Over the past few years I have been through a lot. A lot of pain, struggle, rejection, but also a lot of personal growth. Its not all what you see, me out surfing everyday. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I think a lot of people think I must have it easy. Or they judge me for my mistakes, or for who they “perceive” me to be. I too have my hypocrisy. I’m definitely not perfect, making those same judgments on others in the past that I dislike them making about me.
We are all human in this experience of life. We’re all stuck on this planet together. So why fight and bicker? We can choose to brood in anger, or we can choose the latter. Why choose resentment and fear, when can choose love, to find compassion for ourselves and others. And that’s what this article is all about.
Starting Raw Surf was not easy either. With a previous business venture failing after 5 years of success, I had a mid-life crisis in my early 30’s, not knowing what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to be. I was traveling around working car sales trying to make ends meet. I felt lost and dissatisfied with my career path. For the longest time I thought I was going to build an eCommerce empire, but I guess Amazon beat me to it.
It wasn’t until this woman I dated came along on our first date with the idea inspiring me to chase my dreams. And as a result, falling in love with her for her inspiration… I still do love her, and always will. But I had the idea as a kid first! My best friend Chris in middle school who got me into surfing, it was his idea to make a surfing company. I didn’t fully realize the potential, or have a second thought to take it seriously until she came along and pushed me, iterating belief in me to move forward. So without that initial push, I may never have started this along on this journey.
I had very little direct help from anyone this time. The old business went under and left a bitter taste. There was a lot of negativity, disbelief, and resentment. I didn’t have anyone’s support back then, I was very upset inside, and in fear. That woman and others, pretty much all eventually ditched me. Growing impatient with me, and not really putting out the love in which I’m deserving. This wasn’t the first time in my life this has happened. As a kid I went through a lot of these same fears and rejections. But this time I’ve been applying myself to healing, instead of self-destruction.
Yoga, Surfing, and Meditation, all entwined together, have been my salvation. They are the key elements to understanding what we’re thinking, or more importantly that we are much more than those thoughts we think. Meditation, also known as the practice of observing your thoughts, can be done in so many ways. Yoga and surfing are just two ways we can meditate, but really there are thousands.
My meditation teacher, Anthony Profeta, has been a rock toward my self-healing. Not only are his sound baths relaxing, they come of great benefit. Yes, you heard me right, I said sound baths. He rings these crystal bowls that all line up with our Chakras, or energy centers, that all correlate with the musical scale. The bowls send sound waves through your body, that help heal, kind of like ultrasound in a milder way. The main point is to focus on the sounds, and every time your mind starts to wander, bring yourself back to those sounds. Its pretty cool. You can check out his website here.
Anthony taught me a very important mantra for finding compassion. And an important lesson at the same time. I learned that I first must find compassion for myself. And that mantras are a great tool to train your thinking habits, to stop brooding, and to create understanding, which will help to forge the compassion enough to find forgiveness. Which is a whole other topic onto itself.
“I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be peaceful”, Anthony teaching me this mantra and then applying into practice, has attributed to so much of my growth. If I’m thinking negatively about a situation, I know that I’m not treating myself with love, and my job is to repeat it. Which in turn changes how I feel about the situation. Eventually the goal is to be able to say that mantra for everyone and everything, but most importantly to focus on self-first.
So, over the past year I have been practicing this mantra. In the water surfing especially, I find it great to repeat it and tune in to myself. I feel as if surfing in the ocean puts me dead center into my meditation practice easier than anything else. Then after catching some good waves, and repeating my mantra, my vibes are way up, and I’m able to not get so wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. I don’t care any more about how others are treating me. Instead, I’m able to understand that those people themselves are hurting. And that they too need that same compassion and understanding.
I’ve learned that every person who has ditched me, or treated me wrong, has their own fears and pains in life. To not hold them responsible for how I feel about myself. To not need to prove myself to others. That I am enough. I need only me. I’ve also learned that once you fix the relationship with yourself, all other relationships in your life will improve. So stay committed to yourself, and never give up.
Surfing is a great outlet for self-focus. My daily yoga practice, and surfing meditation/medication are what drives my good health, and steadfast focus to keep guiding people to their potentials with Raw Surf trips!
Here is a great article on Surfer Today with a different perspective and ideas on surfing and meditation!
I want to thank everyone, my parents, friends, family, ex-girlfriends, fans, and associates. I am grateful for every relation or encounter to help put me on the path I am on today. To be able to do what you love and help people at the same time is a great gift, which I truly appreciate.
The photos on this post today are some of my favorites that I’ve captured. Thank you for reading my personal blog!
Blog and photos by David Pritzker