As some may know, I’ve been making some moves toward taking Living Well with Illness to the next level, playing way beyond my comfort zone. But what I’m discovering is so incredible. I’m stretching myself to the limits to bring my dreams to fruition. What an admirable thing to do, right? Wrong. No matter the virtue we obsess over, excess is excess. Without balanced foundation, the venturing topples over eventually. I got so zeroed in on trying to squeeze out that 25th hour that even after shining this weekend, come Monday, I was screwed. Bills without answers.
My tribe really flexed on this one and bailed me out here with some generous loans. It’s unfortunate, and I’ll work hard over the next couple weeks to repay my debts, but you know what? The lesson has been priceless: vulnerability is a vital ingredient for true progress. It was a leap to rub elbows with brilliant entrepreneurs and some of Pittsburgh’s movers and shakers and thrive in their exercises, and I fell. But it’s okay that I did because there are people who really love me and have my back. Sure, I may have succeeded and won the day, but I stole from the night. To show up incredibly prepared, I deprived my body of sleep, my students of an awesome substitute teacher, and my bank account of security.
So I get to grow deeper into the conviction that my character and calling pulls the narrative along its individual nature. It’s impossible to explicitly describe, and even harder to dictate. This journey is full of wonder, so why rush it? This resonates with an exalting feeling on the crystal waters of Dominican Republic.
As I shared in "Untitled" (Apr. 15th), before leaving for Texas in 2014, the Thiel College campus pastor, PJ, requested to meet me for lunch. I am grateful for this lunch, as I was challenged to write down a list of things I want to do in my lifetime. There is so much power in writing down goals. When we declare what we want, the universe conspires to make it happen.
One item on the list was to surf. Several month later, I found myself on a plane headed to Punta Cana Dominican Republic to get away from the cold with the Liotta sisters. My grey-filter condition could not completely find grounding in such idyllic scenery.. It was as if I was watching it all on TV; not real.
One of the first mornings, as we passed through a lobby, Lainey noticed one of the brochures mentioned surfing lessons. Adrienne and I would enroll for the next day. They drove us through the surrounding communities to get to a private beach, there was a remarkable contrast between the opulent resort and the way life was for the natives.
We arrived, and they ran us through the technique for mounting the board in the moment of wave peak; then we were sent out to the water with assistants nearby to help us pick and time waves. Adrienne got it before I did; I was so happy for her but it compounded my frustration over not getting it yet. But then I did it, I felt the harmonious correlation with nature in that gravitational center of it all. I was seized by wonder, could’ve stayed out there for years. This gave me a sense and image as metaphor and meaning-template for my feeling about the essence of health.
The essence of tactile flourishing is that center pulling gravitation that culminates in the flowing moment a wave breaks, the inner center coil. This harmonious correlation between nature and being is good, with the grain.