Surf’s Up

Jim:    Ah, surf’s up.  Wax your boards.  Let’s head to the beach.  And, welcome to yet another stimulating and exciting episode of Fishing Without Bait.  A lifetime without definitive expectations where you approach each day with a beginner’s mind and walk through your life like a butterfly coming out of your cocoon growing your wings and gradually turning your world into technicolor.  Living your life out loud and participating in each moment.  Welcome my friends.  Welcome.  Surf’s up.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, have you ever been surfing?

Mike:    I have not.  I’ve done the boogie board, though.

Jim:    You’ve done the boogie board.  So, we talk about surfing.  We talk about skateboarding.  We talk about waveboarding.  All of these things involve what, Mike?

Mike:    Momentum.

Jim:    Momentum.  And, a sense of freedom, is it not?  So, when you’re out there surfing – or when you’re on your skateboard, or when you’re on your waveboard, that gives you a sense of freedom and it’s exhilarating rushing through the air, on the water, on the road – and you have a slight sense of direction.  However, really it’s your skill level that keeps you going in some type of direction, does it not?

Mike:    Absolutely.  It’s kind of a marriage between that momentum and knowing what to do with it.

Jim:    So, I researched a number of surfers, and I’ve had some very interesting comments about surfing.  And, they kind of translate into our focus of Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness.  There’s a young lady by the name of Bethany Hamilton who said that my passion for surfing was more than my fear of sharks.  So, we’ve often talked about that word – fear, have we not?  And, we’ve often talked about developing passion and focus.  Finding something that truly brings us joy.  So, what we do is we separate everything else.  And, remember, Mike, we often talk about this.  Courage is the ability to deal with fear.  And, there’s all types of sharks out there, are there not?

Mike:    Yes, the sharks of life.  

Jim:    The sharks of life.  In your own life – we like to share a little bit.  We like to have some appropriate self-disclosure on this show.  What were some of the sharks you’ve faced in your life?

Mike:    When we decide to go along a path there’s a lot of people that tell you you can’t do something.  Are you sure you want to do that?  Family members and everything are like well, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got such and such is taken care of.  You should do that.  Maybe you have to go get a real job.  You know, those kinds of things.

Jim:    Sure, we always have the naysayer, right?  

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    So, the idea here is we always talk about planning our work and working our plan.  And, again, our conception of Fishing Without Bait is to not rush into things recklessly and being foolhardy.  It’s walking through life with your eyes wide open.  Having developed the skills and tools to successfully navigate.  So, we run into many type of sharks.  We run into financial reasons.  We run into relationship issues.  We run into health issues.  Many issues that we run into are life.  However – and, we’ve talked about this so many times, when you see sailing ships on the ocean.  Have you not, Mike?  When the wind’s at our back in life it’s full-speed ahead.  We’re laughing and we’re enjoying ourselves.  There’s no bumps.  There’s no waves.  We cruise right along heading toward our destination.  However, I’m sure that you’ve seen sailing boats travel against the wind.

Mike:    Yes, and there’s a practice of doing that that’s very specific.  Like cutting into the wind, I think.

Jim:    Right.  It’s called tacking.  When ships tack, they shift their sails and they move in zig-zag patterns using the side winds in order to move ahead.  Again, there’s our beginner’s mind.  There’s our Fishing Without Bait – without definitive expectations.  The willingness.  The honesty.  The open-mindedness.  The willingness to try.  To shift our sails.  To not run blindly ahead – and, listen to the words I say – being willing versus willful.  To stand back and become that observer of yourself and saying am I being willful?  Am I banging right ahead?  My way, right or wrong?  Or, am I willing to take a look at all the possibilities – and quite often what we talk about on this show is turning certainties into possibilities.  Examining all the possibilities.  Taking the blinders off and having that beginner’s mind.  Now, I’m sure that when you chose your career path it just wasn’t clear sailing and the wind didn’t blow at your back the whole way.

Mike:    No.  Absolutely not.  There’s a lot of resistance in trying to select.  Sometimes you pick the wrong wind.  

