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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Going With the Flow

Mar 01, 2022 06:00AM ● By Cassie Gaub
It took a bit to acclimate to the cold water, but it didn’t take long to feel at home in the ocean waves. After all, I am a strong swimmer. As a “newbie” to Southern California, I was anxious to spend as much time as possible at the beach and in the water. With a little time, I got more and more daring—I’d go out deeper and deeper, eventually trying out my brand-new boogie board.

Boogie boarding is essentially catching the crash or end part of a wave and riding it to the shore. It’s like surfing except you don’t have to stand up. 

Over time, I began to feel more and more confident. I’d let a few waves pass by and wait for a better one. My timing for hitting the crash of a wave in order to zoom effortlessly to the shore on my board was getting nothing short of impeccable. But then one day, my timing was off. A bigger, stronger, faster wave was approaching, and I was too early. 

It felt like I was being tossed around in a washing machine. Forgetting everything I knew about these kinds of situations—namely, “don’t fight, you have to just relax”—I frantically tried to get out of the wave and to the top of the water. I made it just in time to be pummeled by the next wave. Out of air and panicking a bit, I tried to get to the surface again for a breath. I knew which way was up only because I had been smashed hard against the ground. I made it back to the top just in time—you guessed it—to be pummeled yet again by the next wave. 

Instead of getting a breath, I had gotten a mouthful of salty ocean water. My limbs flailing, I was panicked. I didn’t know which way was up or down anymore. It was terrifying. Then, in a weird, indescribable split second, I felt a deep remembering or knowing. 

“Stop wasting your energy,” I heard within. “Relax. Go with the flow. You’ll pop up eventually.”

It’s what I knew to be true. Andi, it’s what I was taught when I was growing up in Montana next to a river with a strong undercurrent. Even as I knew it was my best bet in the moment, my internal reaction to it was: “Are you kidding me? Relax?!?” But it was my only option. I had no fight left. I was exhausted, out of air and had no idea which way was up. The only thing I could do was let go, stop fighting and trust. 

As someone with a bit of a gypsy spirit, I have moved many times in my life. At last count, I had moved 14 times in the last 16 years. While some of the excitement of moving around has worn off as I’ve gotten older, there is something magical about the process and the lessons that come with each move and new location. And one of the biggest lessons came that day in the Pacific Ocean: Let Go. Stop Fighting. Trust. 

After what felt like forever—but it could easily have been just a moment—I found myself tossed up to the shore, lying there like straggling seaweed, too exhausted to move. My friends quickly checked on me. One said, “Thank goodness you didn’t try to fight that! You would have kept getting tossed around!” 

Fighting is my natural instinct. It’s my typical go-to. Like swimming, I’m pretty good at it. But in those moments in life when it starts to feel like I’m being pummeled, I remember those waves. I carry with me the deep knowing that reminds me that sometimes the best—and maybe the only—option is to just let go, relax and trust. ❧

Cassie Gaub is an empowerment and mindset coach, energy worker, podcast host and speaker. Connect on social media @coachwithcassie and @bestuinstitute. 
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