“Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.” Thoreau
It seems that I am in good company with my love of kayaking. Jeff Brown, Henry David Thoreau, Ray Mears all appreciate the power of this activity. After waking up today feeling down, I heard a little voice inside telling me I needed to go kayaking (a river and a canal run round the back of the housing estate I live on). After an hour or so on the water I felt so much better – energised, settled and ready for a productive day. I started to wonder what paddling can teach us about life and even business.
The six steps to power, freedom and joy (that I learnt through kayaking):
Seize the day
Waking up and spontaneously deciding, ‘whatever, I have got on today I can find time for this’ gives us a tremendous freedom and sense of control. We learn to play again. It takes some courage and it builds boldness and a sense of empowerment.
Socialise with like minded people
Too much of our time and energy can be spent with people with whom we are not well matched or who don’t enhance our life. I believe we need to actively choose who we spend our time, and our life with; because being in relationship with other people helps us to develop and enhance our self. Often those people can be very different to us but share a love of similar activities (actually I find it better if this is the case, but we often play it ‘safe’ by preferring people who are like us).
Simplicity is powerful
All we are is energy. Complicated depletes, robs us of our energy. Keep it simple and you will feel energised and motivated. Whether this is your business, your to do list, your yoga practice, your food or sex or just about anything. Strip life down to its bare essentials and you will be more of you!
Slow down and time expands
Time is relative. Stress is experienced when we have speeded up on the inside – we are ‘wired’ . When we slow down intentionally, we can expand (in our physiology and psyche) into that space created and experience a powerful state of ‘energised relaxation’, where we are focused, and simultaneously more productive and creative.
Serenity – make time for peace
Being with your self, and/or with nature, can be the most precious time spent. It gives us time with our thoughts, feelings and sensations allowing us to integrate and ‘digest’ experiences and bring more peace into our life.
Steadiness – take the rough with the smooth
It’s not what happens to us, its how we react to what happens to us (in our thoughts, emotions and feelings) that is the problem. The sun comes out, the clouds come down and it rains. It is calm and still, then the wind comes and the waves buffet us about. We CAN learn to ‘be with’ whatever comes, and not react to it, not get disturbed by it; then we start to see life differently and more energy to achieve whatever we want to achieve.