Overwhelmed by Deep Water?

Navigating Deep Waters 11'x14' canvas bd framed in oak

I am not a ‘just dive in’ to the pool kind of girl. I start at the shallow end and slowly, slowly, slowly move deeper. Very slowly get wetter. Trying to allow my warm body adjust to the cold water. Until the kids launch themselves toward me with a chorus of ‘MUMS IN’! My beautiful, peaceful, pool descent process - destroyed! Eventually I give in and just dive under to prevent the splashing assault.

It’s not that I don’t like deep water, I just like to get there in my own time and in my own way. I am fairly certain I am not alone. Most of us like to enter deep water when we are ready and mentally prepared, rather than being thrown in the ‘deep end’.

The deep end is often full of unknowns. It is a new job, a new relationship, a new home, a new boss, a new health issue, a new study year. It is not knowing, not understanding or not seeing change.

The deep end is also full of excitement. Exciting new possibilities, potential and promises.

What is your deep end at the moment?

Where do feel like your feet are kicking flat out, in order to just try and keep your head above water?

Where are you desperately looking for someone to throw you any sort of floatation device?

Kim Miatke ART launch in May last year. The journey to the launch was one of swimming in very deep and very unknown waters. My feet longed to touch the ground. My eyes hungrily looked for a life raft to rescue me. I was exhausted, I wanted to quit so many times. There was so much I had to learn, so many things I had no idea about, I had to make what felt like was a million decisions every day with no certainty that they were wise ones. Yet, by the end of 2017 I was swimming these deep waters like a boss! I was confident, I was comfortable, I now, knew and understood this deep water space, in fact, it now no longer was deep, it was fabulous, I was loving it.

Then dawned 2018 and I, almost exactly a year later, find myself catapulted back into deep, unknown and scary waters. It is a dejavu of feelings. It feels overwhelming, at times it feels impossible and more often than I care to admit, I want to run away to a tropical location and pretend this business world doesn’t exist.

I am stepping into the next stage, wholesale. It was always part of the plan, it isn’t a surprise, but it is even bigger than I anticipated. So many t’s to cross and i’s to dot - a skill that is not a natural part of my skill set. At times it feels lonely, scary and impossible. At other times I feel like I have totally got this, I am full of excitement, possibilities and belief in all that is ahead.

Deep water is exactly that DEEP. It pushes us out of our comfort zone, it challenges our belief in ourselves and in what we are doing, but in the long run it will strengthen us, it will grow us and it will surprise us. When we look back we will be surprised that we didn’t drown. Surprised at how we can learn to swim in waters deeper than before and that we now swim confidently and comfortably in this space that once was terrifying.

Here are the three things I am trying to hold onto in this deep water:

1. Don’t swim alone.

We can't swim for each other, but we can cheer for one another, coach each other and celebrate together.

2. Celebrate each little stroke you take forward.

Let’s not get so focused on how far is there is to go but celebrate how far we have come.

3. Remember that you have navigated deep waters before and lived to tell the incredible tale.

Write yourself notes, pop up pictures and listen to music that reminds you of the many times you learnt to swim in new spaces.

My friends, you and I can do this. We can keep swimming! We will not drown! We will learn! We will grow and we will be stronger and better versions of ourselves for it!

I can do this! You can do this!

So fellow deep water dwellers, in the words of Dory “Just Keep Swimming” (Finding Nemo, Disney, 2003).

kim xx