One of the most beautiful things, one that always leaves me awestruck in this world, is the ocean. I love the feel of a sandy beach beneath my feet, the smell of the salt air, the sound of the waves coming in to shore and the unbelievable force, power, magnitude and expanse of the ocean.

I have been blessed to live on both coasts of Canada. Today, I live on the east coast— which boasts some of the highest and fastest tides in the world. Recently, on one Friday afternoon, I was down at the water front during low tide— and there I stopped for a moment to take in the salt air and feel the warm sun on my face. I immediately noticed the moored boats being tossed on the low waters, hitting up against the footers of the docks and moving very close to barnacle laden rocks. I kept thinking about how low the water was, and how close some of those boats were getting to potential damage from one of the nearby rocks

These boats are a wonderful metaphor for life The other day, I was again at the waterfront and this time during high tide. Those same boats, moored at the docks, were gently rocking back and forth in the high waters, nestled close to the docks and far above the potentially damaging rocks submerged below.

Then it hit me how these boats are a wonderful metaphor for life.

I began thinking about what we as individuals need in our lives to stay buoyant and keep ourselves protected from the dangerous and harmful "rocks" of life. I know that there was a time when I lived my life at low tide. I was not living with integrity, did not always live in truth; I assumed a perspective of lack and ingratitude, made choices and decisions as a reaction to fear. I felt disconnected from G‑d and left much of my life to blind chance as opposed to living consciously. The result was that I continued to attract negative things to my life, often seemed to experience more than my fair share of problems, and for a time felt isolated, alone, and deeply sad.

That said, the day came when I realized that I needed to make a shift. I needed to fill my reservoir in order to be more buoyant in my life. I needed to experience high tide in order to navigate safely through life, avoiding many of the pitfalls and dangers present at low tide. For me, this has meant creating a space for the things I need to fill my life and to protect me; to protect my emotional health, physical well being, state of mind and spiritual growth. When I honor these needs and keep what is required in place, I can truly live in a problem free zone.

Live from a place of integrity and not fear I believe that creating high tide in our lives requires looking at where we are and being responsible for it. I think it also means looking at where we need to be so that we can be our best and offer our best to others. Really it is about protecting our selves, so that we can live authentic and joyful lives filled with blessings. We can then live the life G‑d intended for us from a place of integrity and not fear. I know that for me, the journey has, and does, require that I build and deepen my communities, and either heal, or accept and forgive broken family ties. It requires taking care of my physical self by getting enough sleep, making healthy food choices, allowing play time, having a healthy outlet for stress, being honest about my financial situation and making time to connect with G‑d, our Jewish teachings and our community.

I believe that it is all of these things that allow me the capacity to sail smoothly in my life and keeps me in "ship shape" for grabbing, experiencing and enjoying any opportunities and blessings that arise.

What do you need to put in place to attain a buoyant and problem free life?