What Surfers Can Teach Us
Truth? I hate bad weather. Storms (snow or rain — no bias here!) and extreme temps have me hiding out in my apartment, waiting for it all to pass. As it relates to times of transition however, I’m the first to admit that this isn’t the best approach. Avoiding the uncertainty and discomfort that comes with change makes it impossible to find the opportunities hiding in the madness. And it certainly doesn’t help you move through it with grace and ease, because let’s face it — when we’re hiding, we’re not moving through anything.
I’m not proposing that it’s realistic — or perhaps even desirable — to coast through life, but perhaps we can instead learn how to surf through it, bringing a whole new meaning to riding out the storm.
Bear with me here. When I was leading a mindfulness for stress relief workshop last year, one of my participants said she wanted to try and be more like a surfer. I asked for more details, and she pointed out that while big storms that cause huge waves and disgruntled seas make most people run from the water, surfers are almost desperate for these days. Storms bring a sense of excitement, joy, and I’d even argue makes them feel more alive. Storms allow surfers to do what they love and have more fun! Their favorite days are the ones most people dread, and the big waves are something they’re running to, not from.
These wave-seekers may not like the pelting rain, gusts of wind or freezing air, but they find the opportunities in the chaos. They find a way to have fun amidst all the turmoil — better yet, they rejoice in it. I agree with my workshop participant. Surfers have a more empowered perspective on how to ride out the ups and downs of the water when it’s at its worst, and I find their approach incredibly inspiring. We can all take a note from their books, apply it to our own life circumstances and do the same.
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