It's almost laughable how often I think about that man who sells coconuts on the side of the road in Nosara, Costa Rica. He lays in his hammock, naps often & makes everyone's day by providing them with cold, fresh coconut water. THAT'S what he does. He's the coconut man. He is always smiling, super peaceful & totally misses out on business with his constant napping. OH - he's sleeping...I'll come back later.
When I think about this man, I envy his simplicity. When I begin to spiral in my mind with a wild amount of unknowns - I think about the smile on this man's face. Day after day, he smiles wholeheartedly at every human that wants a coconut, genuinely smiles at them & wishes them a good day. When I see that man, I see peace. I see simple happiness. I see contentment & I see bliss. I envy this man's ability to live in joy in such a simple way.
It has taken me a while - I have fought it for longer than I would like to admit - but I got it. What I understand about myself, my mind & my heart is that I am NOT simple. Admitting that I am completely complex & all over the place at times is not easy. I have always wanted to be simple, to be that girl who is just super chill, easy going, one of the guys - and I AM that woman - BUT not always. I am an emotional creature, a crier, a passionate, wild minded woman. THAT is who I am. THAT is who I love. THAT is who I am proud of. Yes, there are days that I work harder than others to love her. Somedays the self love flows in with ease, as if there was never another option. Other days I do heavy lifting to strengthen that self love muscle. The practice is never ending, ever changing & life altering.
I often find myself reflecting on my past relationship & the moments, evenings, days that I used to unravel for no "reason" at all. I would wake up one day & that cloud would be over my head. It wouldn't be until we were falling asleep that night that the darkness of my mind matched with the darkness of the night that I would begin to cry. My human by my side, after long day in the sun - fish tacos, fresh air, light laughter - he would watch me unravel in pure confusion. Body tense, he would say to me - "but we had such a good day...". I remember his genuine confusion on how in the world tears could well in my eyes when we had such a fun day? How was that even possible, jack?
Ya - not simple.
My mind is a complex creature. To be able to have a great day in the sun with my human while this cloud has taken over my mind - darkness, chaos, spinning, tears, storm, rage, unexplainable tangle of thoughts - all occurring while the deepest part of myself knows so damn well it is all temporary & will pass. The cleansing of the tears are not always attached to a reason Why. Sometimes, I sit as the observer & watch them fall down my face.
My mind is not simple y'all. To love myself in all my waves is not always easy, seamless, peaceful, graceful. I have hesitated for so long to fall in love with my whole human - to love the other side. I am naturally a smiley, joyful human who loves to play outdoors, belly laugh, love & feel alive. I love to feel good! I love to nourish my body & mind to be able to experience happiness from a well of joy. AND the reality of my human is that I too have waves - as naturally as the tide changes in the ocean - i change.
My world, my mind, my waves started to make a bit more sense to me when I started surfing a few years ago. It wasn't until last week that I understood what about the ocean - this powerful force - made me feel so whole, understood, calm. There are days that the sun is out, the waves are clean, glasslike & the rides are calling my name. Asking me to surf in peace. There is minimal wind, water is clear blue & there is no question in my mind - I want to be out there. On a different day, in that exact same ocean, with that exact same water - everything looks different. The water turns dark in color, the wind gets after it, choppy white caps all around, not a clean wave in sight & a few die hard surfers pushing through. Dark clouds hover about the water & the ocean looks angry, aggressive - no thank you.
When I first started surfing 2 years ago I quickly learned to pop up on the board. I am athletic, I do yoga & was able to get that part down pretty quickly. The part of surfing that has taken me forever, the part that I am still learning & will always be learning, is understanding the ocean. The world beneath my board. Understanding her change in tides, her motion, the way she dances & how I best fit with her. Always changing, never the same wave twice. Weather changing water. It isn't the act of standing up on a board that I long to understand - it's the water beneath me. The constant change of the ocean because when I am one with her, when I am moving with her - I can stand up on anything.
The tides of the ocean mirror the tides within myself. My emotions, thoughts & world always changing. To me, it only seems natural. Yet when we experience a storm pass through the ocean - no one questions it. We stand looking over the pacific & notice that the ocean looks chaotic, the waves are massive, the wind is harsh & there is a storm that has rolled in, settled & screaming. We stand there & watch in awe at this magical body of water that has been taken by storm. Never questioning her, just watching. Yet in human form, when the storm rolls in, when the tides change & the darkness is present - we ask why? There MUST be a reason.
What if we gave humans the same grace, respect & space we gave the ocean? What if we watched those waves as a observer on the sand - sitting on the sand in peace, while our minds, our ocean - goes wild. What if that was just as okay as the sparkling blue water that we so willingly get into? What would our experience in those dark waves be like & how would they transform - if at all?
The waves of the ocean are mirrored to the waves of life. When I am one with the waves inside myself - I can stand up on anything, any weather - storm or no storm. There are days that I go out into the ocean when it is a mess to get to know the water in the chaos. The more I understand the ocean in its messy state, the more prepared I will be for the brilliant days. The more I love myself in her darkness, her wildness, her chaos - the more I will love her in her brilliance.
I have been asked to love myself when my hands are dirty, get to know every nook & cranny of that chaos & don't hide it. Speak. Cry. Write. SURF - my love, surf. Smile, cry while you are smiling. Hell yes - everything. Feel it all, honor it all.
One full inhale, one deep exhale.
The journey - abandoning the WHY & getting curious about the rest.
We're all in this together,
We're all in this alone,
We're all in this.
See you all out in the water, riding these waves together.
- Jackie Blumenthal