Oh Heyyyyy! Happy Christ-macca/
EOY edition of the final SoS Blog for 2023. Wowsers where have the last 11 months gone?! I am yet again sitting in my fave SoS Blog writing coffee shop, in sunny (and sweaty) Karratha West Oz, pondering all the normal things at the end of a year, you know, like what’s the meaning of this beautiful life!?, is capitalism really what drives me to panic buy at Christmas time, does my dog love me as much as I love him?!, does my dog need a matching Christmas PJ outfit with me? (There's only one correct answer to that one)…Seeeee NORMAL thoughts 😊 Logically, I know that Christmas is just another day yet here I am contemplating the uncomfy nudge that’s recently crept into my thoughts- to purchase tangible gifts for friends and family even though all I want is to see their faces (not via a screen) and hug them close! (and hope that’s all they desire too)…. and what’s even more illogical in the context of “pressure to purchase gifts” is that I’d rather my loved ones save their pennies ESPECIALLY with the current interest rates + general down sides of rapid inflation and cost of living pressures that many of us are navigating.
Moving along…. I know Chrissy or even just the end of the calendar year can bring many thoughts and feelings our way. For some, those feelings may be joy, warmth and excitement. For others, it can spark feelings of loneliness, worry and stress.… but just know, regardless of how you feel about the holidays, I hope you can find solace in knowing that you have the power to choose what this time of year means to you and don’t forget it's okay to take a step back, re-centre yourself, and find a sense of internal calm through breathing exercises (our last SoS Newsletter/Blog has some tips on that ) and if that doesn’t do the trick, focussing your thoughts on the many salty surfing adventures that await you in 2024 and beyond, is the next strategy I’d personally recommend 😊.
I am grinning writing this because I generally LOVE THE CHRISTMAS FEELS and realise if you didn’t know me, the above may sound a little Grinchy….promise I only pretend to be one (how good is that face painting by my brother in law, Isaac hahaha) I guess I am trying to convey my thoughts that you have the complete power to choose what this time of year means to you and not let the idea of a religious inspired holiday (but in my opinion, a capitalist-spending driven holiday) unnecessarily upset your inner peace, okay!?
So, what's been rolling around in your beautiful mind lately?! I’ll go first…You know when you’re looking around, in life, in the surf, anywhere and notice someone who has impressively mastered a skill and in that exact moment, you may think to yourself, I would never be able to do that! Well, you definitely won’t be able to if you believe that 😊… Henry Ford once said something to the effect of “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. Now, while I acknowledge that is a rather simplistic notion, that of course doesn’t take into account privilege, socio-economic constraints etc, it is a saying I ponder in the moments when I let the, that’s impossible! Kind of thought float around my brain-box for a smidge too long and it has genuinely helped motivate me into action. The first step in improving your abilities in any area, is the thought that you that you can.
To finish strong for 2023 I wanted to share some of my thoughts (no pun intended) on Mindset. Ahhh the word mindset, I see it frequently used these days in social media, the workplace, health and wellness, sports, to name a few, but it's not a new concept, even thought it might feel like that at times. Thanks to having access to the world-wide-web of information in the palm of our hands coupled with the joys of social media via our smart phones, the topic of mindset is more common place than it may have been in previous generations. I am a big believer of acknowledging how important our own mindset is, before we worry about anyone else’s, and I know for me, I would never have done half of the bad-ass things I’ve done so far without an overarching self-belief that even if I fail the first time, I can and will eventually succeed. I know that practicing both a positive and a Growth Mindset can really help me get through some of the sticky/less shiney/uncomfy bits of life. Already feeling a bit waffl-ey?!
Stay with me…..Without examples, I know when I hear words used a lot, like mindset, I tend to glaze over unless I can make meaning of it for myself, so I thought I’d take a few minutes of your reading energy to cover Growth Mindset. So, Fixed vs. Growth Mindset – what is it? According to Carol Dweck, people with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed. Now I am almost certain all of you gals out there who’ve overcome some of the self-doubt in your own surfing journeys and finally said, YEP! I am going to try [INSERT YOUR CHOSEN SURFING PROGRESSION OR EVEN JUST TRYING SURFING], have benefited from the power of prioritising and practicing a growth mindset.
