Monday, November 26, 2012

Alo’ha: breathing the present magic of life

An amazing thing happens every time I go surfing… I rediscover the magic of life. I feel the magic of life. I live the magic of life. Surfing breathes such a strong and refreshing breath of life into my being, that it is impossible not to emerge a little dizzy and dazed, but full of this new energy of rebirth. It’s uplifting and wonderful. It truly is Alo’ha, which in Hawaiian literally means: “the breath of life”.

In his latest book ‘Aleph’, Paulo Coelho speaks of the magic of life being the present. Time, as not being measurable but essentially purely livable. The concept of ‘living time’:

“In magic - and in life - there is only the present moment, the now. You can't measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. 'Time' doesn't pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we're always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn't act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we're going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don't want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”

An amazing concept. That we humans waste so much time in the past and future that we do not live in the present. This was brought to my attention through two things. The instant ‘in the moment’ sensation I get from surfing and also by contemplating on how much time we spend not pursuing our dreams and goals.

Imagine you live in a room where on the floor there is a huge blank canvas. The canvas represents your hopes and dreams, things that you need to put some effort, energy and enthusiasm to work on, but through procrastination, fear and lack of organisation you fail to undertake. You leave the canvas bare, you walk around it, cover it, move it around the room, on a daily basis, but fail to get started on it. You fail to invest time in your own masterpiece. Time of course being the present moment.

The blank canvas of the room, is the purpose of our souls. A beautiful, unique canvas, is the outward manifestation that our souls work to fulfill their purpose. It can be just started or complete, but it is also a motivation and inspiration for others to complete the work of their own lives. But, the trick is, we wait for the right time and moment to begin and work on our masterpiece. We contribute our time and energy to meaningless tasks that in turn, do not satisy or inspire, or make us really live the magic of life.

Similarly, in surfing, you have a moment to catch a wave, or let it pass. Take a chance, and go somewhere new, or be stuck on an ocean, floating. My board is my canvas, the ocean, endless opportunity of life.
Or as the Hawaiians say: “Ku Hoe He’e Nalu” – stand up, paddle, surf. In my personal, spiritual interpretation it looks a little like: ‘stand tall, work hard, catch your dream’. I think we all need to experience the magic of Alo’ha (living in the present) so we can fulfill our soul’s purpose and create experience of happiness.

Copyright © SoulSurfer 26 November 2012 at 11.15am