I didn’t have a surf-board to hand, so I pressed the ironing-board into action! It will become clear as the story unfolds!
I had been reading a lovely book by Robin Sharma about a fictional character Jack Valentine, who went in search of wisdom to live a happier, healthier and more beautiful life. His search brought him into the company of a number of people, and it’s the meeting with the surfer dude that particularly struck me. The surfer had an old, busted-up board on which he wrote words of character-traits and qualities he aspired to, and he kept the board in a spot in the house he passed everyday – as a reminder to him of the person he wanted to be.
I thought that a really creative idea, so I drew a surf-board in my notebook, and over the following few weeks thought of key words that seemed to be nudging me to remember them and think about the part they played in my life. The words that became apparent were ‘Be’, ‘Trust’, and ‘Unfold’.
‘Be’? What was that nudging me about? About being who I am; letting those things that make me feel alive take a more prominent place in my life. Ok, then the next question was, ‘What are those things?’ You would have thought I would know them by now! But I realised that life’s busy and anxious ways had buried them. I thought about them – and gave them the chance to surface. I like writing! So give time to more writing – and then find a platform to share your writing (!). I like to sing! And an opportunity arose for me to be part of a sassy choir – great! I like to run! So put those trainers and running shorts back on. I like to dance – only in my sitting room at the moment, and jigging around when no-one is looking, but that’s just fine. I like to draw – still working on that one. Be who you are – and the more I do, the more I buzz.
What about ‘Trust’? When I look back at projects that I really wanted to work, or jobs or relationships I really wanted to have and that didn’t work out, I realised that even though I was disappointed at the time, the doors that closed, saved me from going down a path that was wrong for me and that would have led to a smaller and more constrained life. I can trust that things have a way of working out.
And ‘Unfold’? I needed to let things unfold – I couldn’t know at the beginning of a new venture or relationship or project, how things would work out in the end. It doesn’t work like that! You will only know about things along the way, as they unfold; and you have to trust yourself that you will make discerning judgements, that a word from a friend, a dream, or the intelligence of your emotions will lead you to make good decisions.
And while at first, I had to keep reminding myself about all these things, they are becoming more second-nature to me. Excuse me now – off to put the music on and jig around the room!
[The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO, Robin Sharma]