As a boy, I spent hours on end during the summer days body surfing and boogie boarding along the Southern California coast. No two waves were ever the same. What might I make of each one that came my way? What kind of style could I bring to the natural power that made itself temporarily available to me? What could I learn from a total wipe-out?
These were all important lessons that carried over into other important aspects of my life. How fortunate was I to have the time and opportunity to experience them? They conditioned me to view situations with the eyes of a surfer—looking to make the most of the possibilities at hand, to ride them with grace and joy.
Years later, when called to resolve conflicts among groups, I found myself naturally searching for the crest of a wave out there in the collective concerns that had arisen. Once in sight, I could help each one of us ride that wave through some kind of personal discovery back to a shoreline of resolution.
Every day of our lives we face situations that provide us with opportunities to carry ourselves forward with grace and joy. When we approach these situations like surfers—with an eye toward where the waves of possibility might serve to carry us—we learn to finesse each situation to an advantage. We skim across the surface of the deeper forces that drive us, or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We approach them with an adventurous and playful spirit, artfully riding them rather than letting them crash upon us.
Here’s to the tides of life at play during our brief time here on the shoreline of possibility! Cowabunga!