Monica Marie Jones
Lessons From a Kayak
This weekend I went on a kayaking and tubing adventure with my family. Just as I had suspected, it was a great time, but it was far more intense than I had anticipated. I thought it would be just like the lazy river attraction that most amusement parks offer, only on an actual river. I quickly learned that navigating some of the more challenging parts of the river took far more skill and focus. At the beginning of our journey, we encountered several points that were like mini rapids where we had to maneuver through a narrow channel surrounded by huge rocks on both sides with rushing water ushering us ahead. If you didn’t navigate your entrance into and travel through this small waterway just right, your kayak would flip over. By way of what feels like a small miracle, I was able to navigate the multi-mile stretch without incident, but that wasn’t the case for some of the other members of the family. As we reflected on the experience, we learned a few powerful lessons that have direct parallels to how we live our personal and professional lives. Face Forward. As we packed up the cars for our voyage my brother warned us that when we came to these points in the river, we needed to make sure we stayed straight. You couldn’t come at them from an angle or sideways otherwise you’d find yourself upside down in the water. This makes me think of the 100% commitment, focus, and presence that it takes to achieve our goals. There are also several times where my brother hopped out of his tube to steer our kayaks from behind to make sure we made it through safely. This reminds me of the importance of a supportive team who has the skill and humility to lead from behind the scenes and ultimately get you back on track when you are straying off-course and headed in a dangerous direction. Strategic Resistance. Many of the boaters and floaters would end up at the entrance of these intense aquatic passageways at the same time. Instead of trying to follow or move with the masses, I would just wait it out until I had a clearing where I could move at my own pace, get the direction of my kayak on track, and not have to steer around all the others in the space. I’ve found success in business in this same way. I often sit back, observe, and then execute in that strategic sweet spot when it’s both my time and my turn, on my terms, instead of trying to move with the crowd. Prioritize Yourself. One of our family members flipped his kayak at just about every juncture because he was so worried about harming people on the other side. This was a kind and noble gesture, but in putting them before himself, he ended up on the receiving end of the harm every time. What’s interesting is that the people he was trying to help were carelessly frolicking in spaces that put them in harm’s way. It was their responsibility to move or steer clear of incoming vessels. This is directly connected to how sometimes we go out of our way to help or support people who don’t want to be helped. They continue to live footloose and fancy-free, and we harbor resentment or experience setbacks because we put our needs and wellbeing last to save them. This week I challenge you to apply these lessons from my kayak excursion to your business and life. Identify the areas where you need to face forward, resist, or prioritize yourself to increase your enjoyment of the journey and decrease harm along the way. Manifestation Affirmations I am allowing my community to support me. I am moving in my time on my terms. I am prioritizing myself.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide