On Superhuman Surrender

Last week I had the wildest experience of my life at the beach — and I wanted to make sure I shared it with you right away.

With our big launch edging ever-closer, I’ve spent the past month or so stuck inside and glued to my laptop, and last week I was officially worn out.

I was feeling restless after countless hours in my inbox and proofing web pages, I decided to take my work with me down to the shore and answer a few emails with the wind in my hair and the sand between my toes…

… But let’s be real:

No one really gets that much work done by the ocean (no matter how many ultra-glam photos we see of women in flowing white dresses happily working on their Macbooks from a beach chair.)

It was in the middle of a workday. I could have been sending emails and scheduling calls. But instead, I decided I needed a break — like, really needed one.

I jumped into the Pacific and swam out, as I always do, as far as I can get beyond the reaches of the shore. Once my feet can’t touch the bottom and the people on the shore look tiny, I feel truly free.

It was just the sky, the water, and me.

That’s when I heard it.


A man was shouting. Treading water, I turned around to face the beach.


To my genuine shock, he was pointing at me and waving frantically.

There’s a shark! Right behind you! There’s a fin!

For a split second my blood ran cold, and I frantically started kicking backwards and searching the water for the fin in a panic. Until I noticed…

…It wasn’t a shark at all. It was a dolphin.

A whole pod of them actually. And they were swimming all around me.

A pod of dolphins came to visit at the beach today. 🙏❤️🐬

A post shared by Natalie MacNeil (@nataliemacneil) on

I’m not ashamed to say, amazing reader, that my panic immediately slipped from my body and was replaced with an unadulterated childlike joy. I started to laugh, and cry out in surprise, and watch them swimming underneath and around me.

Not everyone is an ultra wellness nerd like me, so you may not know this: but dolphin sounds actually have some really incredible therapeutic side effects. Swimming with dolphins can create physiological cell and tissue change in the body, and “echolocation” sounds from dolphins are so intense that they can even modify human brainwave activity.

And in that moment? I really felt it.

The dolphins swam back and forth for an hour or so, with me laughing and splashing along with them and potentially looking like a bit of a loon to anyone watching from the beach. But in that moment I felt so free — from the stress, from the obstacles in my way, and from the work that has yet to be done.

I stayed in the water until night fell and took the warm sunshine with it, and I walked back up the chilly beach, still illuminated and laughing in shock.

Did that really just happen? Did I just have a Disney Princess moment off the California coast?

Here’s the reason I’m telling you this story:

Because when the dolphins came?

I could have been chained to my desk.

I could have forced myself (and my adrenals) to stay answering every single email and reading and re-reading pages on the new site until I wore myself out.

But instead? I chose to surrender.

I chose to listen to my body when it told me that I needed a break, and go to the ocean where my new dolphin friends were waiting for me. And as a result, I could get back to my work refreshed, raring to go, and feeling — dare I say it — superhuman.

If you’ve read my books The Conquer Kit or Conquer Your Year, you’ll know I’m a huge supporter of the idea of “balanced ambition”.

Inside my Conquer Kit, I even help you plan out each month’s goals for money, career & learning, giving back, health, and relationships — as well as business goals.

And this right here? This playtime with the dolphins?

This is why — and why this exercise is the last section of our Superhuman September series.

Because there’s more to life — and sanity, let’s be real — than micromanaging your business and making sure everything’s absolutely perfect.

It’s so important to balance our ambition with our lives — our real lives.

While it can feel instinctive to work around the clock as entrepreneurs, especially when things get tough, we truly owe it to ourselves to take time and space to grow more of ourselves.

To deepen our relationships.
To improve our health.
To learn.
To master our money.
And to give back.

So for today, I challenge you to give my Balanced Ambition Month Mapping technique a shot.

Here’s how to do it:

Take out a sheet of paper and make two columns.

First, mark the right-hand column “Business goals”.

Underneath that header, write in what you want to achieve this month in your business (whether that’s posting more on social media, outlining a new product, or starting your next book).

Then in the left-hand column, I want you to make a category called “Balanced Ambition”.

In that column, write out:

Career & Learning
Giving back

Then, write in a small goal for each category; like drinking more water, putting 10% of your earnings away into savings, or calling your bestie once a week.

Finally, pull your brand new Month Map out of your journal or notebook, or print it off your computer, and post it somewhere you can see it clearly, and do your best to hit all of your goals — especially your Balanced Ambition ones.

It might shock you how much more you can create — and get done!

<strong?Then, once you finish this list? I’d love to know in the comments:

Which Balanced Ambition goals will you be setting this month? And why?

Can’t wait to read all about ‘em. I’ll catch you next week!

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3 thoughts on “On Superhuman Surrender

  1. Can’t believe you were out in the ocean swimming with the dolphins. WOW! Having trouble even getting to your question after that story. LOL

    I get the business goals down fine. What I get lost with is all the Webinars and emails that have information that I know I’ll need down the line but not today. They are free and I think I better take advantage of them while they are here. In doing that my business goals go by the wayside. Then I hit a point where I ignore everything else and work on the blog and then have 1000 emails to cope with after I get a bit caught up with the business goals. Is it smarter to just ignore all of them and concentrate on my goals for now and hope the info I need later will be available? Can’t seem to find a good balance with that. Forget about finding time for me.
    Reading your post makes me tell myself to give it a try again.

    Love, Hugs, and Prayers,

  2. That sounds like a very moving experience Natalie! It must have just put you in a whole other world. Thank you for sharing it with us!!
    It’s easy to forget the beauty that nature gives when we are trying to get our businesses started, etc.
    I’m one to think that everything happens for a reason. 😉
    This month, I have been working on a fundraising concert that I’ll be in. It was actually put aside due to Hurricane Irma, but what can I say? I’ve grown up with “the show must go” on in the back of my head. 😉 I’m just singing a couple songs though and it’s not big. Still, every little step is a step forward.
    Thank you so much for sharing that list, etc. with us! It’s a great idea. I’ve written it down to work on it more later!
    Angela Taylor

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