A Kiss with Death: Surrendering to the Sea


I began to panic. The waves kept coming and I could barely keep my head above the water. My feet longed for the bottom of the sea, but I was too far removed from the safety of the shores. I was at the mercy of the wrath of the ocean. 


It was the biggest swell of the year, and in the blink of an eye, a rip tide pulled me out to sea. This is how quickly life happens.


It was the final day of the Nicaragua Retreat. My mind scattered to that dark place and I couldn’t help but think, “Imagine I die on the final day of this retreat I’m hosting.” So I panicked some more, swallowing the salty water that washed over my face.  


I was alone. Everyone else had gone site seeing for the day. I chose to stay back to get some work done, but to my chagrin my MacBook crashed that morning. There was something about the energy in Playa Maderas–something fishy was going on. During the previous night’s ceremony, the fire sparked and spit out the paper on which I had written the things I wanted to release. And now this. 


“PLEASE HELP ME. PLEASE!” At this point I was pleading to the only man in sight, he was barely in ear shot. I’ll never forget his face, his teal shorts or his eccentric goatee. If he didn’t come to my rescue in that moment I would have surely drowned. “PLEASE!!!!” I penetrated his eyes to his soul and begged with every inch of my being, “PLEASE HELP ME!!!” 


My body was starting to tire out and the tears began to surface. 


It’s funny how the stress of my computer crashing and losing the last 5 years of my life in the form of photos and writings had dissipated. How menial that all seemed. None of that even mattered to me anymore. How little actually does matter. I wanted to live. I still have so much life to live and so much love to give. 


And how interesting for this to be my second kiss with death within two years. 


Thankfully he began to make his way out to me. He was shouting, “DIG YOUR FEET INTO THE SAND.” I could barely hear him as I kept sinking under, wave after wave. 


Finally he reached me, attempting to push me towards the shoreline. The undertow was too strong. Even as I swam with all my might, I could feel myself being pulled out to sea. “OMG I’m going to drown,” I thought as I held his hand, providing my fading body some respite. 


Swimming became a bit easier with his support. Thankfully a sigh of relief came as I felt grains of sand between my toes. I channeled every desire in me to live downward, digging roots into the precious earth. 


The realization of how finite this existence is sparked inspiration within me to live even more fully. In that moment I realized how important it is to live for the present moment, not what may happen in the future. 


I sat on the shoreline topless and in tears. Every muscle in my body was shaking and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.

I felt the urge to tell those I love that I love them. I felt a deep pull in my heart to experience those lingering curiosities, to take chances, to be bold and take risks, to act in spite of any fears on all matters of the heart and on all matters that matter to me. 

I realized even more how much this very moment matters, right now, not the stories of the past, nor the digital or material baggage accumulated, for these illusions tend to create our sense of identity. What is this identity anyway? It can be shed in the blink of an eye if we so choose, it’s all just a story. 

What matters most is this moment and how we choose to dance in it. 

So I asked you: How are you living life to the fullest in this moment? Are there things you’ve been waiting to experience, discover, and share? Are there words you have yet to express and long to? 

Since this experience, this beautiful gift from the ocean, I have acted more boldly and vulnerably with others. Since this kiss with death, I have sprung myself into action even more. I have also chosen to live dancing to the beat of my drum. It’s my life and I shall live it the way I’m inspired to. I will celebrate me exactly as I am, not as I am expected to be. 

I wish this same freedom and fire for life for all. 

This life is precious, a ticking time bomb, with an imminent finale unknown. And so, will you choose to be here now? Will you choose to harness all the tools possible to create a life in which you’d feel so fulfilled it’d be ok to die tomorrow? Live everyday as if it were the last. Join me for The Initiation Course™ beginning June 1 and get ready to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Thank you for those of you who insistently requested I share this story. I dedicate this post to you.