Surf’s Up

It’s unusually hot in the Bay Area and my mind is on cooling things.

Surfing has come to mind as a powerful metaphor for dealing with your money. I’ll throw some ideas out there, but I also know that this is based on my own context and experiences. Would love to hear from you if your surfing with money looks or feels any different. (Or, tell me if this resonates, because that is always lovely to hear, as well.)

Important preface… there is no moral judgment implied here. Everyone gets to choose their experience. Then they also get to reap their own costs and/or benefits. AND for those of you with coco tendencies (yoohoo, codependency!) I have a quote for you. One of Tosha Silver’s teachers told her, “Be grateful for the karma you don’t have. Your own is plenty!” So you may be surfing your right-sized waves, but missing out on enjoying them because someone you care about is either on the shore or surfing waves that look **really** high to you. I get it, it’s compelling to peek. AND, I want to encourage you to enjoy your own best waves. It takes practice and can be extremely liberating.

When I’m on the beach:

Am not in the water for whatever reason, but I know it’s there. I’m not tracking my finances, there’s just an awareness of some movement and significance. I watch the transactions come in and out, but there’s a distance between us. I may be present on the shore but am not yet engaged in the water. My perceptions are untested by the current reality. I may believe it will be easy to get into the water, just haven’t done it yet. Or I may be trembling in mortal fear, sitting there on that shore, convinced that getting into the water to surf will be horrible. Either way, I can ask myself, would it be of value to find out how it actually would be to get into that water now? To test my abilities and learn more about being with The Flow? Or for whatever reason (trauma, learning capacities, energetic priorities) do I need to just accept it that I’m just going to stay on the shore for now?

When I’m trying to surf big waves and I’m not Laird Hamilton:

I’m probably either scared, thrilled in an ungrounded way, or some combination of both. (This example doesn’t work well for people who are skilled big wave surfers, so just pretend that we’re not for now.) The out-of-control creates a drug-like quality. I feel altered and out of myself. Part of me wants to let go completely and let this experience just consume me, but part of me always knows this is not sustainable, and that there will be some price to pay (like pain, a crash afterwards from all the adrenaline, or losing something very dear to me). This may represent big debts, or active workaholism, or lies and facades that I feel reliant on for safety and security. It may feel fun and enlivening yet I also know I probably am living on borrowed time. I may or may not feel connected to my purpose in life while in this space. I also may obsess about getting here again even when I’m not in the water, really wanting that hit to kill other pain inside of me. Ooh, gambling would be a great fit for this example as well.

When I’m in my Sweet Spot of Wave Size:

OK so maybe I’m a little scared but I feel ALIVE. (Without fearing a coronary attack is waiting for me if my heart keeps beating too fast.) I’m aware of what’s happening with my money. My body feels healthy and I feel present. Sure, there are some tough waves or maybe the wind is colder than I would prefer. But I’m doing it, I’m really surfing, and no one can take that away from me. I don’t know what waves are coming in 10 minutes, but I’m in the water and can feel fairly confident that I can see what’s on its way shortly. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be in the water facing healthy challenges and having my best life. I’m grateful for those who came before me to teach me how to enjoy this. I’m grateful for the miracles of being on this planet. I treat the ocean and myself as well as I possibly can, with humility that I want them both to be around in good condition as long as possible, to be enjoyed by myself and others. I’m tracking my money without having a death grip on the process, knowing that it’s all dynamic flow.

Beth + Surfing FAQs

Q1: Have you actually surfed before?
A1: Yes, several times. I rocked it the first time in the Atlantic when the waves were smaller than boat wake. I took a lesson in Pacifica and opted to go without booties to save money on the rental and some of my cells are still frozen from it. (GET THE BOOTIES in NorCal!) My friend BL gave me a fantastic lesson in Santa Cruz and I nearly fainted when the waves got bigger than I was ready for. Bae and I are going to Hawaii in September and I look forward to getting a lesson or 2 from him there, in warmer water.

Q2: Are you kind of secretly obsessed with watching surfing videos on YouTube?
A2: Wait, isn’t everyone? Yes, of course!!

Q3: Will you be attending the annual dog surfing championships in Pacifica this year? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxnNuoONCeQ
A3: YES and WOOF

Thanks for reading, and I bow to whatever your surfing choices are as of today. I wish you healthy sunscreen that protects you and doesn’t kill the coral reef. I wish you delicious healthy snacks and hydration for when you are on the shore. I wish you the best combination of solo surfing time as well as wonderful buddies to enjoy it all with. I wish you the most perfect size of waves for your soul’s journey.