Observations from Chasing Mavericks
I am a voracious reader; don’t watch a lot of movies because I prefer the intellectual and creative process of visualizing what I read. I do love the artistic expression of cinematography and often find music that I appreciate from movie scores. Last night was an exception. I watched Chasing Mavericks. I loved the movie soundtrack – it was compelling, creative and begged depth…could be due to the subject matter: learning to survive (in the pursuit of surfing it) the power and enormity of a record breaking, earth pounding wave and the possibility of being forcefully drug to the depth of the ocean. I’m a beginner surfer. Being a lifetime athlete who struggles little to become better than average at virtually every sport, I have found it humbling to say the least. Believing surfing to be a visceral experience, the base lessons about surfing presented in this film were eye opening. That’s not what I intended to blog about however. Concomitant to the plot of surfing this legendary wave, the movie inspired review of the depth of the human condition. This is what touched me. On a different day, state of being or life circumstances, the way it was presented may have just glanced the surface of my emotions and I would have walked away thinking “cool surfing movie.”
Early in the movie we see the two main characters in their own life experiences. Their shared bond is that what hurts us in life often does so deeply and running from it does not lessen the pain. The pain comes out in other forms. It leaks out of our beingness and impacts every decision and behavior we choose. It can cause us to do things we don’t begin to understand why we are doing them. This happened to me precipitating this travel journey in the RV. I really had no clue about the depth of why I was doing it. I had a sense deep inside that there was a form of running occurring. What I said to friends over and over was that I was unsure if I was running from or to something. The answer is both. The awareness that I was running and my willingness to pay attention as I went, has gifted me with growth. I discovered what I was running from, know what I am reaching for, and am healing the pain of the hurts that ignited both. Awareness is powerful. In the movie the teacher invites the student to begin facing his fears by acknowledging the root. He digs but doesn’t go very deep. I did that. It felt safe. I even did what the student does and screamed “I don’t know!” I ran confusion when I knew and believed that naming it could break me. In his deep commitment to his passion, he did the work. He named the fear. In giving it life, he ultimately gave himself freedom. The same thing happened for me. A deep wound that held my heart in a dark grip has been named. The grip has been detached. My heart opened and with that comes the possibility of it “breaking again”. I feel the sweetness and the common human bond this state illicits. I am excited because while prior to it re-opening breakage was impossible…so was fulfillment.
There was a scene during which the boy gets the girl in classic Hollywood style…I don’t like that part, the over-romanticizing of relationship. She essentially shares with him some negative observations of herself. He replies to her “not from where I sit.” She tells him that’s because he only sees the good in people. This is a huge lesson. The way he behaves (as this person, who he intuitively knows loves him and who comes and goes and cannot due to her own fears, choose him in the way he wants) is inspiring. He is kind, he continues to love her, and he cares for himself by stepping away and focusing upon his own life, his own passionate pursuits. He trusts his inner voice. Much of this is my personal interpretation of the presented story. He continues, though not getting his desired result, to see the good in her. He also sees the good in himself by caring for himself. The balance of these renders him strong, integrous, caring, empathetic, and ultimately authentic. The lesson I see is that we can see only the good in others and still care for ourselves without compromising, becoming co-dependent, and without being hurt and taking things personally. It is critical to human relationship that we learn to trust that everyone is doing the very best they can, that everyone has the inner voice that they need to listen to in order to be the best possible being for the rest of the world, and that most of what others think, do, feel, and say has little to nothing to do with us…it’s about them and that’s the good news! While we may be attached to an outcome that includes another (as is the case when we hope for romantic relationship with someone), being in the moment and continuing to live aligned with our own personal choices, expression and state of being is what ultimately shines the greatest truth to any circumstance and affords everyone in it the opportunity to respond authentically.
My last takeaway was that we have inherent, unstoppable capacity when we are passionate about something. In the movie, it was his passionate desire to surf that wave – translated into action by intention – that catapulted him in life. It evolved into his intention to love his mother, to heal the pain and limitation attached to his father’s departure, to love what was present and before him in the moment, to forgive, to appreciate and accept. He was an amazing example of someone discovering at a very young age, the power of intention. In the closing scene he gets beaten down by Mavericks. This happens to us in life every day in small and big ways. He was ready because he trained. He practiced. He intended to succeed. He behaved in ways in life that supported his intention. He could have surfaced in a state of great fear. Instead, he got back on his board and rode the wave. I don’t believe this was an example of stupidity or willfulness. He was equipped. He accepted the possibility of being taken down by the wave, he trained for it with intention, and he was prepared to succeed given the chance. This young man did not try at life. He lived life. He didn’t just think about what he wanted and hope he would get there. He passionately chose, aligned his life with his choice through action, he accepted the possible outcomes, he lived fully…albeit briefly. He died at a very young age doing something he loved. I honor him for that. He accomplished what many of us only wish for…to live passionately.
I believe that living authentically, passionately, and harmoniously with others is the lesson that god, the creator, spirit etc… wants us to learn. Each of us has a quiet voice inside that is the access portal to our passions, to our authenticity, to living fully and freely. In my new endeavor as an author, life coach, pubic speaker and “free spirit” as I travel in my RV, it is my intention to live passionately and to inspire, encourage and teach others to do the same. It is my intention to heal through the recognition of the divine within each of us. I intend to share myself vulnerably and desire to know you in the process.