I was on a weekend vacation with my girlfriend a few weeks back. It was our two year anniversary, so we decided to go away somewhere. We chose a nice little cottage right on the water of a bay in Maryland.
One morning, we decided to take our coffee to the nearby dock and sit on the edge to stare off at the peaceful reflection of the risen sun on the water. We sat in this moment of peace in silence for what felt like years. Watching the rays of light glisten off the bay’s surface like a field of tiny diamonds was enough to keep me trapped in that moment of tranquility for years.
And then I noticed something at my feet.
Not 3 feet from my toes, I spotted a large jellyfish floating by. My first question, of course, was “Why are there jellyfish here?” But, rather than get caught up in details that didn’t need explaining, I decided to watch this jellyfish more intently. My girlfriend even joined in and commented on how big it was (the jellyfish, ya pervs).
Suddenly, we noticed two more of these gelatinous creatures creep on by. And then two more following. All floating with no agenda or urgency. There was something mesmerizing to this scene that prompted me to get deep into my brain, as I usually do with seemingly normal occurances. I’m a proponent of curiosity, what can I say?
I took a lesson from these little bulbous water-dwellers in this moment. We need to live more like the jellyfish.
Life tends to confront us with a large amount of responsibilities and obligations. As human beings we have this terrible habit of overloading ourselves with a lot of elements that don’t actually add any value to our life. As a result of this overloading, we’re finding ourselves more and more stressed with our daily living that we’ve developed coping mechanisms through food, drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it.
We need to learn to float more in life.
Have you ever been on vacation or at a waterpark where there was a lazy river? If you haven’t, I’ll give you a brief description:
In a pre-designed track of water with a slow current, you climb into a raft and simply float along the course. That’s it. No obligations, no responsibilities, no need for skill. You simply let go and float.
If you have experienced this attraction before, can you remember how relaxing it was? How good it felt to just climb into that raft and float aimlessly through the warm water with the sun on your face? Maybe you had a drink in your hand? Maybe a few?
The point I’m making is this: Sometimes in life, we need to let go of everything for a moment and just float.
And before you tell me that you can’t, I’m telling you that you can. You just choose not to. And that’s fine if that choice brings you relaxation and happiness. But I’d be willing to wager that you could benefit from some floating. And I’m going to show you how to do it.
How to Live Like a Jellyfish
Step 1: Choose Your Body of Water
Loosely explained, this means choose your environment.
Who we surround ourselves with and the environments we put ourselves in have a large impact on how we live our lives. Think about the five people and the five environments you spend the most time surrounded by. Do these environments empower you and encourage you to pursue greater things? If not, you have to change your environment.
If you’re going to start floating in life, you need to be able to fully relax and embrace the change, so your environment must be suited for that. If you choose to float in an unstable and unserving environment, you’ll find more stress than satisfaction.
Step 2: Get INTO Your Body of Water
This step is crucial because it’s the step that most people don’t take. Most of us choose what environments we would like to be in, but we don’t actually commit to making this a reality.
In order to start floating and release the stress and tension you feel everyday, you must change a few things. And changing a few things requires some effort on your part. It doesn’t take a ton of effort to remove yourself from a comfort trap or a relationship that’s not moving you forward, but you will face some fears along the way. You cannot stop at these fears!
Being able to confidently express what you want in your life and why you want it is the first step to personal freedom. Start embracing this new lifestyle choice of floating and incorporate it little by little each day. Soon you’ll notice that life seems to be aligning for you with significantly less stress.
Step 3: Float
This is where you let go of everything you don’t need in your life. I’m talking mostly on a mental level here, but there may be a few physical elements you must let go of as well.
In order to let go, you must embrace uncertainty. It is impossible for you to know all the answers, control every situation, or understand how everything is going to work out. Floating in life requires a great deal of trust. Trust that everything will work out the way you want it to and trust that you will be ok if you let go sometimes.
The purpose of floating is not to do absolutely nothing and just hope things work out in your favor. The purpose of floating is to do less of the unnecessary elements you’ve added into your life and open up space for new opportunities that will bring you fulfillment.
Take what is absolutely necessary, discard what is not, and float in the uncertainty you’ve welcomed into your life. It is here you will find what you’re looking for because it will come to you when you’re not looking at all.