Words by Jernej Rakuscek.
One of the biggest challenges in interacting with the ocean that a modern surfer faces is how to instantly develop fluidity.
On land, we perceive most of the things to be stagnant or moving at a steady, predictable pace. The cars move in more or less straight lines. The trees sway in the wind. Legs of people doing repeated movements we have seen throughout our life; hence we rarely give it full attention. Body language happens so quick that our responses have become spontaneous. All these movements are seemingly excluded from the environment that we perceive. For example, when you see someone walking, do you notice how the ground beneath their feet moves as well? When you see the branches of the tree swaying in the wind, do you notice at the same time how the trunk is leaning side to side?
Once we enter the ocean, all of that changes. We enter a space of a medium we call water that transforms itself holistically. That means it is moved by the energy of the waves, tide, obstacles and wind, all at once, fully connected and intertwined. There are no static points of reference. Waves and its environment move all together, all at once. How does this affect our perception?
First of all, for the majority of people, it produces confusion and a sense of disorientation. That is why people tend to surf where other people surf, so those others can act as a point of focus. This way, we create some sort of static islands in the ocean of the motions. Ever wonder, why people tend to paddle out where they see other people surfing, even though they recognize a seemingly decent empty spot to surf close by?
Surfers are challenged to let go of their static part of personality immediately upon entering the ocean. Actually, that goes for any ocean visitor. The ocean is a body of water constantly in motion. Emotions are provoked in us simply because we have to minimize behaviour through our fixed sense of identity.
Surfers are challenged to let go of their static part of personality immediately upon entering the ocean. Actually, that goes for any ocean visitor. The ocean is a body of water constantly in motion. Emotions are provoked in us simply because we have to minimize behaviour through our fixed sense of identity. Any sort of a fixed point of view in a place of constant fluidity causes frustrations. So, what parts of your personality are static? Which part of what you say is you, tends to cause most common frustrations in the surf? In essence, we are all adaptable, changeable beings, but to serve a systematic organization of today's society, we are moulded into fixed forms which we call identities.
The ocean on the other hand, has no tools to differentiate between sex, age, race, belief system or socio-economical status. You either adapt or you get washed. Bearing this in mind, each and every time we go for a session, we go for a free personality-transformational session. The treatment hours are open 24/7, they are free of charge and the therapist is always available, changing and relentless yet predictable, if we are ready to address those apparent static compartments of our personality.
Entering the impersonal arena of the ocean, we are the ones who carry personal attitude. The ocean has no personal interest to do this or that to us. We choose what time, where and how we enter. Whatever feelings and thoughts are being provoked in us, they are reflections of the areas of our personality that we need to address and are being addressed.
Let me give you my personal example so you would understand how all this is not a belief-oriented or subjective perception. I was coaching a very athletic woman how to stand up on a surfboard and ride to the beach. It was obvious to me that her physical abilities were there, but she just couldn't do it. I asked her: "Are you afraid of success? I can see you standing up, but how about you, do you see yourself succeeding? I bet that also in your life, you have many talents, yet you are afraid of success. Maybe you believe you just don't deserve to be successful." She went quiet, then she started to cry. All she said was: "It's true." She went in, stood up and rode to the beach. What is the thing in your surfing that keeps repeating itself and disables you from changing?
Fun is the integral part, the essence of being playful. A playing child is in complete fluid relationship with the environment. The focus is more on experience and expression, than on performance and goal achievement.
It is not the tide, the swell, the mind, the other people, the board, it is you. It is always you. Whatever you bring to the ocean, the ocean turns around and shows it to you. The sessions you will have are going to be reflections of your awareness. Best sessions usually happen when we enter without any other expectation but to have fun.
Fun is the integral part, the essence of being playful. A playing child is in complete fluid relationship with the environment. The focus is more on experience and expression, than on performance and goal achievement. What keeps you from having fun each and every single time you go for a session? I bet it is the same fixation within your personality that keeps you from having fun each and every single day on land. Observe yourself while surfing and address it on land. Not only will your surfing improve and become more enjoyable, your fluidity on land will start to shape effortless acting. You might even see the ground moving.