Surfing in paradise and life realizations
Trip Start Jul 08, 2007
143Trip End Ongoing
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As I was floating on my surf board looking towards the ocean in the expectation of a good wave to surf, I suddenly realized that I was not feeling calm. In fact, I was feeling far from it. How could this be? It was a wonderful morning around 7h30 in Puerto Escondido, on the west coast of Mexico. The sun was slowly coming up, I was almost alone in the water, a gentle breeze was coming from the immensity of the Pacific Ocean, the splendid beach of Carrizalillo was behind me and the water was at 85F. What could be wrong? Maybe getting hammered by one of those huge waves this area can sometimes offer was in the back of my mind? :) But as I was deepening my thoughts, I realized that I was simply not a peace, not entirely focused on the present moment, my mind secretly jumping from one thought to the next creating a vortex and an overload of information, similarly as what have been happening these past few years of corporate stress
I have been traveling for about 3 months now and I have been feeling ups and downs. In itself, its normal, I guess, its part of life. I have had moments of total exhilaration and moments of complete confusion. As the frequency of these ups and downs seemed to be diminishing, their intensity however seemed to be increasing. Was it that I was not yet free of my old world and that I was still defining who I am and where I am going based on mental measurements and structure? I however felt certain that traveling was in my heart at this very moment and what I should be doing. And so I realized that I was nowhere and everywhere at the same time... in between two worlds with nowhere to hide. I knew that all I had to do was to keep on going and fully explore what I had set out to do. But somehow it seemed harder than expected. It freaked me out and also made me smile. I have learned over the last couple of years to laugh at myself when I realize I am not where I thought I was. It helps my ego not to fall as easily into guilt and auto-destruction patterns.
The frustrating part is that only a few days earlier, I was in a complete different mental state. After setting up in my new temporary home (familia Garcia in Puerto Escondido, Mexico) and getting over my cultural shock, starting my Spanish classes, getting back at surfing and blending this new beach life with my global life search, I got to a place inside my heart that was magical
"The only thing the mind is doing is experiencing experiencing. The mind does not experience the world, it just sensory reports it".
My first thought in the dwelling of my past was to remember how I used to be feeling in holidays, a few years back when working was my way of life
Letting go of guilt have been for me an every day fight for the longest time. During that period, I was never fully at peace and happy with what I was doing at each passing moment. But after feeling selfish for a while for following more and more my heart, I came to realize that this guilt did not make any sense for my desired life perspective, that it was doing nothing good to help me feeling better and that if someone was unhappy with my new choices, it would be their decision. Years of construction... could I, out of the blue, change everything without feeling uneasy? And so what then became hard was that everything I was, my joys and fears towards life, were bound to that previous concept of life I had. Therefore, in changing my old ways to the ones I now wanted to live, everything else had to change as well. Ouf!, I did not see this one coming. The hardest thing at that moment was that even my vulnerability coping mechanisms (temporary escaping mechanisms) could not help me anymore
A wave rushing to the sky behind me brought me back to reality and after feeling happy of catching my first wave of the day, remembering the power of the ocean lifting me off the ground, I suddenly felt a split in my mind. One part was feeling closer to myself and the present moment and the other part was feeling more withdrawn from nature, as if I could not come close to understand how huge, mysterious and complex it all was. I was still feeling non centered and more thinking was required. As my attention slowly left the now arisen sun and the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks nearby, I focused back on my deepest thoughts. I then came about my responsibilities as often it is the source generating guilt. Only a year earlier, I had monstrous responsibilities (compare to now anyways) on my shoulders: a company and too many people to manage, a house, a car, a girlfriend, friends, clients and my full personal development. These were what I thought were my responsibilities and where I should focus most of my energy on
What are those things, those responsibilities, that we judge are so important that we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for? Work, family, kids, girlfriend/boyfriend, clients, current and/or future boss, name it. Do any of those worth sacrificing our life for? Because we think it is for the greater good? For our family, our gang, our country or our civilisation? We can be very certain that if in the name of good we have to create evil (for ourselves or others), that good was probably an illusion to start with
Love an illusion?
