“Never say never” is one of life’s truths I’ve come to relish. I'm proud to share that on a recent adventure I plucked up the courage to learn to surf with four fellow surfing virgins. Forget "the 40 year old virgin," we were all "the 45 plus virgins," willing and able to happily admit temporary insanity and conquer some major fears on the shores of Todos Santos!
Even though I'm pretty fit and able, I wasn't feeling that bold or 100% willing. I was terrified surveying the crashing waves, as I recollected the time I was tumbled and smashed on the ocean floor, but that's another story. I had fought my way into the confines of an ill-fitted wetsuit without putting my back out, so, at least I needed to honor that feat and listen to the instructors Spanglish.
Fear is like a rip tide pulling us further and further away from all of life’s miracles. The key is to welcome it, own it, and give oneself permission to feel the emotions that surface. I’m not recommending being reckless, but I am sharing how we can dive in and ride the waves of fear back to vibrancy.
Loosen up and see the humor in life. We’d already completed our daily practice of yoga, which on one hand meant we were already in the zone, but on the other hand the thought of doing yoga on a surf board was a little daunting. This is the moment I questioned my sanity, but felt comforted by the bond I shared with my fellow angels. Endless humor alleviated much of anxiety that had taken residence in my mind, as we shamelessly practiced our surfing skills on the sand.
Don’t face the fear alone. I thought I was ready but alas, rational fear crept into my mind! After a few fearless strides, I did a 180-degree turn and began to peel off my wetsuit, much to my instructor's (Julio) horror. His reaction was instantaneous, kind, but persistent and encouraging. Julio didn't make me feel stupid and most importantly he didn't let me give in to my fear of being pummeled on the ocean bed. Instead he promised to stay close and guide me, with sister surfer angles cheering me on. Knowing I wasn't alone or judged got me back on board… literally!
Let go by connecting to your inner child. The excitement and curiosity of youth was building inside, as I paddled out on my board into the unknown. I felt like a child being pushed high into the air on an endless swing, with the nose of the board rising high, crashing over the breaking waves. Soaked in the infinite joy, presence and wonder of childhood play, I let go of the fear as my spirit soared and I lost myself in the thrill of the spill.
Self-trust, being present in the moment. "Stay near Julio!!" OMG here I go again, upward dog… lunge... warrior pose with arms spread eagle… ''ALLALUJA, I'm up and alive, being carried by the energy of the waves… You can go now Julio!"
I wasn't walking on water yet, but I was part of it. Time stood still, as I connected to the rhythm of nature in tune with all of my natural instincts. I trusted the strength and wisdom of my own body in the ever-changing moment. I went back out time and again, knowing each time would be different. I felt exhilarated and energized as the waves washed away the stresses of everyday life and the feeling of limitless possibilities replaced them.
The benefits of activities that reignite personal awareness. Whether it’s surfing or any other physical activity engaging in something out of your comfort zone, it reignites our own personal awareness. It expands our consciousness giving us renewed validation of what we can accomplish when we choose to live in the moment, understand our fear and use it as a tool to experience growth.
I'll finish by saying this, "By changing my perspective, I now understand why surfers become addicted to the spirit of the surf. It’s truly a spiritual experience to feel at one with Mother Nature, connected to the energy and power of the waves and wind, to feel part of something much bigger than yourself."
Only one person can stop you and that's you. Make the choice to welcome your fear home, embrace it, and then let it go so you can LIVE each day as an adventure.