Let's Go Surfing
I’ve lived in coastal locations, on and off, for about the last 10 years. Each time I arrived at a new beach home, I swore I’d learn to surf. Then, as I settled in, I hopped on my daily train tracks, and never made an attempt to “get my gills wet,” as they say. My excuses went as follows: I’m too busy, I’m too busy, I’m to busy, I’m don’t have enough time. The excuses played in perpetuity, until I eventually forgot what I swore to myself.
In many ways, I’ve always operated with some sense of staying on my “train tracks.” An inflexible mind focused on efficiency, over experiences. Sometimes, I’m not all that fun, as a result. How many incredible moments have I missed because I blindly plow through my day? How many beautiful things have I skipped over, because I turn off my awareness, and hop on the daily train, zipping me to all my obligatory destinations? Yes, I make an occasional detour, so long as it fits in the plan. However, those detour moments are fleeting, as they don’t fit into the “routine.” And well, I really need to “get shit done.”
Last week, a friend text me, and asked if I’d like to go surfing. And despite my desire to lean into my excuse reel (see: “I’m Busy”), I said “YES!” And then two days later, I said “YES,” again.
I felt like a total boss babe in the water, and I’m totally falling in love with surfing. I’m not only falling in love with it for the actual act of surfing itself (yes, I love the feeling of floating out in the ocean, the silent camaraderie with other surfers is cool, and I’m obsessed with the “holy shit, I’m actually riding this thing” moments). But I’m beginning to love surfing, because choosing to surf, has helped me stop, breathe, and be aware enough to choose other things. Choose new things. New ways of being. And that’s really how we grow, isn’t it?
Every day, since being in the water, I’ve made a trip to see the ocean. Sometimes requesting that my wife drive me there. The ocean is 865 steps from “SoulFire Collective,” and before surfing, I’ve looked at the ocean approximately 3 times in the past 4 months. Yes, I know that’s sad, and gross, and ungrateful, and I’m being 100% honest. In the past week, I’ve gone 9 times. And yesterday, I made a commitment to go see the ocean, once a day, for the next 30 days. You know what, I feel a heck of a lot better on days I see the ocean (thanks negative ions).
Monday morning, 6 days after my first time in the water, I walked into yoga and threw my mat in one of my usual spots. One always in close proximity to a wall (shout out to my comfort zone). I walked out, to talk to a bunch of our instructors, and community members. We were chatting, and laughing, and probably pulling “Affirmation Cards.” Then, a tiny voice whispered in my head, “move your mat to the center of the room, you big baby. Shift your habits.” I quickly walked back into the room, and dragged my mat to a center spot. Class was AWESOME, I grew a little, and I face-planted once. Ok, I face-planted once, and fell on more than one occasion.
Yesterday, I had this flawless morning plan in my mind. At 5:40am, my alarm went off, and I hopped out of bed. Brooke and I had planned a day together, but I “needed” to go to the gym before our yoga class. So I shuffled into the bathroom, and completed my usual skincare and dental hygiene routines. Then, I walked back into the bedroom. Brooke looked at me and said “Why are you going to the gym? What if you just stay in bed a little more, and then we can enjoy coffee together?” I stood there like a deer in the headlights. My mind said, “go to the gym, that was your plan. Don’t screw up the plan. Don’t mess things up” And in the tiny spaces where my brain wasn’t speaking, I heard my heart whisper, “change course, get back in bed, create space for connection and love.” I climbed back in bed, and told her “I want to spend more time with you.” Our day was incredible. And I love her more this morning.
Maybe you’re thinking, “things must be slowing down for you now, that’s why you have time to shift from efficiency to experience.” Actually, things haven’t slowed down…I have. And that’s the difference.
No one wants to hear how many things you’ve accomplished in a day, how many boxes you’ve checked. They’d rather hear how you LIVED.
And then this morning, I read this quote, and it said everything, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to success is found in your daily routine.” -John Maxwell