Seeing past personality types, learning styles, body types and beliefs … to see and swim a new way.

We are complex creatures and not one of us is the same as another. Even identical twins have differences although not necessarily obvious to the eye.

Knowing this fact, accepting this reality, can be the compelling reason for us to consider, and put into practice, the fresh perspective that will serve us all well to see past personality types, learning styles, body types and our unique blend of beliefs is to operate on one universal principle.

Of course, the ideal is love … unconditional love, but as evidenced by our past and present, just the idea of valuing … respecting each unique person is a tall order in our global culture of Disrespect. The taller order is actually learning how to respect … to value all life in our words and actions … every day … in all our relationships, connections and interactions.

A simple example of how we struggle with this idea and simply resort to our conditioned response of prejudice is what I have experienced with a personal goal: the process of changing my swimming style.

Water has pulled me into its depths all my life. As a child, I spent hours on the river’s edge and within no time at all, following my Dad’s example, my child’s body was slicing through the green water to cross to the other side of the river. Though I have been told I did not take well to the public swimming pool and provided lessons, my swimming skills demonstrate I nonetheless did learn different swim strokes as well as the basics of diving, but it was only recently I discovered my swimming style was called the Tarzan stroke.

For known and unknown reasons, my swimming style meant I kept my head lifted out and above the water. One of the known reasons, though not entirely understood why, was to stop water from going up my nose. Yet diving is one of my favorite aspects of swimming.

In fact, one year, after a tumultuous period of my life, I even taught myself how to swan dive. Till then, I had never learned successfully how to use a spring diving board, so learning how to swan dive meant observing all users of spring boards and of course, especially the children, with their lack of fear and their bold fun who taught me to just let go and get comfortable with falling in the water in all kinds of ways; which also meant letting to of what people thought of a grown woman flopping into a pool as I grew accustomed to being out of control, so I could gain more trust in the process to achieve my goal.

In one winter season, my unconventional learning style did result in my ability to spring my body high into the air with arms spread wide and legs pulled together in proper form before my arms returned to their entry position as my body curved and sliced the pool’s surface. Sometimes on my entries my body was more rolled than straight and into an underwater somersault my body would roll. Sometimes my body was so straight and pointed, down to the bottom my arrowed body would rush. And sometimes, my body would have just enough of a curve to take me down so far but then gracefully sweep me back up to the surface. Even without a camera, I knew I was successful in completing my goal because of the response from observers, including the lifeguards.

A few years ago when I moved back to the home of my late teens and twenties where one of the greatest bodies of water, Lake Huron, once challenged and strengthened my swimming abilities, I soon realized how much I had let my swimming strength diminish. Upon my return, I also discovered one of the newer challenges I wanted to experience, surfing, is becoming a growing popular sport at the town’s main beach because of the dynamics of the breakwall, piers and currents.

A significant water level drop since I owned property south of the town’s border and even south of the area known as Boiler Beach has resulted in significant lake changes, including rip currents that develop in between sandbars and beside piers; rip currents that can thrust even an accomplished swimmer across the surface of the water in seconds, leaving them disoriented and if not wise in the ways of these sometimes volatile waters, stranded in deep water, exhausted from fighting the water’s stronger force. Safe swimming, as well as surfing and any other water activity, is now best-managed by learning how rip currents work, how to get out of their often frightening grasp, more safety strategies and tools, plus stronger swimming skills for this great lake.

For me, stronger swimming skills translates into face-in-the water comfort by learning to swim the crawl as opposed to wasting energy trying to keep myself alive by keeping my head above water at all times by swimming the energy-zapping Tarzan stroke. Changing a fifty-year style of swimming has not been easy or as quick as some would hope … especially people with different personality types, learning styles, body types and beliefs.

As a result of a lot of personal work, I know me very well these days and that includes the recognition none of the above … personality types, learning style, body types and even beliefs are the same as the majority. First, many people like constant attention while learning. In contrast, I excel when I gather new information and then go off on my own to practice and experiment because someone constantly talking at me is a distraction to me, but welcomed by other personality types. When I need more information, I come back for more, taking all the pieces and working on them individually before I start integrating them. For example, two of the biggest challenges I faced was getting used to putting my face horizontal in the water and learning how to breathe as I lifted my face partially out of the water, first to the right and eventually also to the left. Changing my kick from a thrust to a constant flutter meant developing the muscles in my hips and legs in new ways. Then there were the goggles, the bathing cap, getting the arm strokes coordinated with the breathing and the face in the water plus the new style of kick, etc.

Knowing what I know about my personality type, learning style and even body type, I should have known better than to take lessons in a big class with so many swimmers who, as it turns out, already swim the way I was there to learn how to do.

So, after two classes, I took the information provided, did some research of my own and started swimming on my own, breaking down old habits and instilling new ones, which, of course is taking time, though in truth it has only been a few months. Still, I find several people are quick to share their opinions about what I am doing wrong even though they know nothing about me other than what they see in their mind snapshots of my swimming endeavors.

Yet I know, if observers do not have the same personality type as I they will not understand how I work well on my own, breaking down big pictures into the details in order to construct a new big picture. They will not know that my body type is first a sprinter, excelling in activities that require quick and short bursts of great speed and that in order for me to become an endurance performer, I first have to train my body and mind with how it works best … using my natural speed with an element at a time until I can bring all the elements together quickly … in a flash, so I can experience what the new way of swimming I am striving for feels like … so I can build that feeling into my endurance training and goals.

