I just swam the US Masters 1-Hour Swim which is a national annual event to see how far you can swim in 1 hour. This year, our coach, Bill Meier, who created the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, invited us to make this year’s swim a fundraiser to support Swimming Saves Lives which offers swim lessons to adults to get parents to inspire their kids to swim. Thanks to all those who donated to this event! I swam 3475 yards which beat my distance last year by 105 yards!
I sent out the invitation to pledge late in the game. I’ve been super busy writing my book and honestly, I didn’t want to hassle with the logistics of the fundraiser. But at the 11th hour I said to myself, “Oh, what the heck.” I sent out the email on Friday afternoon. In less than 24 hours I received a total pledge of $1275.00 and donations are still coming in. As the emails began pouring in with enthusiastic responses like, “What a great cause”, “Go get ’em tiger”, and “Give it your all”, I was overwhelmed with your love.
Whether you pledged or not, I felt all your support and made the swim about the cause rather than myself. I felt grateful for all of you, the good work my coach is doing, the team, and all those who chose to make a difference. I can’t tell you how freed up I felt swimming for a cause. I tuned into an energy bigger than myself and it sustained me throughout the swim. It was as though I wasn’t swimming. Something else was swimming me.
Do I hear the yoga of swimming here? Do I hear an Ashaya theme? Yes.
How to put your total effort into something while also allowing the bigger energy to move through you? This was the perfect exercise of co-participating with grace. One arm effort and the other grace. If you swim with just the arm of effort, you will over-effort and go in a circle. Likewise, if you only swim with the arm of grace, too little effort, you go in a circle in the opposite direction or you don’t move at all and just sink. Both effort and grace are needed to move forward in the water and in life! When you have the perfect balance of effort and grace, you go to your heart where you access an ocean of infinite power. This is where your effort becomes effortless, and the swimmer dissolves into act of swimming itself.
I’m reminded how important it is to have a purpose bigger than myself as a way of tapping into a bigger energy. I recently wrote in my book about the power of purpose and that when you choose to dedicate yourself to a cause greater than yourself, you tap into the ocean of grace. Grace gives you the energy and inspiration to go beyond your fears and obstacles that normally slow you down or prevent you from following your heart, living your dream.
With a greater purpose, you go beyond the self-limiting ego. Or in Tantra-speak, you align your ego (your personal energy) with the greater energy to serve and benefit others and life. This greater purpose is like the carrot of intent that leads you into the center of your greatness. I love Douglas Brook’s definition of greatness. “Greatness is knowing you are greater than yourself.” This had real meaning for me during the swim. You are greater than you think you are. You are more than your limitations. When you’re connected to grace, you can always do more than you think you can.
Within you is the infinite, boundless, and inexhaustible energy of source. You are the embodiment of the universe. You are God in the flesh. One of the keys to accessing this is to dedicate your life to a purpose greater than yourself. You have to get bigger, think bigger. If you don’t have a purpose bigger than yourself, or if your purpose isn’t clear, don’t worry. Your purpose can be as simple as being kind to others, holding a door for someone, or being part of a group dedicated to a cause that holds meaning for you. Living for a purpose bigger than yourself is the formula for fulfillment and happiness. Guaranteed. You will receive the result.