Okay. I don't really surf. I did windsurf in my teens and when I consider things that were just sheer fun in my life, it quickly comes to mind. But surfing was something I never had the opportunity to try but always admired from afar - on tv screens when I was a child.
Decades later when a dear friend of mine became a surfer, traveling to Mexico twice a year to follow her bliss on the waves, it caught my interest again. She and I, and our husbands were once having dinner, and surfing came up. As she talked about it, I imagined surfing to be thrilling, adventurous, fun, and empowering. My impression was that it could also evoke peace, awe, and joy. Later, on our way home, my husband encouraged me. "Go ahead...if you want to try it, I support you," he said. Despite living in land-locked Colorado, despite our slim and thrifty budget, he prodded me to go forward if that is what I was longing for.
But, exciting as surfing seemed to be, I didn't book my flight.
I realized right then, it wasn't so much the surfing I needed to do. It was the aliveness of living fully, jumping on the metaphoric wave, taking on the challenge, risk and goals, I wanted, not the actual surfing itself. It was about seeking out things in my life that would make me feel excited and alive and exhilarated.
So I decided to start right then. I started "Julie's surf club". I committed to "going surfing". Surfing was my new symbol. Kudos to my friend and all those real surfers out there. For now I would borrow their language to follow my own passions, step out of my comfort zone and pursue a few things that I had been holding back from - but really wanted to do. I wanted to be authentic but also take some risks. My choices might not seem as daring as someone catching a wave out in the ocean...nor as big or dramatic. But at a time in my life when I needed some new direction, some new energy, and some new positive change in my life, my surf club metaphor helped inspire me.
And what did my surfing look like? I started with small steps. That week I joined a new meditation and yoga studio. I signed up for ceramics lessons at another nearby studio. I started a women's meditation group with some friends. This eventually led me to training to become a meditation teacher. After having thought about it for years, I decided to finally get my training to become a life coach. I registered my business. I kept moving forward. I kept catching the next wave. I kept falling off too. Helen Keller said, "Life is a daring adventure, or nothing..."
I see many more waves coming. Other projects, goals, dreams are taking shape and being explored. They are not necessarily all concrete - some are more about being than doing. Some are smaller and some are grander. Some are more in a vision of service and some just simply make me happy. But they are all distinctively mine, guided by my intuition and my imagination, my loves and my purpose. I love my surfing life!
Is it time for you to start surfing? What would going surfing look like to you?