“You swim too fast, your head is not deep enough in the water, you need a camera with video to watch your form,” are just some of the comments and suggestions I have heard, albeit, no doubt with good intentions, but yet at the same time this experience greatly demonstrates how we like, prefer even, everyone to be like us … to do as we do, to act as we act, to think as we think, to learn as we learn … and yet, no matter how much we may try, we are not like anyone else … and never will be without losing our own identity. We, each of us, are unique combinations of a number of factors, none of which is duplicated in anyone else.

Learning to appreciate we are not like everyone else and to understand that our differences from others does not make us or anyone else wrong, but just different is a very important step in making our world a safer and more peaceful place to live.

Valuing … respecting our differences, as well as our similarity in being unique creatures, is a huge step in making our world the safer and the most peaceful place we all want to live.

Hmmm, on that note, it is off to the pool I go in a few hours to recapture the new feeling I experienced during my last swim session when everything finally came together … speed, stroke, right and left breathing. Now I can begin to refine my form and build up my endurance so I will be ready this summer to be the swimmer and surfer I envision myself to be.

March 17, 2014

Kaitlin A. Trepanier
http://www.kaitlinatrepanier.com

All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER … CREATIVE WRITER, ADVOCATE, and PROJECT SPECIALIST responsible for the creation of the global initiative Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.

Advertisements

What we don’t know or want to know … does hurt us … and our loved ones.

From page 33 of the January 2014 Scientific American Journal’s article,
OUR UNCONSCIOUS MIND. …”

The unconscious way we perceive people during the course of the day is a reflexive action. We must exert wilful, conscious effort to put aside the unexplained and sometimes unwarranted negative feelings that we may harbor towards others. The stronger the unconscious influence, the harder we have to work consciously to overcome it … The ability to regulate our own behavior, whether making friends, getting up to speed at a new job or overcoming a drinking problem-depends on more than genes, temperament and social support networks. It also hinges, in no small measure, on our capacity to identify and try to overcome the automatic impulses and emotions that in influence every aspect of our waking life. To make our way in the world, we need to learn to come to terms with our unconscious self.”

… which is one of the many reasons why I was blessed with gift of the idea, book, global initiative and one day, the not-for-profit foundation based on Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE. This article serves to reaffirm my commitment to generate the awareness and co-create the changes so we overcome the dark, limiting forces that limit so much of our potential as individuals and as a global nation.

February 12, 2014

Kaitlin A. Trepanier
http://www.kaitlinatrepanier.com

All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER, Getting YOU the RESPECT YOU Want … Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE Developer, Author, Speaker, Playwright, Altruistic Entrepreneur, and Human Rights Activist <strong>… because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.</strong>

Connecting “Competition” … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE

What does competition mean to you? Does it mean succeeding at all costs? Does it mean feeling bad about one’s self when one doesn’t win? Does it mean a constant comparison to other people? Does it mean strained relationships because you are trying to just be who you really are and other people are still caught up in competing with you because they do not yet believe in the value of themselves as they really are?

Based on the Connecting the Dots … with the RESPECT PRINCIPLE, our definition of competition and one’s success will be based on our internalized RESPECT LEVEL.

Before proceeding, let’s keep in mind that most of what drives our unconscious or subconscious thoughts and actions is a deep, negative, global conditioning I call the Disrespect Philosophy … the core belief that no one is worthy or entitled to be valued … respected … without some qualifier … without someone’s or some stamp of approval by some group … and this is the root of unhealthy competition.

Unhealthy competition is a drive that compels us to constantly compare ourselves to others. When people do not reflect us and our beliefs, we judge them to be above or below us. If above, we try to be something we are not … something that does not feel natural to us nor does it make us feel good about ourselves and since we will not measure up, we will seek ways, mostly in our minds, but some people act out their thoughts and feelings, to knock our “competitor” down to our own level … or below. If we judge someone as below us, we ignore them completely or treat them as less valuable or worse.

People with a high RESPECT LEVEL know competition between ourselves and others does not really exist because the only person we can truly compete with is our self. We know we are unique individuals and our only real challenge is discovering, expressing and refining our unique qualities, gifts, talents … strengths. Sometimes that translates into our winning a prize or special recognition or being selected for a job, etc., but often mostly translates into how we choose to live our daily lives.

With a high RESPECT LEVEL, competition is not seen as a drive to be better than another, but about being the best we can be, about doing the best we can … and letting the results not be viewed as failure, but just as an experience … an experience we can appreciate, learn from or let go of in order to move forward.

There really are no losers or winners if we are all doing our best to be who we really are underneath all the external expectations. We were created as beautiful, unique beings, with our own unique gifts, talents and abilities to discover, develop and share. Do this one thing and we win every day of our lives … and so does the world we share with the rest of the beautiful, unique beings who need to be taught how not to be carbon copies of others, but to be who they really are too.

A high RESPECT LEVEL a win win for us all

February 3, 2014

Kaitlin A. Trepanier
http://www.kaitlinatrepanier.com

All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER, Getting YOU the RESPECT YOU Want … Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE Developer, Author, Speaker, Playwright, Altruistic Entrepreneur, and Human Rights Activist … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.