riding waves

April 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

I visited Bali for the very first time a week ago. Despite it being a tourist attraction, we avoided the usual hot spots and headed straight to the beach for a good surf. There were anxieties attack all over me but we moved on quickly to the ocean. Looking straight into the horizon always give me a good sense of calmness. There is a certain charm in the endless possibilities of blue skies and deep sea bed that brings in hope.

We got on the board almost instantly. My instructor was strict and didn’t speak much English. He didnt teach me much of the rules or ground of how to read waves but just the simple techniques of holding a board & pop-up. That was it. There was no duck dive, lining up etiquette or anything more. But he guided me along well with stern words of “get on the board”, “up now!”, “paddle fast” and so on. It got up a few times but fell most of the time. It was exciting and disappointing. I wanted to ride the waves and maneuver my way around. It was like learning how to walk all over again. The fundamentals of taking baby steps before you can do a marathon.


It made me wondered how many times have we been down that road. That road of wanting to do something bigger and moved on to bigger things in life but not getting the fundamentals right. Not having the patience to sit out or just be on the board for a while and wait for the right wave to come along. On the very last day, we didnt have an instructor but paddled out to sea at Batu Bolong. We just hanged around on the board with the line and waited. Big waves came but I ducked dive most of them. I tried riding one or two but fell almost instantly. Got up on the board and paddle out again. I told my friend, “the hardest part is going back”. It truly was, after you have ride those waves you were washed closer to shores again and had to paddle out. And as all surfers know how difficult it is to paddle out again when the a 5-7 ft wave is right in your face. Not just one but wave after wave. Finally you are back at the line with everyone else, waiting for the right moment or wave to come by again.


Then it starts again in my head, should I ride this or the one behind that? Am I ready? Was my friend ready? Was she going to ride with me? All these came in and before you know it the wave is in your face again. A great deal of life is like that, we keep on having waves in front of us, but we need to choose which ones to sit out and which ones to ride. Surfing is a new sport but is so meditative. You cannot predict what is coming to you but you can control your movements, well most of the time.


I have been picking the wrong waves and riding the bad ones. The ones that keep on making me fall and get wiped out. I have failed in having a balanced personal life. There sort of balanced that makes you happy inside and not just on the surface. The kind that allows you to experience life fully so that you can be a better person and not be with someone who puts you down to build themselves up. It has been hard for me to realized this pessimistic views. But there is some hard truth to be put up with and forgive. Sometimes I wait for the other to forgive what I have done but over the past few months, I’d realized that forgiveness won’t come easily because of pride or stubbornness. So like all Eat, Pray, Love adventure, forgive yourself.

Send love and light to the person when you think of them, and drop it.

They might not be your friend anymore or talk to you ever again. And you can fight tooth and nail to get the attention only to realized how intoxicating it can be to both sides, that both deserves to be truly happy.

After accidentally swallowing tons of sea water and getting bad tan lines, I had come back to the sunny island with a better perspective. We all sometimes hate to admit that it is our own fault for damaging a perfect something or what could be. Many months ago, I was that person crying on the bathroom floor wondering what was wrong.  Others couldnt relate or deal with it.They got frustrated at me, they gave up, they walked away and felt disconnected. I wondered physically, mentally and emotionally. I was afraid to lose control of one aspect of my life that was so precious but still did. It is extraordinary painful.

I slept outside the villa room on the last day. The quiet view of sunrise was lovely and I ignored the rooster’s loud greeting or the scent of cows. There was a lady who gave offerings every morning. I wondered to myself how she had such discipline to arrange such a small affair everyday and devoted her time, a large of her life, to this. And yet it came so naturally.

I am getting back on the mat again. Almost everyday before heading to work or after work, exploring the practice and letting it go. Not that I am not making effort to fight for what I want but I am learning how to pick which waves to write. Ask for what you want but don’t want too much of it, too much happiness too much pleasure can make you sick and lose yourself, but also find the balance.


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