What getting sea sick taught me

A few weeks ago now, I decided that I needed to 'get some air' - get out of the city.  The opportunity to head down to the Keys in Florida presented itself, and pretty easily everything fell into place.

I got so much from that trip, which I'll talk about in the coming weeks, but what I wasn't expecting was a bought of sea sickness.  

Now, I get motion sickness from time to time.  I know this about myself and so I always take the proper steps in order to feel as good as I can.  The morning before we went out on the water I did everything right.  I took my pills, ate properly and left enough time before heading on board.  I had all my gear and was really looking forward to a great dive (fav hobby I picked up in 2016).

The first dive was outstanding, even though it was a liiiiiitle chilly.  It was a wreck dive and the fish and other ocean life was just beautiful.  I even saw a turtle!  

I came up after that first dive though, and I felt it coming on right away.  You know what I mean - when you can feel it about 15-20 minutes off.  That dreaded feeling.

Well,  I was with a good friend on the boat who noticed I wasn't feeling so hot, and so I "focused on the horizon", like I was told.  I did end up getting sick a short while later, and while the rest of the divers were at the second dive site, I sunned myself just like that turtle below would have, and recovered on the top of the boat.

Staring out at the ocean, I had the next hour or so to do nothing but think (a rare occasion in my life).

And as I was admiring the simple beauty of nature that day, a comment my friend made came to mind: 

"You know, it's all just in your head", he said.

And that got me thinking.  

How much do the thoughts I think and believe impact my reality?  If I was to shift the story I was telling myself of "I'm seasick", would my body respond?

I had nothing but time, so I decided to play this game.  For the rest of the day, before I told myself a story, or made an assumption about a scenario, I would let that belief go, switch it, and see how that played out.

Well, I'm sure you can see this coming...changing what I thought in my mind really did have a huge impact in how I felt, experienced the rest of the day, and also the rest of my trip.  I was more present and in the moment.  Eventually, I felt lighter, and less sluggish too.  

Changing my perspective didn't change the fact that I had really thrown up and was weak and tired, but I did end up feeling better sooner than normal.  I also felt more positive overall - not so bummed about the whole thing.

Being near the ocean, and nature in general, has taught me so much over the years.  This time, the incredible power of the ocean reminded me of the incredible power we have in our minds.  To choose how we think, how we respond and the stories we tell ourselves.  

Maybe, that's the lesson I was supposed to learn that day out there, in the middle of the ocean. 

Lindsay RiderComment