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How deep do you want to live your life? A primer on strength and gratitude

I just finished listening to an incredibly powerful podcast from The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, speaking with clinical therapist Sean Stephenson and they hit on a topic that resonated all the way down to my bones, and is a keystone of the Nourished and Grounded lifestyle protocol. The question posed was how deep do you want to live your life? How COMMITTED are you to living a truly happy and productive life of gratitude where your goals, passions and highest aspirations are met and exceeded on a daily basis? And how radical are you prepared to be to get there?

Sean made an amazing comparison to the two ways you can live your life, as a snorkeler or a scuba diver, and what you’ll find on each of these levels.

On the surface:

On the top level, you are a snorkeler. When you snorkel, you don’t have to really trust your equipment or your abilities to know you’re coming back up to the top for air, you never move more than a few feet from the surface, and you can always bail out if you need to. It’s a tempting place to linger, because the fish at the top are bright shiny and colorful, there’s pretty coral, and everything is very flashy. There’s a lot going on and plenty to keep you engaged and occupied, but DISTRACTED.

Down in the depths:

When you dig down deeper, you are a scuba diver. Scuba diving is a way more intense activity and requires a lot more planning, persistence and trust. You are relying on your oxygen tank completely that means you’re putting one hundred percent trust into your mouthpiece, your air tank, your monitoring system and your own capabilities in an emergency where there isn’t a lot of room for error. Down deep in the water we imagine is where the dangerous animals lurk, and even the ones that won’t hurt us aren’t pretty to look at. It’s dark and cold down there and we can feel very tiny, isolated and alone.

The realities of the situation:

When we live on the surface, afraid of the unknown, and distracted by all the pretty shiny things, we fail to realize first dangerous animals like THIS that pose a real threat. And anyone who has ever gone snorkeling knows that coral hurts like a bitch if you bump it, and all that life is incredibly fragile to the touch! We can be in more danger in a holding pattern of life than if we prepare ourselves to take the plunge.

Deep down where your pain has been hiding all these years, where your unspoken dreams and fears have lurked, that is also where the treasure lies. There’s gold and precious jewels of unimaginable wealth deep down in the depths, and plenty for the taking because everyone else has been too afraid or too lazy to go down and get it.

Are you frozen by fear of taking the plunge?
Bev Goodwin / Foter / CC BY

And all those animals that we avoided and feared because they may appear slimy or weird looking because we don’t see them very often take on the most amazing beauty. When you get up close and examine them, you realize they are incredibly resilient… they can take all the pressure that the ocean gives them. Unlike anything else on the planet many of them have learned to develop their own source of light from within, just as we must develop when we need to be strong and illuminate our own path to see the journey ahead during our darkest hours.

Developing strength and gratitude:

I think when we dive down deep, we release the demons that are stored in Davy Jones’ locker, we learn life’s lessons from those beautiful deep sea creatures and we come to appreciate the true nature of the dangerous animals that live down there. We lose our fear and come to understand they are a part of us and share our same spirit, and we become much more comfortable with the company we keep down there even when we’re all alone (because we know we can always make our own light in the dark).

When you resurface with all your developed capabilities you can keep the pretty shiny fish in a tank to look at from time to time, but you’ll know that you live on a much deeper level and you will have the strength and gratitude to live your very best life, without fear.

What strange deep sea creatures have you come face to face with, and what have you learned about the depths of your ocean? Share with us and spread the love!

Check out the entire podcast HERE.

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