Our Surf Camps just keep getting better! When we first started with Unravel Surf Travel, now more than two years ago, I could not have imagined being here, today… Sure, I had thoughts, dreams and expectations, but the thoughts were vague, the dreams were sometimes incomprehensible and the expectations were, well… we all know how misleading they can be…
I feel fortunate. I have not been disappointed. My dreams are dynamic, always changing and they’re coming alive. And my thoughts, well… they are less heavy and ever more creative…
For instance; in some ways I was expecting that Surf Camps would mean endless surf every day… That turned out not to be the case. Most of the time I am making sure that other people, usually beginners, get to surf as often as possible.
But, having said that, I still get more time for surfing than I would have done if I was working an average 9 – 5 job… I just need to be patient, wait for the right time, make some plans and viola! There’s plenty of time for some surfing of my own! Besides, I enjoy seeing other people learning how to surf almost as much as I enjoy surfing myself! It reminds me of the time when I first felt that incredible lightness of being as you slide effortlessly over the surface of the water… If you get it right it feels like you’re flying!
Also, to be honest, I was expecting to cater for groups of rough and scurvy surf travellers… I envisioned staying in municipal camp sites and trying to keep the sand out of the pots as we cooked dinner, underneath a gazebo… (Don’t get me wrong, camping is great fun, so long as you are not catering for anyone else but yourself)
But here we were, staying in an amazingly comfortable 7-bedroom house with a spacious kitchen, en-suite bathrooms and a huge lounge and dining room, where we could eat breakfast while looking out over the ocean… In two entirely different directions!
Now, please understand that I am not trying to brag by mentioning all of this. Not at all. There are many other people who earn loads more while doing far less. And, more importantly, organising International Surf Camps is hard work. You must understand that. There is very little time to sit back and do nothing if you have a group of people eager to make the most of their time in a foreign country.
Furthermore, for your own sake and that of your guests, you cannot allow the hard work to actually be hard work. It’s not like a normal job where all that matters is getting things done. What’s more important is how you get things done… If you can manage to do it because you actually enjoy doing it, then, and only then, will you and your guests have a great time!
So, if I look back to where we started, where did I envision myself being at this point in time? Here, where I am now? Or somewhere else?
To be honest, I didn’t really know back then. I had a dream of somehow making an independent living, I dreamt of helping other people dream of freedom and I knew that somehow I wanted it all to have something to do with surfing, the ultimate expression of freedom…
But I had no concrete idea of exactly where I was going… I was in pursuit of a feeling, not a mental construct that can be understood with logic… I was in pursuit of something, and I am still in pursuit of the very same thing. However, if you asked me what that something is, on two different days, you will probably get two different answers.
Some people find this very frustrating. They say things like, “Why can’t you just decide what you want?!”
Well, I sympathize with those people, because I used to be somewhat like that, and if I am not careful I can still be like that sometimes… In moments of weakness I often still demand certainty in a world where the only constant is change…
And that is the lesson I took away from this March Surf Camp.
As I sat there on the beach one day, looking at nine girls barely managing to handle their surfboards in small foamies, I understood that life is not about what you or I want or think is best.
Whether you like it or not, there is a far greater intelligence that lies behind the veil of physical existence.
I am not referring to any superstitious beliefs or arcane religious understandings or anything else ‘supernatural’… I am referring to something very real, something that each and every person can witness in their own lives if they want to, and yet, it is so vast that we have simply not managed to adequately explain it in any way whatsoever…
Whereas our forefathers ascribed it to supernatural powers, we call it chance, chaos or coincidence, simply because we can’t explain it scientifically.
No person can honestly say that their life has worked out exactly as they planned it to… As the famous saying goes: “Life is what happens when you make plans and they don’t work out…”
So how does life work out then? If no-one’s plans work out all the time, shouldn’t life descend into utter and absolute chaos every now and then? And if it is chaos why doesn’t it all just collapse, as opposed to continuing day after day?
