salty fish

The Salty Fish

Sea salt. Surely this is one of the great gifts of the ocean, including salt scrubs, healing salts, salts for bathing and of course, great diving (like the Salt Pier).  Salt goes on everything from simple egg breakfasts to the the most complicated culinary experiences. But isn’t it ironic, that when ordering seafood, especially fish, nearly everyone adds sea salt to their meal? How is it that fish (who come from the salty ocean) always need to be salted?

When diving, our mind can wander into interesting places that it may not on land. The salty fish analogy can be great life lesson from the depths of the ocean – the concept of being in any form of external environment and not absorbing the surroundings. Like any of us, we have situations in life where we may adapt to the temperature of the environment, or resist it. With negative environments, we can resist to engage in the negativity, or we may give in, opening our scales and thus becoming a “salty fish”. Though difficult at times, holding out the salt becomes an inevitable pastime for those trying to maintain a positive outlook on life. And sometimes we fail to do so, adding more salt to the pond. And if we surrender, we find ourselves belly up on the surface, flapping around until we give up.

How Do You Avoid Becoming a Salty Fish?

  • Set your intention before…
    Before you start your day, before you enter an environment you know is going to be difficult, before you have the opportunity to get salty. Decide right now, how you are going to react to the situation before you enter into it. Are you going in with strength and courage, or ready to roll over and die? If the answer is the latter, rethink your direction – maybe the direction you are headed isn’t the right place for you right now. Find your strength and try again.
  • Change your perspective
    Instead of seeing the situation through your own eyes, try to imagine it through someone else’s. Your point of perspective is never the same as someone else’s, and controversy can be the result. Try to find compassion within and see if that doesn’t help you find your strength before you move in.
  • Redirection
    Instead of letting impatience and frustration attack us in simple areas of our lives like the grocery line, we can redirect our attention to something less negative. For instance, focus on something outside of yourself. Say hello to someone. Or, notice the others that are losing their patience and see if you can’t change their perspective (positively). You might be surprised who’s looking around for a friendly face. Look up in the store. We are generally so focused on the grocery aisles that we may not notice the decorations someone put up. Zoom out and pan the whole store, see what you notice that is outside the “norm”. It could be that by the time you notice something, it’s your turn in line.
  • Practice
    We’re not going to win every battle, but the more we practice keeping out the salt, from a different perspective, the better we get. Practice in every day life. Driving in traffic, lines at the store, gossip at the water cooler, whatever.  When you hear the keywords of “can’t”, “don’t”, “won’t”, “never”, “forever”, allow your ears to prick up and decipher whether or not the environment here is positive, negative or neutral.  Then, make the choice to practice your involvement or departure.

It’s easy to absorb little pieces of negativity in every day life. It’s harder to set intentions, change perspective, redirect and practice, but it can be worth it. It’s up to us to choose whether we succumb to the external pressures and become a salty fish, or if we choose to swim in a new direction and find happiness.

Choose today to try swimming in a new direction and see if you can’t find your joy. See where a new direction takes you and watch out for salty fish along the way.

And, if all else fails, take a vacation.