I love the idea of going to the beach.  Beaches in Costa Rica are especially fun because they are all different.  You never know quite what to expect.  Some of them are black sand volcanic beaches with smooth waves and monkeys in the trees near by.  Some of them are filled with iguanas and sand crabs, and others are pink coral sand with lots of seashells.  These are lovely images and a lot of fun until you find yourself no longer walking on the sands or bouncing on the waves.  You develop a new ocean strategy when you’re hurled beneath the waves, unable to get up again.  That’s what happened to me last week on a black sand beach called Playa Hermosa.  I was having fun one minute and nearly drowning the next.  The odd part was, that no one really seemed to know I was in trouble except me. About the time the fourth wave hit me and I couldn’t get up, I started to wonder if I even would.

It’s interesting what goes through your mind when you’re struggling with life.  Whether you struggle from underneath the waves that wash relentlessly over your head, or you’re struggling with waves of debt, distress, or doubt, it’s hard.  Just when you think you’re almost free, almost clear and can breathe again, you’re back under the water, feeling the life wash out of you.  It’s a bleak picture, but the good news is that even that low ebb, that hostile wave, will calm down again.  Even when you’re washed up to the shoreline, covered with black sand so you can hardly recognize yourself, you realize you’re safe again.  Here’s the lesson, at least the one that hit me in this experience.

Sometimes, even when things look bleak, just one more day, one more effort, can change things in your favor.  Even when you’ve tried and been knocked down, when you’ve lost another job or another relationship, or something else of value, you can look out and know that you’re not that far from the shore.  You’re not that far from taking a new step.  Believe me, I was grateful to come up from the ocean waves, tired and aching from my effort to get up, and yet awed.  When I washed the sand from my hair and my bathing suit, I realized that one more time, I had survived.  One more time, I had risen to the top of a wave and could try again.  The Blue Ocean Strategy may well be to find a new course, a new place where you haven’t looked before to start again.  It’s the Karen Ocean Strategy too.  I’m off to find some new pathways, new beaches, new places to try again.  After all, I’m a survivor and so are you.  We came here to accomplish something wonderful and no matter how many times we have to try again, we know we will.

For all of you that have felt knocked down, remember each time you stand up, you win.  I’m standing with you in your own hopes and dreams.  Please watch out for the waves though…they can really scare you!