Just as I was about to retire from my non-existent surfing career and put my surf board away for good I decided to paddle out one more time. I grabbed my board and started wading into the ocean, shuffling my feet to stir up any sting rays that might be present. Thinking to myself. Why is surfing so dang hard. I’m a strong confident snowboarder, mountain biker and athlete that can play sports well.
Only taking a few steps I see a large leather-back sea turtle bobbing up and down and being brought closer and closer to the shore by each wave. I stopped and waited as it passed beside me, we made eye contact. This is a good sign! Earlier that day a dove flew into my home, landed in my living room, looked at me and few out of the house. I’ve never even seen a dove in Nicaragua. What does it mean? I was a bit frightened to be honest because before I came to the beach I read that a dove flying into your home equates to death. Oh dear. Maybe this really is my last paddle.
You see, life is like surfing. Just when you are about to give up- stop. Continue forward. Take a risk by stepping outside your comfort zone, it is well worth it because this is where the magic happens. To ‘desire’ something is okay. I desire to be a good surfer. It is when we ‘need’ something, the behavior becomes unbalanced and unhealthy. Desire is like the tide, small and humble one moment, wild and turbulent the next. But water always goes where it wants to and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water flows and it is always, always authentic. Water does not resist.
I keep shuffling and as soon as I’m waste deep I jump onto my board and the white wash washes over me and cleanses any negative thought I had about the dove incident and then it caresses and holds my body. Water heals my soul. Water is not solid, it is not a wall that will stop you. We are made of half water. If we can’t go through an obstacle, don’t force it, go around it like water does. Flow with your own true nature that is inside of you.
I love and respect the ocean.
I’m going to compare life and love to surfing for a moment.
Life. Love. Not romantic love but just LOVE. Bigger than any wave. More powerful than fear. Love is like an ocean. Love is as impermanent as a wave rising in the sea.
I start to paddle, practicing duck diving under the white wash moving forward with each stroke. As energy surges through the water I find the rhythm of the ocean, feeling strong, I paddle out past the last wave that breaks. Anxiety enters my heart and pulses through my veins and I pause for a moment. I remember my father’s drowning and it is right here where I face fear. I catch my breath, connect to my breath. Yoga taught me that and I meditate on my surf board as the mist from the spin drift keeps my face moist. I find comfort in the beautiful rainbows that dance here. My father loved rainbows and that thought gives me comfort.
I look toward the horizon, seeking a perfect set. Patience is required when waiting to catch a wave just as it is to find the perfect person to compliment your life. Even if you are not looking for romantic love. Seeking and waiting for that perfect wave is part of the rhythm of life.
In order to discover your path you must make your passion your purpose. Learn to love the paddle. PADDLE. PADDLE. PADDLE. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up on something you desire.
We must pause in moments of difficulty because pleasure never lasts long enough. Enjoy what you are doing right now. RIGHT NOW. This moment, and if you don’t, change it.
Love comes in all different forms. Love is as vast as the ocean and as unpredictable as the waves at a beach break during onshore winds but one thing that is certain is that love exists in my heart always regardless of the environment. Love for myself and love for every one of our universal family members. I’m connected. Are you? We have conquered outer space but we have neglected inner space. How come?
I have found peace by inquiring within. When I have a question that needs to be answered I go internally and listen to my heart, my intuition and the innate oneness that resides in us all. The answers are within. What are you seeking? I have learned to live Santosha (contentment) by connecting to the source, my inner soul. Freedom comes from within no matter where you are in the world. I have given myself the freedom to face my fears and follow my heart in this physical life I’m currently living. I wasn’t seeking love, I was seeking Santosha (contentment) and I found it through love and compassion for myself and by not needing more.
I’ve learned through risk to adapt, to discover, to connect, to learn, to grow, to inhale, to let go and to love. To flow with my own true nature inside of me. Water can change directions easily. If you are going down a path and you feel resistance, change the course. I do. You must take a risk in order to find yourself, to love yourself. What are you waiting for? That perfect wave? Well sometimes I paddle for the massive wave that is just going to close out and swallow me whole because it is the practice of the pop-up that makes me adapt to something new. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Trying = living
Sometimes I will put myself on the inside of the sets, in the impact zone to ride a wave that is more suitable for me. I’ll take a larger wave on the head because we must learn to survive in all kinds of conditions. Hiding in the safe zone is not truly living. Love is like surfing. If you get caught in the impact zone you need to get right back up because you never know what’s coming next. Rather than seeking out someone to love you, friends or lovers - try to cultivate compassion, kindness and forgiveness for yourself and your self-love will meld into the realm of unconditional love that others will be attracted to.
Surfing is 99.9% paddling, enjoy the paddle. Life is a daily paddle. Learn to love what you do. Love the paddle. This is your life. Your path. You passion is your purpose.
From this day forth I can happily call myself a surfer! I have been consistently surfing medium to head high waves, left and rights, riding down the line because I didn’t give up.
Join me in Nicaragua, let’s surf!
Education may not make you wise. Success may not make you giving. Poverty may not make you humble and being wealthy may not make you rich. But love can teach you everything. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and then give it to the world- then surf the waves of karma.