Next time you look up at the stars, consider the fact that there are millions of galaxies and billions of stars… Ask yourself, how does it all fit together? How does it all continue to exist? Is it all just one big coincidence, or random chance?
Scientists have long since suspected that there must be another force besides gravity at work in the universe.
Many scientists have calculated that if gravity was the only force that existed between heavenly bodies the solar system we live in would have collapsed in on itself, a long time ago. Scientists know that there is another force at work, they just can’t measure it nor can they see it, so they call it ‘dark matter’…
Is the universe and all life in it simply a random process that somehow just always works out and stays coherent? Can life really be reduced to the Darwinian Theory of evolution, where random gene mutations supposedly ended up resulting in the existence of a sentient specie capable of creating art and making music?
If that is what you like to believe there is not much that I can say that will change your mind. I’m not a scientist and I don’t have your kind of evidence…
But let it be known that one of the people who discovered DNA, Sir Francis Crick himself, is quoted as saying that; expecting random mutations to be responsible for the formation of our DNA is equivalent to expecting the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica to fall into place if you were to throw random letters down one after another.
It is so unlikely that it makes respectable scientists look like religious fundamentalists, if you consider life from another point of view.
The point is this: there is a guiding intelligence, a force of nature, behind all life, behind all of existence.
You can call it “God” if you like, but there are modern scholars who have investigated this issue scientifically.
Researcher and author David Wilcock has called it the ‘Source Field’ in his new book The Source Field Investigations, an incredible piece of work that debuted on the New York Times Best-Seller list at #18 in September 2011.
What we are talking about here is so vast and yet so subtle, that very few people, if any at all, have had the capacity to explain it the way he does. But what is certain is this: believing that the world was literally created in seven days, a few thousand years ago, as some religious fundamentalists believe, is just as mistaken as the belief that ultimately the inner workings of the universe comes down to random chance.
There is no coincidence. There is a creative force, whatever it may be, behind the existence of everything, including atoms, molecules, DNA, cells, humans, planets, stars, galaxies and super clusters…
As I sat on that beach that day, I realised that I am minute in comparison to the totality of existence.
It is neither I, nor any of my fellow organisers, who made this or any other Surf Camp happen. Sure, we took care of the logistics, but the blueprint has always been there… It just required our will to make it manifest.
It is that guiding intelligence that has brought me to this place. I simply allowed myself to be swept up by the current.
You will notice that we now organise Surf Yoga & Photo Camps. It is not because I decided that I would like to combine Surfing with Yoga and Photography, but because that is simply how it happened. That is the way in which our surf camps evolved, and continues to evolve, into something new, something exciting, every day. Allow the right people to come together and if you let it, magical things can happen… Not by force of will, but by sheer ‘coincidence’…
And ultimately that brings us back to our name: Unravel Surf Travel
When waves are breaking and running down a perfect point, a very classic way of referring to that process, is to say that the waves are unravelling… The wave already exists as an unbroken swell travelling underneath the water. It is energy transferred into the water by winds that blew hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres away. The swell is there, but until it breaks to form a wave, it is impossible to predict precisely what the wave will look like…
We have dreams and plans for the future. And some of them probably already exist in some ethereal form, but not necessarily with the same detail as we imagine them to… In fact, they may even change as time goes on. New variables always come into play, because the only constant is change…
But to unravel our dreams, our plans, is the purpose of life itself.
People do not like the idea of a pre-determined destiny. I say that we all share the same destiny anyway, and that is to return to the source from whence we came, the source of our consciousness. But that will not happen any time soon. We have millions of years of evolution, physical and spiritual, to go through before we reach that point, and besides, it is not the destination that is so terribly important, but how you choose to get there.
As the saying goes: “Life is not a destination, life is a journey. Enjoy the ride” ~ That is the meaning of Unravel Surf Travel. It is not necessarily about where we go, but how we choose to get there…
Check out our upcoming TRANSKEI Surf Yoga & Photo Camp 5th – 19th July 2012
Yours in Surfing, Love and Life
All photos by Jenya Zhivaleva & Ekaterina Donova