It’s probably not a surprise I have a whole bookshelf on self-development and FROTH reading about the theories and practical ways I can frame and overcome challenges to live a life I want, but I’ll recommend just one great book on the topic, aptly named Mindset by Carol Dweck if you’d like to read more about the topic.
So, without further waffle (I warned you last time and the time before hahaha) let’s get into the rest of the December SoS Blog and final one for 2023.
Quote of the Month.
In the previous SoS Blog, I shared a personal favourite and goodie on stimulus and response by my mate Viktor Frankl. I hope that at least one person was able to reflect on and apply the concept in the last few weeks. If not, the concept might still come in handy in the last month of the year, when you're already knee-deep in the usual end-of-year chaos that can ensue as the year end approaches, and we are reminded that we are not immortal and cannot stretch the time space continuum.
To see the glorious year that was 2023 out, this editions quote is rather Less quotey and more excerpt-ey, “The other thing exceptional people seem to have is a special talent for converting life’s setbacks into future successes. …” Carol Dweck, Mindset.
In the context of growth mindset, if we can find ways to learn something from the set-backs and challenges we all inevitably face in our lives, we are already on a path to success and I’m not sure about you but I love the idea of aspiring to be an exceptional person.
So, for the last write-up of 2023, as I sit sipping a zero alco beer at a local watering hole (left the café I was enjoying at the beginning of the blog and came to the pub the next day-HAHA), I am continuously reminded that the desire to achieve something with the belief you actually can- is pretty powerful to get you moving in the direction you want!
You see, I wanted to give up booze for the last few years for a few reasons and after 12 solid booze free months, I now don’t have any desire to recommence booze consumption because the cons outweigh the pros for me. I smile thinking about how uncomfortable I felt in the very beginning of this little challenge I set for myself, particularly when questioned Why?! In social settings.
It's worth highlighting that I live in a "mining town" where the idea of being sans-booze is often met with a general sentiment of "what's wrong with you?" or, even more humorously (and mildy concerning), people genuinely enquiring about what I do with my spare time if I don't drink... I know giving booze up is a minor achievement in the grand scheme of things, but it popped into my mind as I reflected on what having a growth mindset means in this context and that the previous years when I’ve thought of quitting the booze, I felt it was too tricky as there are always celebrations, events etc where I know I’d feel more comfortable having a cheeky beer or vino. It made me reflect that having the all or nothing approach, instead of embracing imperfection of my previous attempts as well as taking the uncomfortable settings as an opportunity for a giggle, had only reinforced the fixed mindset and it ultimately meant I wasn’t able to embrace the challenge with open arms.
The SoS community continues to inspire me to keep having a red hot crack and of my love of connection, surfing and legendary ladies, so, without further words and info graphics hahaha, here's a surf tip for this month.
Using your breath to help you master the gnarly moments in the surf! So, many of you may be familiar with the word apnea (I had only ever heard this used when referring to sleep apnea and it didn’t immediately shout good things to me because in the context of sleeping, to have an apnea is when you stop breathing in your sleep- not ideal….) However, when I stumbled across the Eternal Surfer, Raissa and the endless resources her business page has, I was awesomely distracted by the write up and courses on all about Surf Apnea Training: Mastering Breath-Hold Techniques. In the Eternal Surfer’s write-up there is a comprehensive guide to surf apnea training, where Raissa explores the importance of breath-holding techniques for surfers and the benefits they offer. Piqued your interest? Go here Mastering the Surfer Hold Down: Comprehensive Surf Apnea Techniques (eternalsurfer.com). I am not here to repurpose all the good stuff about breathing techniques Raissa covers but I encourage you to explore the plethora of info on their webpage and sign-up to a course if you would like to learn how to master your breath for surfing and gain further awareness on the topic.
BREATH….How good! there is a lot in how we can use our breath to master some of the toughest surfing (and life) challenges, so I will finish off by saying- ahhh the power of breath! A topic that continues to make me excitedly hyperventilate 😉.
MERRY CHRISTMAS or NOT-CHRISTMAS, I hope you have a moment to yourself to reflect on the year that was 2023! Stay groovy in the waves out there and I cannot wait to bring you a 2024 blog which means we’re a little closer to the next SoS retreat- eeeeeep!
Love Tahnee xxx