As the concept of love came to me as the main Energy we need in our life, I explored it within myself and my past. How can we truly love someone if we don't fully know who we are and/or don't spend enough time everyday looking for it? In general, we don't really Love others for what they truly are, we love them for what they represent for us and what they give us (things, attention, security, etc.). We don;t experience unconditional love but in the contrary, we experience conditional love. How often have we seen parents/lovers fully dedicating their life to their children/loved one only to eventually come crashing down when the children/loved one is not interested about it anymore? Parents/lovers are then crushed and lost as if their life suddenly did not make any sense anymore? How many depressions, burn out and mid life crisis have we experienced, encountered or heard of? This is a small example of the results yielded by our attempts to gain control over others or things outside of ourselves
The mountain can often appear very high to climb as we realize how far we have drifted apart from our path. How can we start doing the right thing again? By doing the little things right. Lets listen to ourselves and when we find something that annoys us, lets ask ourselves why. Ask ourselves how we could have done things differently and the next time we are given that opportunity, lets seize it to make things right. It could be that someone ought us 2$ and we are afraid to ask for it; it could be that we let someone, without wanting it, go in front of us while we where queueing at the bank; it could be that we have a business partner that is not respecting its contract; it does not really matter what it is as long as we act honestly upon our feelings and that we respect ourselves. How would this really make a difference, its only a few details after all? It does not seem like big changes at first, but every little subtle change can make a huge difference over the course of a lifetime. It also helps to create a momentum and this momentum can inspire us to greater achievements. As stated by David Hawkins in his book: Power vs Force:
"The critical point in a complex system is where the smallest input will result in the greatest change"
This is where we need to focus our attention on. This is where knowing ourselves becomes important. My friend and mentor Mario Leblanc told me a few years back, while trying to help me manage my work time better:
"For every new interrupt coming to you, ask yourself: Is the world going to stop revolving if I don't take care of this new interrupt?"
What this meant for me is that we need to know the truth about ourselves. We need to know what is truly important and what we falsely tell ourselves is important. We need to visualize what is going to happen if we take care of something or don't. But know for certain that if we do not take care of ourselves first, we will eventually loose the ability to serve/help others and then they wont need us anymore. Just like in an airplane that is going through a low oxygen situation. If you help others before you put your own mask on, you might be able to help 5 or 6 people, but if you put your mask first, you can help everyone in the place. This is the sad reality about everything. If we do not respect ourselves, then NO ONE WILL. To convince ourselves of this, lets imagine that we exchange the roles between us and someone else we feel obligated to at the moment(put ourselves in their shoes for a moment)
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work".
We need to find this place/inch inside of us that makes us great. I eventually understood that our responsibilities are nothing but illusions that we have, that we accept and use to avoid facing who we are, reach for what we are suppose to do and face our fears
Guilt and responsibilities somehow leave on us their imprint. The realization that their imprint was so deep inside of me made me freaked out a little earlier. I was at some level defining my happiness base on mental measurements and not out of love. Its been the classical conflict since the beginning of time but only now was I understanding what it really meant. Its the fight between good and evil, between Lucifer and God, between a material world and a world of light and love. And as that realization was sinking in, I suddenly felt dizzy. How would I be able to get out of it? I then remembered my fetish quote from Dune:
"Fear is the mind killer
If we calmly and rationally focus on our biggest fear or any precise fear, seek to understand it, we will eventually see a pattern and see how this fear impacts our life. Lets us take one at a time and train ourselves to let go of it, no matter how hard and difficult it is. We are surrounded by tons of those fears. Don't we feel happier and more free without those fears? Let us go towards them, laugh at ourselves for a moment and slowly work on them, instead of hiding them, transforming them or whatever we do to run away from them.
And so, once we are on the road towards our liberation, letting go becomes essential. Conceptually speaking, its easy. But to let go of what we have been for so long at every instant of our life, wow... that is very different. As difficulties pop out and as we try to redefine our life on stronger foundations and values, we undoubtebly get back into guilt, fear and so on. It took us years to build this illusion, this prison, so we need to be patient and realistic about undoing it. This is a pretty hard step for me as I am relatively impatient and I really like things to move quickly
Why letting go of the past? Because our understanding of reality stops us from believing that a better life is possible. A nice statement of this, by Drunvalo Melchizedek in his epic book The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, Tome 2:
"What you believe to be true is always your limitation. If you do not believe in limitations, you are free".
Another quote from M. Hawkins that I find particularly powerful:
"There are no justified resentment - even if somebody "did you wrong", you are still free to choose your response and let go of resentment."
And so only by letting go of our old concepts and believing in new ones can we accept that life can be different. David Hawkins have a way of explaining this. He says that none of our ideas are ours. That our energy field (inside and outside of us) attracts specific attractor fields in the universe, that then feed us with thoughts
The easiest examples to understand "letting go" that I have found so far are the following two: When we get sick (cold, headache, etc.) and we go to bed at night, happy to go to sleep, it feels like such a relieve. As we feel useless anyways, the only thing we can do is accepting what is happening and so letting go. If we fight it, we are likely to get sicker. Another example, is falling off from our surf board while attempting to surf a wave. There is absolutely no point in fighting the wave, its thousands of times stronger than us. All we can do is wait for the rolling to end, for the foam to stop forming and for us to naturally come back to the surface. To achieve balance in our life we need to just be, let go and go with the flow.
Remembering my last few years helped me to put things into perspective. Guilt, responsibilities and fears are important steps to overcome, no doubt
With all the love in my heart