Everyday I’m surfing, diving into the expansiveness of the ocean and playing in the waves, I’m also getting more and more comfortable in bigger sets. Next to my experience in the water as I become more confident surfing, I’m learning how to navigate the waves of my emotional life and realize again just how parallel these experiences are! Apart from being a total rush of adrenaline, surfing has been a powerful teacher for me: It has taught me how to face my fears, dissolve certain boundaries, to believe in myself and overcome my anxiety. As the waves get bigger, so does my capacity to handle personal challenges.
Surfing is an amazing way for me to be totally present in the moment and connected with life. The waves come in sets just like emotions and when they do I have to stay calm and focused, breathe deeply and keep on paddling towards the line up, knowing that the sets will come and go. It may sound strange as I’m on holiday and in such a beautiful place, but next to surfing I’ve been taking the time to sit with or “paddle through” the parts of myself that I don’t like and that I’ve been ashamed of accepting. Having no distractions from my daily life or ways to escape, feelings have surfaced and it’s time to let them go along with old stories and beliefs. In the past, I would have tried to avoid them, to numb my pain and deny that they belonged to me. The more I pushed them away though, the more power they seemed to have building up like a wave and jumping out when I least expected.
I think as human beings at some point we all suffer from disappointment, heartbreak, jealousy, betrayal, shame, fear, and sometimes even feel hatred. Somewhere inside there’s a voice that tells us we’re not loveable, that we’re flawed, unworthy and an outcast. It’s like a vacuum that can subconsciously affect our wellbeing, influence our actions and the way we relate to ourselves and to the outside world. So I’ve been asking myself, how can I integrate this dark corner of hurt without it acting out in my life and destroying the things I love? What is it telling me?
Little by little, I start to realize that underneath all these wounds there’s a kind of grief, an ancient sorrow that has been passed down through our lineage, through generations of conflict, of strife and struggle, as well as various traumas that have affected us in our own lifetime. Although these feelings are a part of us though, they do not define us! If we try to hide or deny them for fear of not being accepted they do more damage, because if we look deeper they are not there to control our lives or show us that we are flawed. Instead, these feelings are calling us to heal ourselves, to heal our families and future generations. Our healing begins by consciously accepting these darker aspects and giving them space, because when we do we distance ourselves by looking at them from a higher perspective. Without being entrenched in or controlled by them, we start to have compassion for ourselves and out of that place a bigger capacity to love emerges and an opportunity to transform takes place. Suddenly these feelings and stories no longer have power over us and we are free to let them go. What happens after is up to us…
For me right now, I start to feel a sense of lightness like a snake shedding its skin. Whenever inner resistance comes up, I go to what brings me back into balance, my breath, moving my body and being outside in nature. A feeling of freedom takes over as I let go of the attachment to my personal story, suddenly life becomes really simple and out of that a joy starts to rise up inside of me. I see beauty in everything like watching the sunset, but also just noticing the light being reflected on the wall. I become really quiet, my ambition melts away, I stop judging myself and my restlessness disappears. Instead, I feel a sense of gratitude and humility for the life that I have and a space opens up that I wasn’t aware of before. From there I can start to write a new chapter of my life.