I was never a girl who naturally presented herself as graceful. In fact most people that know me would describe me as a little (or very) clumsy, reactive and perhaps even a bit assertive (or a lot). What I’ve learned in my journey as a surfer is that the more you react, the more you push or force something the more you are rejected by the ocean herself. The more grace you can exude on your surfboard the more effortless this sport becomes.
What a lesson.... After being stuck in a machine wash of heavy, powerful waves I realized the more I fought and tried to force my way through it the stronger the pull of the ocean and the weaker I got. I tried to duck dive (without really knowing how) my way through the jaws of the oncoming waves. Every time I would force the nose of the board into the water I’d get tossed back another 10 feet pushing me further into the impact zone. I didn’t get it. Finally, after my exhausting battle with the ocean, I got back into the boat. I watched these graceful surfers effortlessly go through the pounding sets as they rolled in, remaining totally calm and poised. I was so frustrated now attaching these feelings of self doubt to the situation. I kept saying in my head that I’m not strong enough, good enough, brave enough to be in these kind of waves.
I asked my surf guide at coco loco eco resort in Nicaragua, Ben to do a duck dive school with me in the pool and then graduate to the ocean. After a good hour of practice, I quickly realized that moving through obstacles wasn’t about force... it was about understanding the timing and the way you needed to dance with the situation verses fight your way through it.
My duck dives became graceful, became effortless and felt natural. My interpretation of a duck dive is just one example of how I am noticing I respond to challenges or roadblocks in life. I’m In the practice of working towards grace, acceptance, understanding when to react and how as the big scary walls of water approach me in life.
It takes time and practice to respond to life’s situations with grace and I’m fully committed. Anything worth having is worth the energy you put towards achieving it. At times it might feel like you’re constantly being pushed back another 10 feet, especially when you’re too exhausted to keep paddling. The moment you FEEL that shift from resistance to grace is pure magic.
Where in your life are you fighting or forcing a result? Can you find grace within the process?
I am leading two wellness retreats in June and in October which both have a surf element where you can experience these types of mindset breakthroughs. Check out SRF vacations to learn more.