Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lessons from a Surfer

Today, during lunch, Steve and I took some downtime to watch Iconoclast, which is broadcast on the Sundance Channel.

The episode we watched paired Eddie Vetter, lead singer of Pearl Jam, with Laird Hamilton, the world's top big-wave surfer and co-inventor of tow-in surfing, among other accomplishments.

Vetter and Hamilton, who are friends, spent some time surfing (including traditional Hawaiian style paddle surfing which I think is beautiful and elegant) and touring Maui from a helicopter.

They saw a double rainbow, waterfalls, and other beautiful scenes, and shared a bit about their lives.

Laird Hamilton's life is astonishing! It has unfolded as beautifully as the waves he rides. He makes surfing seem effortless (but of course it's not) and he makes life seem effortless, too.

Stepson of 60s iconic surfer Bill Hamilton, Laird shunned the world of competitive surfing. He followed his heart, passion, and talent, and as a result, many opportunities have unfolded before him.

Even his meeting with Bill Hamilton was synchronistic. Fatherless, Laird was about 7 or 8 when he encountered his future stepfather on the beach one day. They bodysurfed together, and then Laird played matchmaker and took the surfer home to meet his mother. The two fell in love and married, with Hamilton Sr. giving young Laird his name and his mentorship.

I feel peaceful after watching the show. I feel more in harmony with the rhythm of life.

Laird Hamilton did what he loved, and let his life unfold rather than trying to make things happen or even make money. Common sense would have told him to become a competitive surfer like his stepfather, because it was more "secure" and predictable. But also less free.

Now that I am re-embarking on the path of being a coach, this is a good lesson for me. As I follow my intuitive self, immerse myself in my interests and continue to hone my skills, opportunities will unfold beautifully.

It's a much more serene way to live. It's different. I'm ready for it.

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