Selfishness learned from the Sea

After 4 days of paddling out at a localized left point break in the north of Peru I learned something I never thought i’d learn from mother ocean...

I need to be more selfish!



Culturally, growing up for me, the word “Selfish” was a negative word that paired with being egotistical, cocky, proud, hoarding all for yourself, leaving none for others. If you were selfish you didn’t share your toys or halloween candy and you’d end up playing by yourself and you’d have no friends. However Osho, in Love, Friendship and Loneliness, pairs selfishness with self love. “If you are selfish, If you love will be delightfully surprised. Self love means the self disappears”.

He compares loving yourself to loving your house; “If you don’t love your house, you will not clean it. If you don’t love your house you will not paint it or surround it with a beautiful garden and a lotus pond. If you love yourself you will create a garden around yourself. You will try to bring out all your potential that is in you to be expressed. If you love yourself you can not stop showering yourself and nourishing yourself” (p 28 Osho) 

This is the selfishness, the self love, that Mother Ocean gently reminded me of today in the waves....

Sitting at the point, set after set of beautiful glassy lefts rolling through, I paddle for each wave but see someone else going for it as well so I back off. 3 people take off on her pristine surface painting strokes across her canvas, it's breathtaking....But that person is never me. I am never the one dancing with the wave. Why do I always let the others have her, never allowing my potential to be expressed and enjoyed as well. 

Another set rolls through and I am in the golden spot, I paddle with intention in each stroke, I feel the momentum and energy of Mother Ocean pulling me into her crest, begging me to dance with her. I look around and see another guy just ahead of me wanting the wave too, I have the right of way, but I pull out, I PULLED OUT!!??!? My buddy in the water with me looks at me like I was crazy! With hands in the air, “Que pasando?! That was your wave!”.  “But he had it too”, I replied. “So?!?....You deserve a wave too!”

Thats when it clicked...

hell yeah I do! I deserve a wave too!!! I do deserve to be happy too! I deserve to have my voice heard too! I do deserve to be loved too! I do deserve to have a garden with a lotus pond surrounding me, I am worthy!!!!

I started paying attention to the conversations that played in my mind as each set rolled through; 

“Im totally in the spot this is gonna be the one! he looks pretty pumped for it too though, this wave will make him happy, I’ll just let him have it, i’m content just being out here so its all good. Plus if I go for it and wipe out or look like a kook its super embarrassing and the beautiful wave wasn’t enjoyed to its maximum and everyone will be pissed that the wave was ruined”

“Seriously?!?”, I glared inside at myself and said, “you can’t ruin a wave! it’s stunning with or with out you on it!  Even a good wipeout gives humbling beauty and respect to the wave...Plus, just as you said... there will always be another wave, so why not go for this one that you are in the spot for and let the other guy have the next one rather than always the opposite, others first you second."

I notice this pattern popping up in my love relationships, friendships, work place, at meetings and conferences...I tell myself that it is more important that the other person is happy, succeeds, finds love, makes that work connection, shares their ideas, or gets the wave over myself. I tell myself that I don’t need a wave, success, happiness, or a love to be truly happy...which is true. For “Love does not need anything else....Love is the only true freedom from attachment, cause when you love there is nothing else” (Oshoa) I have a good practice of detachment, almost too good, so good that I am keeping the world from the gifts that are me! When I hold back from my full expression of self, when I pull out from a blissful glassy canvas of a wave, I miss out, and the world misses out on a gift only I can!  Being selfish in the water isn’t being a wave hog, disrespectful, or dropping in on everyone like the locals do here. Being selfish is recognizing that you belong here too, you have a voice that must be heard! That this ocean, these waves, this life is for you to enjoy as well. And it's vital that you do speak your voice and dance on that wave...the world needs you! 

When we allow ourselves to fully enjoy a wave and express ourselves freely, we remind ourselves, the world, men and women now and to come that we, women, belong here too! 

“You are here for just a few years. Enjoy, Delight, be happy, dance, love..and out of your  love and dancing, out of your deep selfishness will start an overflowing of energy that you won’t be able to not share with others” -Oshoa