemed to glide towards my goal with almost no effort at all. At times I would find myself in a meditative space as the rhythm of the paddle took over. A short while later I would find myself thinking and when I started thinking too much my balance would go. I realised that over-thinking actually affected my balance. I have found that in yoga too. The days where I have been ridiculously busy are the days I can hardly balance on one leg without toppling into my yoga colleagues. Of course I find it hilarious, I don't think the others are quite so amused.
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So back to the paddling, the mesmerisation by the pattern on the water and a state of absolute peace and then suddenly I reached my goal. It snuck up on me. All I had to do was enjoy my paddling journey and I would arrive at the destination with a sense of relaxed joy. I wondered what would happen if I applied this attitude to life. If I simply found an enjoyment in all that I did, if I simply pointed myself towards the goal and then immersed myself in each moment of the journey. I found that thought quite profound.

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Anyway I turned my board around and found that I started to rush back. I wondered why I was rushing, I could simply relax into the journey and enjoy my return. It was then that it occurred to me how we so often rush. It is such a waste of time rushing because rushing gets something done without any experience of the moment. Where is the enjoyment in that? As I paddled in my serene state I decided to go slower, as slow as I could. It was then I felt completely present. Everything around me was perfect - the sea, the sun, the birds and the empty space. There is a sense of zen that comes from paddling and it revealed itself in that moment. I was back at where I started, I had completely enjoyed two hours of paddling and thought I achieved a goal effortlessly... It was lovely. I then thought well what is next... And then what?

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I paddled in and a random chap came running down the beach. He said that paddleboarding looked lovely and he had always wanted to try. He asked me whether it was easy. I replied 'it depends how relaxed you are.' He studied me curiously. I asked him what the time was and I had fifteen minutes so I handed my board and paddle to him and gestured for him to enter the water. He was wearing his jogging wear and was definitely going to get wet. I showed him how to stand up and how to balance. He did as I said and splat. Then splat again and then double splat. I said that he needed to relax and not control the board. He managed to last about a minute before another big splash. He then paddled in. He loved it. He grinned from ear to ear and in that moment he decided he was going to get his own board. We then went our separate ways but before that he asked me out for a coffee to repay my kindness. It was then that I realised the 'And then what...' Once you reach your goal, why not inspire others to reach theirs through 'random acts of kindness?'
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