Jim:    Indeed.  You pick the wrong wind. However, you can change your direction.  You can tack.  You can shift your sails.  And, that involves our magic word – choice.  And, if there’s anything that anyone has taken away from all of these podcasts it’s the fact that freedom of choice, free will is the most powerful gift you have.  Again, getting back to our topic of fear, there’s an individual by the name of Buzzy Trent who said that waves are not measured in feet and inches.  They are measured in increments of fear.  So, when we talk about waves in life, Mike, we talk about those waves.  So, you go out – have you been to the beach?  I’m assuming.  

Mike:    Oh, absolutely.  Even recently.

Jim:    Yes, at the beach.  So, when waves come in – some are big.  Some are small.  Some are medium.  Some are hard.  Some come in fast.  Some come in slow.  Have you ever seen people with big waves coming in and they stand up defiantly in front of those big waves coming at them.

Mike:    Yes.  And, just take on the full force of those waves.

Jim:    And, that’s being willful.  And, quite often what happens is those people are knocked down.  So, I’m sure on the other hand you’ve seen people who have the willingness to try who do Fish Without Bait.  And, knowing that those waves are coming – that life continues to throw those waves at you.  Have you seen people out there and they spread their arms and they get a little bit what we could call loosey goosey.  And, they ride those waves.  So, we ride the waves of life.  This too shall pass.  Our friend the Buddha says the wheel keeps turning does it not?  Patience.  Have patience.  Spring will come.  How can we become more willing and less willful in order to go through our life?  To surf through life?  That’s the topic of this podcast.  Surfing through life.  Perhaps stopping every now and then.  Those moments between the waves, Mike.  Those moments that we look for between the waves.  We sit and have some gratitude and we enjoy them.  Pay attention on purpose.  Label and describe.  That’s what I’m challenging everyone out there today.  And, also, you need a surfboard do you not?

Mike:    You need the tool for the job.

Jim:    You need the tool for the job.  So, quite often when people have surfboards – and I’m not a real aficionado of those, but what they used to do – they used to do what on the bottom of surfboards?

Mike:    Wax them.

Jim:    They would wax them so it could cut through the water a little easier, right?  So, when we’re talking about that we’re talking about working smarter and not harder.  

Mike:    We’re looking at methods to relieve the resistance.  

Jim:    Yes.  I love that term – relieve the resistance.  So, we’re looking to work smarter not harder.  We’re looking to glide our way through our life.  We’re looking to be proactive.  And, again, plan your work.  Work your plan.  Stepping back.  Label and describe.  Have a goal.  Have an ambition.  And, of course that’s accomplished by action and effort in the present.  So, what we’re going to do – when those bad waves come – when those waves come that are not particularly beneficial to our life, we can either fight those waves or we can ride them or we can choose to not participate in them.  If there’s a huge storm coming up, are you going to run right into that storm, Mike? 

Mike:    No.  You’re going to find shelter, or try to drive around it – or fly around it or whatever your method is.

Jim:    Sure.  So, when we talk about being the observer behind the thinker, we’re the observer behind life, are we not?  So, we want to have our radar up – just like a ship would.  That knows when those destructive winds are coming.  And, when there’s going to be calm water.  We look for the calm water.  Would you rather go through calm water, Mike?  Or would you rather go through a typhoon?  And, we let those destructive waves path.  We let the destructive people in our life pass.  We let the destructive situations in our life pass.  Tell me – give me a reason to deal with them.  Do we have to go through them?

Mike:    No.  Because that’s our choice.

Jim:    Indeed.  So, my hope is that everyone enjoy their life.  So, when we talk about – when we get down to our final talk at the end of every podcast, we always talk about letting go of things.  Label and identifying.  If you’d like to go back to our podcast again about how monkeys are caught – and the idea, it’s really hard to surf with a pocketful of stones, is it not?  To carry all those stones?  Label and identify them.  Avoid latching onto the destructive elements in your life and learning how to identify them and let them go.  So, my challenge to everyone today is tomorrow morning to pick up your surfboard, wax it up and begin to surf through life.  Glide through your life.  Learn to Fish Without Bait.  Have that beginner’s mind.  Do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Namaste.