I grew up on the north east coast of Fife, Scotland on the banks of the River Tay. The Tay being the largest river in the United Kingdom by measured discharge. It’s catchment is approximately 2000 square miles. With all of this water around me, you might be surprised to learn that water was frightening. And with the cooler climate, I spent much of life with my feet firmly planted on the earth.

Memories of swimming lessons as a child are unpleasant. Panic set in like clockwork if I were to swim out of my depth. It challenged my ability to breathe, and coupled with asthma, swimming felt like a chore I despised.

Fast forward to 1999. I am twelve years old and whisked across the globe with my family to begin a new life Perth, Western Australia. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters were just like the images I’d seen on TV. But no matter how alluring the waves appeared, I was trapped in a belief that wouldn’t allow me pursue the Australian surfing dream.

Would you believe two decades later, I find myself in love with a typical Aussie bloke. A blue eyed, dreadlocked surfer, who I’m sure was born with webbed feet! After every communion with the ocean, this beautiful man’s soul lights up. His eyes are a glow with a deep reverence and knowing. He meets himself out there. It is no accident that I have drawn this man into my world, his love of the ocean being only one example of the lessons he offers.

Last year, I was invited to visit his family home on Cocos (Keeling) Islands for the first time. Once again we are blessed enough to return this year for a much needed getaway. Imagine if you can, a cluster of teeny tiny tropical islands suspended in the Indian Ocean off the north west coast of Western Australia. Best known for snorkelling, diving, fishing and kitesurfing. A landscape that conjures feelings of paradise. It’s fair to say that every unique experience I have had here is completely out of my comfort zone.

The muscle memory of the old stories running through my head; “But you can’t swim very well and you’re too old for this. What if you panic and can’t breathe?” In these moments I have a choice whether to let it overwhelm me, or to meet it head on. “But what if we all have an inherit power to change the old stories? What if I can do all the things?

The liberation that is felt when surrendering to the moment. When I simply trust and dive in! Consciously navigating new risks. Literally swimming into a new zone of growth. I have learned in my experience, that I do love a challenge. I love to push my limits and build new skills.

I am my own fear hunter!

Ready to take them down one wave at a time. Constantly adapting and leaning into a new layer of growth. It is mirrored in my business as it is for my family and also my body. I hold an insatiable hunger for learning. To push and flex the old muscles, and to cultivate new ones.

I enjoyed a surf lesson with my love this morning. That’s right! This lost little girl from that small Scottish village on the Tay, caught some waves on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Sure it wasn’t exactly graceful, but that old baggage didn’t anchor me down. I let go of judgement, and celebrated life a little extra.

There is always time to change those old stories and beliefs. We can all swim our way to freedom.

What will you choose next?