Monday Motivation: What I Really Learned From Swim Lessons

Moments With Millie

This summer I decided to take the plunge and finally learn how to swim. I had a traumatizing experience as a child that lead to my fear of large bodies of water. To make a long story short- two schoolmates threw me into a pool even though I repeatedly told them I couldn’t swim. Talk about scary! You cannot imagine my panic when I could not call for help as I sank towards the bottom of the pool. I was finally rescued when they realized I was telling the truth all along.

Fast forward to this summer when I got a once in a lifetime opportunity to take lessons.  I was a little hesitant at first however I knew the only way to conquer my fear was to dive in head first. While I knew that I would learn how to swim, I didn’t expect to also gain a few life lessons. Here is what I really learned from swim lessons:

  1. You can’t swim with your feet on the ground. My instructor said this to me after several attempts at getting me to actually swim. I had mastered some of the basics and was ready to take off. However I was fearful of not being grounded. At every attempt to swim, my sub-conscious reverted to the time that I was sinking and couldn’t get upright. I was fine as long as I was either standing up or holding on to the side of the pool.  But the reality is a fish does not swim standing up just like a bird does not fly on the ground. You must learn to let go and trust that you will be fine.
  2. Remember to breathe. We all know how essential breathing is to swimming (i.e. living). Well it turns out that breathing is also essential to calming fears. Breathing underwater is the very first task I mastered during my lessons. I even got to the point that I could hold my breath for several seconds. However everything went out of the window when it came time to swim. I was so focused on trying not to drown that I forgot to breathe. I ran out of steam quickly which lead me to becoming frustrated. I learned that if I focused on my breathing than I will stay afloat. And being fixated on possible negative outcomes did not help me. In life you may feel that are drowning however it is important to remember to breathe. If necessary, take several breaths. After all it is important to your survival.
  3. Courage does not mean you are successful. It means that you’ve persisted despite your fears. I must admit that I was a little unhappy at the end of the lessons.  A part of me felt the lessons were a waste of time because I was not a skilled swimmer. I thought I wasted a lot of time being afraid to let go. After some self reflection I realized that I was courageous. And at this point, I would much rather be courageous than a lifeguard. No offense but it was courage that lead me to conquer my fear. And building courage is always time well spent.

Monday Motivation: After The Rain

The weather has been a little gloomy these past few days. It makes me think back to a conversation I had with an Uber driver a few weeks ago. She expressed how much she hated the rain. As I sat in the backseat listening to her mini rant, I thought to myself that I couldn’t  disagree anymore. Since moving from the East Coast I’ve really missed the rain.  It was always a welcomed change. I guess I didn’t mind it as much because I knew there is something to gain from it. Rainy days forces us to slow down and enjoy the important things in life. If it wasn’t for the rain, many of us wouldn’t take the time to relax, read, or enjoy hobbies such as napping (my favorite). Lol!

In my opinion, the rain represents a renewal. It washes away all of the old making room for the new. Sure, it may slow things down a bit. But it won’t rain forever. Similar to the storms in life, the sun always comes out after the rain. All of this reminds me of a song by Betty Wright called “After the Rain”. I bet you thought I was going to say “It Doesn’t Rain in Southern California”. Nope. Cause it seldomly does. And  when it does, I’ll be here to welcome it.


After The Rain | Moments With Millie


Motivational Monday: Letting Go

The Trees

One of my favorite YouTubers (BronzeGoddess01) recently posted the above quote on her instagram page. While reflecting on the topic, I was reminded that fall is God’s way of letting us know that in order to thrive we must let go of the dead areas of our lives. A dead area could be a relationship, a job, or physical objects. It could also pertain to a negative thought or experience you are holding on to. Every now and then, it is important to evaluate our lives and remove the things that aren’t serving us in a positive way. This is easier said than done however it is essential to your growth. Letting go does not mean you’ve given up. It just means that you are choosing your happiness.


Motivational Monday: Starting Over

Starting over can be a difficult process. Whether it is planned or unexpected, transitioning can be filled with  fear and anxiety. As humans we tend to develop routines that lead to a level of comfort. This is understandable because there is a bit of contentment in the familiar and in knowing what to expect. However life happens and we sometimes find ourselves in situations in which our routines are interrupted. And these interruptions can lead to fear.

If we can learn to embrace change as it comes then we would learn that starting over is not that scary. What’s more are the lessons we learn about life, ourselves, and others during these times. Lessons such as trusting your instincts, resourcefulness, kindness, humility, and the strength of human spirit can all be learned during the transitionary periods of life.

There will undoubtedly be moments of anxiety however we have to remember that they are just moments. At the end of the day, things always work out for the best.

If you are starting over, try to embrace this chapter of your life. Who knows, it may be the best one. Remember to pray and remain positive. You can do this!

Strength shows, not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over. -F. Scott Fitzgerald


Motivational Monday: Manic Mondays

Mondays can be rough. Between rush hour, deadlines and all of the other craziness that Mondays can bring, it’s easy to start off your week stressed. Listed below are a few tips to help you get through your manic Mondays.

Get ready, set, go– Planning for the upcoming week can help cut down on the amount of stress you experience on Mondays. Try preparing your meals, to-do list, and outfits for the week on Sunday night. Try doing the same for your children (if you have any). You will be amazed on how much of a difference this will make on Monday morning (and every other day during the week).

Say a little prayer for you– Saying a word of thanks each morning is a great way to get the day started on the right foot. It only takes a few moments and it helps to put you in a positive frame of mind. If praying isn’t your thing, try meditating or doing a few breathing exercises.

Set the mood– Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. Music is a great mood booster. If you are not into music, try listening to an uplifting podcast. If you share an office and/or cannot listen to anything while you work, try purchasing fresh flowers or posting positive quotes at your desk.

Give me a break– Take a small break during the day to clear your mind. Mondays tend to be very busy however it is important to take some time for yourself. Studies have found productivity goes up after employees take a short break. If possible, step away from your desk for a few minutes and focus your energy on something outside of work.

Don’t take it personal– Try not to be so hard on yourself. If you happen to make a mistake or do not complete everything on your to do list, try to shake it off. This may sound a little cliche but as long as you do your best then the rest will take care of itself.