“Come on, Sheila! Come in the water with me,” my sister, Genna, yelled to me on the beach as she headed toward the ocean.

“But it’s so cold!” I said back. I swear in the past, the water in LA is warmer in August than this.

“Come on, you’ll warm up fast once you get in,” she said.

“Alright, let me just put my sunglasses on my towel.” I had planned to do my usual tiptoe in, each step cursing the cold and the goose bumps forming on my legs.

But then, I decided nope. Not gonna do that, that’s no fun. I’m going all in… and I’m taking her with me.

I set my sunglasses down, turned around and (quietly) jogged back to the water, picking up speed, until I tackled her into a giant wave that was on its way in.

“Ahhh!!!” was all I could hear, and then loud laughs and giggles as she made sure she didn’t lose her bikini. Whew, she’s not mad. Then I laughed and we both laughed for at least 3 minutes straight while doggy paddling in the waves.

And then we both said almost at once, “Wow this is refreshing!” The water is chilly, but in an invigorating sort of way.

Letting Go Of Fear & Just Diving In

I had so much fun that day, bouncing around in the waves with my sister. It’s funny to me, how easy it is to have fun when you let go of your fear of being uncomfortable, and just dive in.

For that 30 minutes, or however long we were out there, I was completely 100% present. Not thinking about anything else, such as my to-do list, what I was going to eat next, or whether or not I had mascara streaming down my face. I was just laughing, splashing and doggy paddling around in the waves with someone I love.

And this has been the theme in my life lately. These simple moments that don’t cost anything, aren’t of any huge magnitude to anyone else, but to me… they mean the world.

I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years focused on achieving success. The term was pretty high up there on my list of values. But something’s shifting for me.

Success, in the traditional sense, doesn’t have as strong of a pull for me as it has in the past, which feels surreal for me to say because I’ve always been the go-getter, driven type.

Financial achievement is taking a backseat in importance, just as achievement in this sense seems to be really picking up momentum. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

What Matters Most... Now

And the things that feel more important?

Connection and quality time with people I love… like real people, in person, not through Facebook or other online type relationships.

Laughs… the type of face-hurting all out crying because you’re laughing so hard kind of laughs, typically about inside jokes or had to be there moments with, again, people I love.

Freedom… to be able to Rollerblade along the beach path on a Monday afternoon or take a couple days off so that I can spend time with my other sister, who’s in town for a few days.

With every day and week that passes I realize how much abundance I’ve created in my life—success in a different form—not just in financial wealth, but in terms of the relationships I have, the people that I surround myself with, the freedom to do (for the most part) whatever I choose, and how good it feels to laugh and be silly.

I'm realizing now more than ever that the need to measure up, to be accepted, to prove myself, to impress, get noticed, be on somebody’s radar, say the right thing, do the right thing, be quiet, speak up, make sure my message is understood correctly, look a certain way, be at the right place at the right time… it’s all so exhausting!

I keep coming back to the thought that in all my striving for success, the things that are the most meaningful in my life are the things that I already have. Not the things that I try really hard to get.

I love my family. I love my body. I love my husband. I love my life. And it’s my life, it always has been. Nothing’s really changed except for me. I’ve changed. And I continue to, and will never stop changing.

I’m filled with gratitude today for this journey that I am on. Learning more and more about me. Loving each new level of awareness that I gain… and each new opportunity to dive in (and take someone really fun with me).