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By Madelyn Vida

FRI AUG 27, 2021

This summer I took up Stand-up Paddle (SUP) boarding which was introduced to me by my sister in California. I enjoy the ability to both stand up, kneel down and remain sitting while on the board. It was also a way for me to overcome my fear of open water. I am not a great swimmer and am also afraid when I am unable to feel the bottom of the open water floor. It is also a great way to engage my core and other muscles while being in the water. I do enjoy looking at the water and have gone to the beach a lot to read, listen to music, do some art or occasionally play in the water but not swim in it. Most of all, I was hoping that this would have been an activity that I could have shared with the person that I love. To explore, discover and go through the waves together.

Our journey together has ended abruptly. It felt like I was wiped out by a big wave. All forms of emotions just came hitting me. It continues to be a day-to-day challenge to get back up. I try each day to lean on the teachings:

- Impermanence – yes, there are no guarantees in life. Just when I thought I was lucky to have found a partner for the rest of my life, I lost her.

- Expectations and attachments are the root of suffering. This is a hard lesson when you have poured all the love you can give and the greatest gift that you can offer is to let go.

Each day as I sit to meditate and watch my thoughts and emotions that are so agonizing that I end up offering loving-kindness. My best friend Rachel keeps reminding me about the scene in Eat, Pray, Love:

Liz Gilbert: I thought I was over him.

Richard from Texas: Big deal. So you fell in love with someone.

Liz: But I miss him.

Richard: So miss him. Send him some light and love every time you think of him, then drop it. You know, if you could clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using to obsess over this guy and your failed marriage, you’d have a vacuum with a doorway. And you know what the universe would do with that doorway? Rush in. God would rush in. Fill you with more love than you ever dreamed of.

To date I enjoy paddle boarding, I focus on the beauty of the water and the horizon. I try each time to stand up. It continues to be a challenge to get back on the board but with enough upper body strength, swimming practice, company of caring family and friends, courage, and persistence, I will continue to find joy in paddleboarding. I will continue to send light and love… I will continue to trust in love.