What I Learned from Learning to surf

Surfing at Sunset. Young Man Riding Wave at Sunset. Outdoor ActiA few months ago I was getting my itinerary ready for our fantastic vacation to  Florida. Through meditation and my usual processes of seeking out spiritual guidance, I became very aligned with learning how to surf. I kept getting signs that my life purpose and desire for freedom and joy would be fulfilled through the experience of riding the perfect wave.

Once we arrived the path ahead continued to sync up with finding a water sports shop in Deerfield Beach offering free lessons. Clearly the universe was telling me that I was meant to runaway from home and become a professional surfer. Well, this inspiration and optimism quickly got pushed back down to earth once I got out on the water. Any time I tried to stand up or even paddle I got smacked down by the waves I was supposed to be the master of. Frustrated and discouraged by the immediate shattering of my new dream I solemnly dragged myself and my board back to shore and sat down by the ocean to gather my self worth. I realized that surfing was a part of my life purpose, however not in the way that I had anticipated. I was given metaphors for the valuable life lessons I needed at the time.

  1. When you push there will always be something pushing against you. Don’t give up but instead find a new direction to move you forward. After my first initial failure to stand up on the board I repeatedly tried to get myself up and go back in there. Despite my vicious determination wave after wave knocked me flat on my back before I could even get my belly on the board. One of the instructors pointed out that I was holding my board upright creating a block against the current and suggested holding it flat on top of the water. There it was! By switching up my angle I was able to get back to where I needed to be. Once I stopped forcing myself into a pattern that wasn’t working and objectively tweaked my approach I was able to try again.
  2. There will only be so many chances in life to get what you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate. When the perfect wave comes by you have to be ready to paddle in order to get on top of it. Otherwise it just passes you buy and sometimes puts you under water. The same way they don’t call “once in a lifetime opportunities” “opportunities that will be there when you feel like it”. Be ready to make your move.
  3. Let things happen naturally. If you don’t do it because you love it you’ll never do it right. I never ended up standing up and catching a wave on our trip. However once I decided to just sit on my board and float, I was at peace. I was there to become one with the ocean, not to conquer it. I needed to let go of my expectation of natural talent and just enjoy myself and my surroundings.  Because lets be real, why do it for any other reason than having fun?

There were other gifts for me other than the satisfaction of catching the perfect wave. I know I’ll be trying to surf again next time I get the chance to enjoy the ocean but I’ll be paying attention to so much more this time around. Cheers to always learning and growing.

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