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A little insight into the life of Free Spirit - a melting pot of our thoughts, beliefs, suggestions & ideas to inspire you on your path as you journey through life.

Published: 06/01/2016

Good Intentions

The New Year naturally brings us all to reflect on the year gone by. Happy times, sad times, successes & achievements, failures or regrets. Whether you had a great 2015 or a not so great one, its true to say that all of us are wishing for a better year ahead.

We often see the new year as a fresh start. We are motivated for change, to better ourselves or our lives. Out with the old in with the new. For some of us it's looking for a new job or career change, or planning that trip of a lifetime we always wanted to do. Some of us make lists and lists of “New Year's” resolutions... to drink less, exercise more, eat healthy, save money, do regular blog posts (guilty!!) etc.. etc... Sometimes we are so caught up in planning what is ahead of us that we forget to live it in the present moment... 

And what happens if we slip? We have that one drink too many when it was meant to be a dry January... we skip the gym for a week when we said we'd go every day... We blow all the cash we just saved this month on a brand new surfboard cos the deal was just too good to walk away...

Too often we give ourselves a hard time. Give up at the first hurdle. Think “oh well I tried but...”

However we're missing the point...

One of my intentions for this year was to seriously improve my surfing. And for that, practise, practise, practise... with pure determination is what is required. Skill & strength yes.. but this on it's own is not enough.

New Years Day, I went to surf the Bower in Manly for the first time. The conditions were small, which meant the really good surfers in search of 7ft barrels were nowhere to be seen, and the beginners with their foamies all stick to the main beach. So there were just 4 of us. The sun was shining, the water crystal blue and the waves were gently rolling in long rides... The conditions were perfect.   

I paddled out, enjoying the sun on my face, and the water lapping against my board. Wave after wave I tried for... but either I was too far back, paddling like crazy and missing it or too far forward and getting wiped out... I just couldn't seem to be in the right spot at the right time! I must have spent an hour like this, getting more and more frustrated with myself... I can do it I know I can... but why not now?... The more I got frustrated, the worse my performance.. giving myself a hard time for not being better.. it was a vicious cycle in my head. My patience got the better of me and I was ready to give up.. but as I paddled in defeated, a huge white water wave caught me forcefully thrusting me forward... Water spraying everywhere, I couldn't see a thing... but I was flying!... For a few seconds I was left exhilarated!   

The wave dissipated and my arms continued to paddle toward the beach but then I stopped... sat on my board and bobbed around in the water for a while. Why was I giving myself such a hard time..? I'm in the ocean on this beautiful day... in my favourite place, doing something I love to do... So what if I suck..? One thing is for sure I won't catch a wave if I go back to lay on the beach... If I paddle out again... I might... I just might... and then “might” turned into... “I'm gonna catch that god dam wave!”...and you know it... Of course I did. But the end result is not the lesson here. The lesson is that I had fun trying. Every wave that knocked me down I let myself enjoy.. more and more.. like a kid again, being in a wave machine, enjoying the rocky ride.


It is always our choice to enjoy every situation we are in, no matter how hard it is, or how frustrated or disheartened we may feel. As we let go of the end result, the pressure lifts and we learn to just enjoy the journey. Ironically the consequence is often what we strived for in the first place, because once we change our mindset from being angry and frustrated to calm and focused we realise how effortless things can be.


Maybe in 10 years I will be an awesome surfer. Maybe I will still suck. But if I give up trying I will never know...


And you know what they say... the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun!


Photo 1: Sunrise on a Calm Day, The Bower -

Photo 2: Surfing at The Bower - J. Merdez

Photo 3: The Bower from Above -

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