Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chasing passion…seek your own swell

The Billabong Pro J-Bay 2011 just came to an end in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa on Sunday. To say the least, the surf was pitiful. Not the most captivating waves for pro surfers to showcase their prowess on. Nevertheless, there were some decent swells, and homegrown surfer Jordy Smith took out the title. Once again, we realise Mother Nature is the driving force behind the beauty (and at times savageness) of the sport.

But one very prominent figure was decidedly absent from the competition; Kelly Slater. The favorite for the 2011 title, was chasing his own thrills on the amazing swells exploding onto the shores of Tavi, Fiji. Just for fun really…

It made me think about chasing our passions in life. Would you ever leave at lunchtime from work if you knew any epic swell was about to sweep your nearest beach? What about going overseas to see your favorite band, whom you never seen live? Or taking a break from your rigid schedule to do something you really want to do with your time?

Just like Kelly, we really need to chase passion more often in our lives. If you have something that really captures your intrigue, something you love doing, something that fills your life with purpose, you need to be catching that wave. And you need to be doing it as much as possible. Life is too short to be stuck in the lowly swells of J-Bay, when you could be screaming “Yeehaaa!!” from the bow of a massive one in Tavi.

We feel too obligated in life to do the “should” “could” “would”, but need to do more of the “I want” and “I need”. Our dreams and passions are never really gone; they just slowly die inside of us, until we feel unmotivated to do anything; the compulsory or the voluntary.

Instead we need to keep the flame of passion and purpose burning. Even the busiest people find time to do what they love (hey, even a world champion), and in turn fulfilling their purpose drives them to continue onwards. Once you step into your passion, life becomes easier because the engine of success and happiness is churning along effortlessly. Passions also highlight your strengths and give you confidence to succeed in all areas of life.

So really, do you have an hour a day to INVEST in yourself? Do you have the mental space to tune out and connect with your purpose? Can you honour and reward yourself enough to just do what you love?

If you don’t, no one else will kindly do it for you.

Invest in YOU.

Seek your own swell...

Copyright SoulSurfer © 27 July 2011 at 9.09pm

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This is the day to rule over addiction!

Addiction is an incredibly complex problem...yet there is a simple thing that an addicted person can do to lesson their load...just talk to someone. Share your pain with someone who cares. You may think no one cares, but there are people who are literally dying of grief worrying about the negative spiral you are getting into. Just talk. Life is not meant to be a solo fight, we need other people to help us out. It is not "weak" or "less manly" to share your feelings and thoughts, your greifs and problems. If it improves your life, it is definitely worth it. So just start a conversation. 

Live toward your purpose, not away from it. The world awaits YOU!!!

For more information, visit: 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

FEMspiration: Heidi Klum: the German Powerhouse

Modeling is a very fickle business; the array of fresh-faced, leggy and skinny new talent to hit the catwalks comes and goes as quickly as the designer collections. Although models over the last 15 years have ventured away from being mere faces of fashion to mini entrepreneurs, it takes a lot to evolve past glorified coat hanger to glorified ‘It girl’. You have to have a lot of muscle, a lot of attitude; an approachability and down to earth nature with which you entice your many female and especially male followers. All this happy-go-lucky pizzazz on a low-carb diet…

Heidi Klum Samuel embodies all the qualities of quite literally a modeling powerhouse. Google her name and it is associated with anything from video games and TV shows, to footwear, jewellery and even candies and roses with her namesake. In a world where the model represents the brand, Heidi Klum has become a brand in her own right, with modeling it being second nature.

Heidi Klum, who came from a small town outside of Cologne, Germany, was persuaded to enter a modeling contest in 1992 by a friend, and out of 25,000 participants was crowned the winner. From then on, she accepted a modeling contract with Metropolitan Models New York, and has appeared in countless fashion shows and magazine covers, including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. However, her biggest claim to fame was appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, from which she quickly attained the pinnacle of modeling superstardom, becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Klum ended her 12 year long tenure with the Angels in 2010, during which she bounced back from three (!) pregnancies (usually in the space of a few weeks), to appear in super skimpy lingerie. In 2005, six weeks after giving birth to her second child Henry, Heidi modeled the $2 million dollar diamond encrusted Wonderbra, rocking an incredibly toned and tight midriff. Klum’s upbeat attitude, resilience and energy are palatable; she makes it her business to tackle the tricky world of fashion head on.

And it is exactly this attitude which has seen her grow and outgrow the fashion world and venture in to almost every avenue of business and merchandising. She has gone from curvaceous model to bona fide businesswoman with such ease and confidence (as well as four children in tow), you can’t help but feel there are not enough hours in the day for Heidi Klum. To name just a few of her accolades, she has been a spokesperson for H & M, & McDonald’s, appeared in several TV Shows such as Sex & The City, How I Met Your Mother and Spin City, appeared in commercials for Guitar Hero World Tour and Volkswagen, web-based videos entitled SPIKED HEEL battling evil forces planning to ruin Fashion Week. She is the face of countless brands such as European cosmetics brand Astor, shoe giant Birkenstock and New Balance, countless cosmetics lines for Victoria’s Secret and she has designed a line for Mouawad’s jewellery.

