Riding the Wave of Life
Life, like the ocean, is full of waves. Full of ups and downs. With all the uncertainty in our world today, it can feel like we are stuck in the white water. But if you keep your head up and continue to paddle, you will make it out beyond the break where it is clear, calm, and tranquil. And remember, we cannot always be in control. Rather than resisting, choose to go with the flow and ride the waves of life. Riding the wave of life brings wonder, curiosity, and hope. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, Mother Ocean and the act of surfing can teach you a lot about how to live life.
Life Lessons from the Board:
Surrender Control and Go with the Flow
Like in the ocean, you can’t always be in control of life. After getting pummeled by a big wave, it is important not to resist, panic, and push against what’s going on. It will only make you more frustrated and flustered. Instead, you must relax, breathe, and go with the flow. Surfing, like life, requires balance and patience.
Keep Your Head Up
My surf instructor, Ishmael, always told me that “If you want to get up, look up!” When you go to stand up on the board, where you look is so important. If you keep your head down, looking at your feet, you’ll tip right over. Instead, look to the shore and your board will follow. Lead your life with your head held high, looking forward! Lift your heart, let it open, and it will lead you. And even when things are not going your way on the wave, don’t give up! Keep your head high and always say yes. You can do this!
Be Willing to Change Perspectives
Dr. Wayne Dyer said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It is so important to have perspective in life. When you’re in the midst of the white water, it’s hard to see that there is calm just ahead. If you keep paddling, however, you’ll pass the break and find an entirely different ocean. Don’t get tunnel vision (unless it is the type that you get when you get barreled!) and try to remember to widen your perspective. You will find that there are so many more opportunities than you could imagine!
Focus, Work Hard, and Paddle for What You Want!
To get past the white water and to catch the waves, you must paddle hard! Here’s the thing: you get what you focus on. You must paddle hard for what you want and resist the urge to give up. Those wimpy strokes won’t cut it! It takes determination, focus, courage, and strength. Focusing your energy on what you want allows you to create momentum that will continue to push you forward. Paddle hard for what has meaning for you.
The Journey is More Important than the Destination
Ah yes, a classic. But really. Riding the wave is the most fun, important, and meaningful part of the entire experience. Life is made up of these waves — don’t miss out on the best part because you’re too focused on the end goal.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere — on water and land.”
— Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass