Anytime that you are out in nature without distractions, you have a tremendous opportunity to get really present and be with your thoughts. This past weekend, a group of us went from Canggu up to Ubud. From there we did a whitewater rafting trip which is one of my favorite things to do. That said, water sports and beaches have tended to be a psychological achilles heel for me.
To give you some context, from early on in my life, when I became aware that I was bigger than the other girls my age, I’ve felt uncomfortable partaking in these activities. Really all things summer because people wear less clothing and it’s hard to feel like you fit in when your body looks different than your peers. All of this to say that it’s still a recurring conversation that I have so I wasn’t surprised to get a visit from this familiar voice on our rafting trip.
When we weren’t ducking, holding on for dear life, or paddling along, I got to spend some quality time with these thoughts. I remember noticing and absorbing the beautiful jungle scenery and feeling really grateful that I get to be here and do this. When we took a break from rafting, I watched others have their picture taken at the waterfall, these thoughts rushed in. I decided not to partake. I got really judgy and I realized that this was more about me than about them. I had to have a talk with this part of me that struggles with feeling uncomfortable about my body. I had to ask questions and get really curious if I wanted to better understand myself and my reaction.
The next day we went to another waterfall and I decided to say “screw it, I’m going to join in.” I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I busted straight through my insecurities and went for it, deciding to choose courage over fear. We had some laughs, I felt empowered and really proud of myself for doing something that was vulnerable and scared me.
I’ve been talking to a few friends here that I’ve made about all of this and what I’m learning is that again, I’m not alone. Even the women here who rock bikinis, seem confident posing for photos, or seem to not need to spend time working out also have these mental hurdles and conversations. Canggu is filled with fit and beautiful people and we all need to keep working on giving ourselves more credit, being more self-compassionate and changing the conversation. Afterall, the body is just a vessel containing the real you.
Going into this experience, I knew I was coming to a beach area and that these things would come up, but I’m in a place now where, I give myself a pep talk and I don’t really let it stop me from doing things I want to do. It’s contained to my inner thoughts which means that I am no longer living life from the vantage point of the sidelines. I’m in the game, yes, uncomfortable at times, but I’d rather that than missing out on things that make me feel good, feel adventurous, feel grateful and connected to something greater than myself.