Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and enjoying your adventure.
This week we explore:
Why “Hang Ten”?
A few weeks ago, we talked about how we forget to be grateful for the things we use the most, our vision, our hands, our toes- you get the picture; and because of all these blessings, we are able to enjoy our lives all the more.
Recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying a day I won’t likely ever forget. I was on an RV trip with my youngest son Grayson and his two best friends when we were invited to go boating by a really great longtime friend and colleague. Life is certainly made better when we surround ourselves with great, positive people who can inspire and lift us; and I can’t say enough about him and his wife, other than that they are among the best people I know. And so the fun came from not only being on the boat with great friends, the adventure was the invitation to plunge into the cold water and surf the wave behind the boat - on beautiful Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City, MI.
I was so proud to see my boy come up out of the water on his first try and then his two buddies who were up-and-at-it early as well.
I grew up on the water in Central Florida, learning to ski when I was 13. Back then, as a teenager, we would wax our surf boards and do something we called skurfing while holding the ski rope. Today, as you may know, entire boats are now built to enjoy this sport directly behind the boat. Those who are particularly skilled at it, can let go of the rope and stay behind the boat, riding the wave up and down, as the wave propels them forward.
Life has lessons for us around every corner; looking forward to what life will bring us seems to be a more optimal way to live than to fear what life will bring us. Think on how enjoyable it is to look forward to a vacation. How might we apply a bit more of that kind of excitement toward each new day? We headed off in the RV with very little plans - other than making sure the kids had internet for their school every morning and an open heart to embrace and make the most of what the days ahead would bring.
A chance conversation led to that great day on the water. While I am all about proactive planning, I do like to believe that life has a plan for us that is much more than we can imagine - and staying excited about what is to come seems to make each new day more full of wonder: wonderful.
That day with friends and family on the water was all the more wonderful because of the gratitude I had for being invited; gratitude for my friends and for how it all came together - even how the weather cooperated.
There were other lessons learned that day: riding the wave behind the boat. I had a little bit of hypothermia as a result of my relentless desire to learn the technique. It was fun and I was determined. Of course riding a wave makes for a great metaphor for how we live our lives. I came to appreciate how important our ten toes are on the board - gaining more understanding of what it means to Hang 10.
As is the approach necessary to surf a wave, life calls us to lean forward into what is being opened-up for us. And when we do, there is a power from behind that helps us, propels us. When we lean into life, we can even let go of whatever might be pulling on us and allow ourselves to be propelled forward. However, when we fear and lean back, we can miss not only the experience that was laid out before us, but also lose the power that was there to support us if we had but a little more faith.
This week, consider your approach to each new day; are you hesitant, lacking faith, leaning back, fearful of the future and dependent on ropes to pull you forward?
Or are you living with gratitude, leaning into what life has for you, with faith and a spirit of adventure?
Consider your feet and toes, adjusting your position and your pitch; lean forward, hang 10, and experience the forces that will come up from behind you, to reward your confidence, propel you, and empower you to be all the more for yourself and for others.
Lean in, hang 10, and make it a great week!