Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Real Me: trusting mistakes

Sitting on a plane and sifting through my entertainment choices, I got excited when they had an episode of Sex and the City. When it comes to SATC, I will watch any given episode, because within it lies a wealth of everyday knowledge that fares beyond the sexual realm…

This episode was called “The Real Me”. Carrie is invited to walk the runway for a fashion show. Despite everyone telling her she is ‘fabulous’ and will do well, she doesn’t feel it and laments “I’m not a model, I’m a real person”. She ends up taking a big stack on the runway…

All while I was watching, I was thinking about two concepts; having trust and making mistakes. And then this episode was like a lightening bolt which sealed the deal and really drove home the impact that these two things ultimately have on being yourself. Let me explain…

For a long time, I was afraid to make mistakes. Yes mistakes happened on their own, but I didn’t actively seek out challenges and opportunities (and with them the potential for more mistakes) because I was scared. Scared of failing. Scared of how a mistake would expose a part of the Real Me, which I wasn’t comfortable with. I was scared of my own flaws, and even more so, showing them to the world.

So on Saturday, I had a really great friend fire at me something that hit the heart of my failure-avoiding ways: “Feed your faith and not your fear”.
I was anticipating the failures and successes of any opportunities I undertook or were thrown my way, but I didn’t have trust and faith to just see them as experience. I let the positive and negative define and box me in, and so I was in my comfort zone of taking calculated risks with predictable results.

So after this conversation, I firmly decided on one thing: this trip will be one in which I am willing to step out of my comfort zone and potentially make a fool of myself, because somehow I believe it will strengthen me. I realise all this time, I was afraid of making mistakes. NOT making a mistake and not doing anything actually hurts you 10x more then making a mistake and looking stupid. It’s like my skating on Sunday. I fell over and it looked horrible (the kind you think “Oh that can’t be good…”), but when I got up I was OK. Barely a scratch.
Sometimes we look at our failures and see them worse than they are. Sometimes we just have to do stupid things and realise they aren’t so bad. And if we are willing to look hard enough we will see that they make us stronger. Because they allow us to see ourselves, flaws and all, and appreciate that we are the sum of the good and the bad of it all.

…So after having flashing cameras and an entire fashion-worshipping audience capture her epic fashion faux-pas, Carrie then gets back up and says “In the real world, when real people fall down, they get straight back up and keep walking”. She then proceeds to stand up finish her walk and do a hi-five with Heidi Klum.

Hell yes, real people just keep walking! I think both experience and trust in life’s lessons exposes us to our strengths and flaws, so that it can guide us to the Real person inside. And knowing the Real You is the greatest strength you can possess.

SoulSurfer © 16 August 2011 at 5.17pm

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It seems the eye of the storm is the perfect place to ponder life. And Sunday afternoon in Manly proved to be the perfect place to be awed by Mother Nature’s beauty and splendour.
Picture this: about two dozen surfers scattered across the choppy and grey-hued sea, desperately competing against each other to catch the remnants of a decent days’ surf. It was about 5.30pm, when Mark and I stopped in our tracks and looked above. What happened over the course of the next 15 minutes was breathtaking.
The surfers continued to paddle towards the kamikaze waves, but our focus had shifted to the sky above. These pictures are simply beautiful. A grey sky melting into yellow across the skyline, finally being lit up with a magnificent red glow from the west. In one place rain began to fall and develop, but on the sunny side the sun struggled back into the spotlight to reveal a beautiful, full-arched, luminuous rainbow, which then cast its Technicolour shadow on the droopy and heavy clouds. The effect was a rainbow glow of light scattered across the clouds.
The photos below.

So Mark and I stopped on one conclusion: focus on doing what you love, and aim to improve yourself in what you love everyday. You only have one life, and the skills, passions and talents you have received in this life to enjoy and experience are unique to YOU only. Aim to be better than yourself everyday. Spend more time giving time to your passions and hobbies. Like Kelly Slater, aim for perfection in your craft over accolades and recognition. Be the best you can be in what you love.

 Life opens up doorways to those who are truly in sync with their life’s purpose. When you dedicate yourself to your passion, your cup is full and overflows; you learn to give to others willingly and selflessly. You cannot give if you are not self-full first.

 The first step lies in giving into your passion. Life is really what you make of it, and if you are in line with your purpose, JUST THINK of what lies ahead for you!
If you are not in line with your purpose, you are not contributing conscientiously to this world. And if you are not contributing conscientiously to this world, you are wasting your time here.

Let us go, and DO WHAT WE LOVE!

Copyright © SoulSurfer 9 August 2011 at 8.43pm