I've been through many emotional ups and downs, especially this past year, when I found myself jobless in Hawaii. My writing career suffered a setback when my second novel got declined for publication. It's been a most humbling fall season. Suddenly this overachiever was underachieving and, I must admit, I spent some time wallowing in self-pity. That dark time is over, though. As I'm learning what it means to be human, I'm also finding that your attitude toward life greatly affects your experience of living. Life can be hell or it can be an awesome adventure. You can see nothing but dark clouds or see that scattered showers lead to plenty of rainbows; it just depends on your viewpoint.
Living in both Texas and Hawaii, I have the best of both worlds. In Texas I'm surrounded by a large family, lots of friends, and I'm very grounded in the business world. In Hawaii I get a more spiritual perspective on life and get to escape the rat race for a little bit. I get to study with spiritual teachers, like Kahunas who are not affected by the ups and downs of the stock market. And they don't place one's self-worth on financial success. In Hawaii, it's much easier to live in the moment and experience peace in your heart. There are so many places to commune with nature--beaches, rain forests, mountains. Endless summer and eternal sunshine. Here there are a lot of surfers. Their bliss is catching the next big wave. Even though I have yet to learn to surf, I am gaining a lot just by watching how they live. They are showing me that even though life, like the turbulent ocean, can toss you around and send you plunging, the surfers just shake their mops of wet hair like a dog, smile big, and yell something like "Whoa, total wipe out!" Then they get right back on their surf boards and courageously face what life offers them next. Sometimes they catch the wave's peak and ride it smooth, feeling at one with the Universe. In the surfer's mind getting wiped out is just part of living. It's okay to make mistakes. Wiping out doesn't mean it's the end of the world. You can always catch the next big wave and next thing you know, you're riding high again. Kowabunga!