If that’s not enough to make you feel your multi-tasking skills are lagging behind, she has being the host, judge and executive producer of the super successful Project Runway since 2004 as well as Germany’s Next Top Model, also recently producing a new reality TV show with husband Seal called Love’s Divine, in which they offer love advice to couples.

The best part? Heidi Klum has four children! She has three children, Henry, Johan and Lou with husband Seal Samuel, her eldest daughter Leni being the biological child of Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatore. Klum and Samuel married in May 2005, while Heidi was pregnant with Leni, but states emphatically that “Seal is Leni’s father”. Each one of her pregnancies sees her bounce back, fitter, stronger and healthier than before. She has recently been a spokesperson and active participant of the AOL Summer Run challenge, uploading daily updates of her progress and comments on Facebook.
Heidi’s charm lies in her approachability and engagement with the public; she has so much enthusiasm, energy and humour and truly enjoys every project she does. She approaches it all with determination and sound business skills, and also her signature cheekiness. She’s the best friend you wish you had in the workplace.

And it seems life after Victoria’s Secret and four kids is not slowing Heidi down. She appears in the new movie Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil and is gearing for Project Runway’s 7th season. Heidi leaves no stone unturned and she does it with what seems to be an ever present smile on her face. When you have an adoring husband, four kids, a rocking body the world at your feet, what’s not to smile about?
Heidi Klum Samuel is the entrepreneurial powerhouse of the modeling world, paving the wave for models alike.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just do it...

So for me its 30 days until I leave Australia for my holiday which is anticipated to be named “Insane in Spain”… I am safely in a space where I feel that any consequences of my actions over the next 30 days, can be written off as “gone holidaying”…meaning I won’t have to deal with them, (or maybe I won’t care or remember them), until I come back. So basically I am living on the edge over the next month or so, knowing I can jump on a plane and leave it all behind for 3 weeks…I think there is a Dupree (from the movie “You, Me  & Dupree”) in all of us…

But I had a slightly weird thought…what if this was the last 30 days of my life…? What would I do? What ‘insane’ things would I attempt if ‘this was it’?

I think a lot of time, we countdown to holidays, events and parties, thinking that is the time we will go all out, be confident, have fun, do unbelievable things, experience amazing experiences…so what about the rest of the time? Do we live in mediocrity, putting all our anticipation into that one event? Then again, how often do highly-anticipated events or holidays turn out to be less than stellar and heart-racing?
Are our lives like a heart rate monitor; stable most of the time with a few high voltage blips here and there?

I believe everyone is given a unique life, which NEEDS to filled to the brim with things that are centrally important, and that inspire, motivate and cultivate your inner YOU. The only way to define from within, and really feel you have a presence in this lifetime, is to take control of what it is you want to do, who you want to be, what you want to experience, and take steady steps to fulfill these goals.
And not just once in a while, you need to get that heart pumping regularly. Whether it’s booking a last minute extreme sport activity, or going out of your comfort zone to try some exotic cuisine, we all need to start just doing, and reap the rewards of experience.

Don’t be the person who waits until they’re 30, until after uni, until after you have a stable job, to go on an African safari. Don’t put off taking surfing lessons for when it gets warmer. Don’t wait too long to ask out someone who you’re taken an interest in.
While the regret and embarrassment of doing something stupid may last a while, the regret of NOT DOING something usually lasts much longer. And it will keep gnawing at you, until you do something about it.
So if you feel there is something you want to do, just do it! Go for it, with your heart and soul…it may be good, it may be bad, but it’s experience. And we definitely are not experiencing enough of this beautiful life we are given! So just do it! Unleash you’re inner Dupree!
SoulSurfer Copyright © 17 July at 9.08pm

Monday, July 11, 2011

Be open, but do things when the time is right for you…

I was speaking to my friend on the weekend, when she said something that really struck me and has reverberated the whole weekend. Well it was two separate things, that when combined, have just produced this amazing revelation within myself.
This friend has the amazing ability to tell me exactly what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. It may not even seem like a direct response to my question, but it is what needs to be said at the time.

So the first thing she told me to do was to “Be more open…”. Now there are many definitions of open, from accepting heavily tattooed people, to embracing different religions, to trying unusual cuisine to just thinking outside the box. But the “open” my friend was talking about, was having an open heart. Not just regarding the opposite sex, but to others in general. Anyone who knows me will know I accept with openness all the things mentioned above, in fact I thrive on being “open” to them. But she made me question “am I really open to others”? In her definition, being open to others is just letting people enter your life, and responding to them in a way that is congruent with who you are. Not pretending to be anyone else, not putting up barriers, not playing games. Just embracing the experience of interacting with another person, but not letting the experience define you.

