Learning to Surf Life

mocha momentsI’m afraid of turbulence in water. I grew up with my grandmother saying “the sea has no back door.” I believed her. Curiously I don’t like turbulence – PERIOD. Lately in life it seems that I am encountering turbulence but it’s unfamiliar. I have grown comfortable with the turbulence of not having regular work, not having enough money, not always getting the approval I crave from a “they” I’m yet to meet. I’m comfortable with this. I don’t LIKE it, but I’m comfortable.

Now the turbulence is happening in my body and it feels strange. I just discovered that my haemoglobin level is low so I’ve been taking some iron supplements. Recently as I lay in bed on my left side I felt the entire world as I know it, fixed and in place, start to move. It was a little more ominous for me because it was at 3 in the morning that this occurred. The bed seemed to dip under me and I with it. I can’t describe the feeling anymore except to add that I was very scared.

Where was this “wave” coming from? I was not prepared, didn’t see it coming, and as a result was totally blindsided by it.

In the light of day, I consulted my trusted Louise Hay – You can Heal your Life book – and found under Vertigo (Dizziness) – flighty, scattered thinking, a refusal to focus. Indeed I find it terribly difficult these days to focus. I’m constantly distracted by social media, new information, more things I needed to learn. Perhaps my body was beginning to speak to me since I refused to listen when my brain reasoned that I needed less information and more focused action in my life.

In the blog post – 6 Life Lessons you can Learn from Surfing – Dr. Elana Miller says in tip 6:

photo by Mark Tipple
photo by Mark Tipple

“The ocean doesn’t care about you. It is a force of nature that existed long before you were born and that will be around long after you turn to dust.

It doesn’t care if you have a good day surfing or a bad day. It doesn’t care if it scares you. It doesn’t care if it kills you.

When a big wave knocks me over and holds me underwater, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to get mad at it, right? But really, we operate that way all the time, fighting forces of life that are as unavoidable as the strength and immensity of the ocean.

We fight that we have pain, get sick, get old, die. We fight that relationships end. We fight to string happy moment after happy moment, as if we could prevent anything bad from happening in between.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s a waste of time, and a waste of energy. We operate under the illusion of control when so many of the most important things in life aren’t even close to the realm of our control. But this doesn’t have to be a terrifying concept.

When you release yourself from the illusion of control, you can relax. You can put in your best effort but let things turn out how they’ll turn out. You can find moments of joy in the most simple things.”

I think she knows what she’s talking about. I’ve only had one other “episode” of scary movement and I’ve been back to the doctor, who hasn’t found anything wrong. What I realized instinctively in the midst of the movement was that I needed to ride out the feeling. That trying to FORCE myself to cut short the experience was not effective.

I need to learn to surf with my life – not to fight what happens but ride out the “waves” once they come. For those “waves” that I don’t see coming – I now know what I need to do. Surrender.



Image from http://www.lomography.com/magazine/lifestyle/2012/10/05/a-little-different-from-surf-photography

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