Facing her fear of the ocean helped Cheryl face other fears

I am terrified of swimming in the ocean, let alone surfing. I had recently moved to LA and lost my job that I relocated for. I felt scared of a lot of things in my new transition so it seemed like facing a literal fear would help me move forward in facing some of my mental fears.


I didn’t think I would be comfortable getting into the water. I didn’t think I would stay in the water very long. And I was afraid that I wouldn’t learn anything new about myself.

What I learned was whatever you set your mind on doing you can do. Even if you don’t do it perfectly the act of trying is far more gratifying than not trying. The biggest limitations in my life are the ones I set for myself. My attitude dictates what I want to try and what I can try. I realized I need to let go more often and let my life metaphorically move like the waves in the ocean.

I moved back to the Bay Area in October where I feel more at peace with myself. I love it here. I’ve stepped out the corporate job track and have two jobs in two different restaurants right now. I don’t know if I’ll be serving for the rest of my life, but it certainly has allowed me to learn more about myself, gain back some confidence and give me time to do more things for myself like yoga, reading and cooking.

I’m starting to realize I have a big spiritual journey ahead of me. My life experience is something really special to share with other people when the time comes. The surf retreat was part of opening this up for me.Cheryl

I’ve started thinking about traveling abroad. Doing some kind of yoga retreat, maybe a winemaking apprenticeship and then who knows!? I need to really set myself free and find out who I am more deeply. There’s this inner calling I’ve been feeling for a very long time that I am going to acknowledge and honor. I don’t know how I’ll get to the next steps, but I’m giving myself 6 months to save the money and plan accordingly.

The retreat was overall very relaxing and fun. While some of the group activities were uncomfortable for me, they also pushed my comfort zone a little, which is always a good way for me to learn and grow. I discovered I’m not scared of the ocean as much as I thought I was. It’s better to let go and have fun than to sit back and miss out.

Cheryl Johnson


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