I think we live in a world where we care too much about what insignificant people in our lives think about us. ‘Insignificant’ here meaning, people who by no means are close to us, or truly know who we are, but who are a part of our daily lives. It may be a superior whom you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, a neighbour who gives you disapproving looks when you take out the garbage in your pajamas, or an occasional friend who puts you down in indirect ways. We by no means like these people, and yet we care about what they think…

Being “open” is first embracing who you are and then telling the world “this is who I am; take it or leave it”. When you have the openness to express that attitude, without aggression or arrogance, you begin to attract the very people who can respect who you are and your boundaries. You forget about trying to impress others, and start to impress yourself with your newfound confidence. It becomes a very positive snowball effect from there on out…
The second thing she said was “Be more open…but don’t do things against yourself”. Imagine having 20 seconds to prepare a speech and having this gut feeling that you just can’t wing it. It ends up coming out wonky and lacks energy or confidence.
As much as we sometimes want to do something, and we psyche ourselves up, sometimes that inner drive is just missing. I realised this over the weekend, when everyone was spurring me into action, yet all I felt apt to do was retreat. I had been thinking and analyzing things too much, to the point where I felt dizzy and confused and unable to physically do anything. I was on the brink of “just going for it”, but decided against, as I really wanted to put my whole heart into it. It was the right decision, as I immediately felt relieved, and felt I could think clearly without all the clutter.

I think these two concepts really work together. You can only be open to others and open to opportunities, when you are not forcing yourself into a specific direction. When you take out the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’, take a step back and first reconnect with yourself. I think each individual is their own best compass, and it is better to get behind something wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm when the time is right, rather than to just wing it and hope for the best. You are the own potter of your life, and you will produce your best art when you are inspired to do so.

Where passion goes, dreams follow.

Written by: Copyright © SoulSurfer 11th July 2011 at 7.28pm

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friendship, the gift that keeps giving…

I felt really inspired after a conversation today to write about the sheer power of…friendship.

Seriously, you don’t have to watch Sex and the City to realise that the power of friendship really transcends all manner of life’s troubles, ups and downs, events, successes and failures. Though the high profile series does emphasize sex and relationships, you can’t miss the fact that underlying all of it, there is a bond between four friends that moulds their lives together.

And today, after speaking for only half an hour with my best friend over Skype (after 40 minutes of every connection and technological difficulty known to man!), I was once again so buzzed up and psyched, that I can safely say I won’t be sleeping tonight.

For me, having a great relationship with another soul, on that level that you can speak freely about everything you want, share all your troubles and happiness, share trivial and stupid, serious and painful things, to me that is the greatest interpersonal achievement in life. Of course, it may take a whole lifetime to realise what friends are, who those true, stay by your side, through thick and thin people are, but it is always worth it. Just as people are willing to do many great things in leaps and bounds for love, I think the same applies to friendship.

And many people say that friendship between a man and a woman cannot exist, without one party feeling romantic feelings for the other. I am happy to say I have had many purely platonic friendships, in great part thanks to the fact that I work with men on a daily basis. There is so much to learn and glean from the male perspective, and men are willing to share their side of the story, troubles and successes, with a woman who can just listen…

…Just listen. Sometimes I think that’s what a friendship is all about. It’s great to have a friend who can give us a pep talk when we need it, but I think a human being’s greatest psychological need is just to be heard sometimes. To just have someone listen to our lives, no matter how banal or chaotic they may seem. Sometimes it’s enough to give someone your time and your ear, and to show them that “I want to share your life story”.

The best thing is that friendship really has no boundaries. It crosses race, age, status, religion, physical characteristics. Relationships sometimes fail to take off due to prejudice regarding these factors. But friendship is a gift that can be offered freely, because in the beginning people usually don’t think much of the encounters that lead to friendship. A chat with your local barista, sharing your seat with someone on the same route to work, seeing the same dude surfing at the spot every week… These incidents seem like one-offs, until we are willing to make the connection and just engage with the other person.

It’s impossible to explain fully how paramount friendship is. Friendship I would say is the glue that holds life together. You cannot choose your family, and many times your family take you for granted because they expect a good connection with you by right of blood. Not always so. The same way an unattended friendship can wither and die, the same way a lack of respect and feeling of friendship within family, can lead to resentment and entitlement.

So friends are the family we choose, and hopefully keep for life. I know I definitely cherish them above all else; they are the light to my flame!

Copyright © 1 July 2011 at 8.08pm SoulSurfer