Sunshine on a Rainy Day: SUP Magic

The day before we planned to head off on a 3-day camping trip – a trip with rain predicted at 90% the entire time (and 50 degrees) – I took a yoga class. This was not just any yoga class. It was the noon “Rejuv” taught by the brilliant, cool and gifted Cynthia LaRoche (GrooveYogaBend).  As she does so well, Cynthia led us through our restorative poses with wisdom and humor. Somewhere in the midst of it all she said something to the effect, “let what you don’t like be the teacher.” That was not the theme of the class, or even a large part of the message – but that is what resonated for me. claer cloudy

I was going in to three days of camping in the rain with an attitude as bleak as the weather report.  For the most part, i do not like rain. Give me those blue sky days any time.  I was the prime example of what Sorine Cerin (Wisdom Collection: The Book of Wisdom) said, “Rain drops are not the ones who bring the clouds.”

clear clouds2It was time for me to switch gears, be grateful for the opportunity of three days with friends, in the outdoors and in an incredibly beautiful part of the world. It was time for me to be open, to learn from what I basically did not believe that I liked.

Dana Arcuri says it so well, “The more you are grateful for what you have the more you can live fully in the present.”  That is my life journey, so practicing gratefulness and celebrating the present moment whatever it might be became my roadmap for the weekend.

What a gift!  In a 43 degree drizzle I dropped my husband and two buddies off to play golf and headed to Clear Lake, OR for a morning of paddling.  The experience was beyond expectation (what a truth) and a powerful lesson.

As Louise Erdich said, “I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms.”  From the light mist that welcomed my first paddle stroke, to the chilly downpour mid-paddle. Solitude and stillness, lush greens and every imaginable blue created magic.

And guess what. The sun eventually came out!

P2SUP: Paddle with Courage

P2SUP: For any ability, on any board in any body of water


My friend (and amazing Mom and water woman) Shawneen Schweitzer

The first time I heard of “Standup for the CURE” was through a casual conversation with Shawneen Schweitzer – known to most as the cool and big-hearted mother to waterman, Zane Schweitzer. As a two time cancer survivor (15 years for a rare sort of sarcoma and more recently, melanoma) I am always ready to engage with an event that celebrates survivors. Standup for the Cure is amazing, in screening for both breast and skin cancers while providing a powerful, positive event for survivors – with friends and family.

Mediatation induces a relaxation response

Once I realized the group who would be at “Standup for the Cure” I knew that there was something I could share with them.  Add to that the amazing P2SUP meditation that Zane Schweitzer inspired (“Paddle Toward Connection”) and I knew exactly what to do. We had a digital album of meditation scripts that could speak to breast cancer survivors, and their friends and family.  We had just published, “Paddle with Courage.”

You will be hard pressed to ever feel stressed about Stand Up Paddling.  More often, something like paddling on a quiet cove, or next to a pod of wild dolphins is going to induce relaxation, and calm-ness within.  Perhaps catching that sweet little wave, and the euphoria that comes along with it after paddling out beyond your favorite break resonates complete relaxation throughout your nervous system.  This tells your body:  “We are okay.  We are moving and feeling good.  Endorphins are flowing.  It’s okay to let go of stored body fat for energy.  This is not a crisis.”

You look forward to feeling mindful and present while standup paddling:

To enhance overall health and wellbeing, we must have things in life to keep us motivated to move.   Yet, doing something you love such as Stand up paddling, invokes excitement, enthusiasm and gives you a fresh dose of what I call, “Vitamin P” or “pleasure”. We created the five different “Paddle with Courage” meditations to help anyone to connect to the mindfulness that is healing, to enjoy the power of being present – as we focus our mind on healing, courage and joy.

We have enough stress to deal with in this world. It’s time to choose “meaningful movement”.  It’s time to give back to our bodies so that it can respond with overall health and wellness.  So, grab your board, grab your paddle and get your dose of “Vitamin P” that will turn that stress into positive healing, and turn that intense feeling into an immense feeling of movement you love. We are your partner in healing and courage – Power of Presence SUP.