Lessons after a blow to the head (Part 2: Inspiration Versus Perspiration)

Just hanging out...

As you may already know, I suffered a mild concussion three and a half months ago while surfing big waves in Oregon

Since then, life as I knew it has drastically changed. The first two months after the accident, I was in what I called “survival mode.” Simple tasks, such as making myself lunch, became the goal of my day. Everything exhausted me, constant headaches kept me down, and naps became as essential to my everyday life as breathing.

After that first couple of months, I slowly began to feel a little better. I had my ups and downs. Some days I had a little energy and was able to do some work. Other days, I could only watch Netflix from the couch all day.

I’m a Taurus with a type A personality. You know, a “go getter” kind of girl. My whole life I’ve been proactive, as I worked toward making my dream life a reality, growing a successful business, accomplishing goals, and all the other stuff that goes along being a doer.

It took a huge blow to the head to finally make me STOP.

At first, I thought that I could manage to stop for a few weeks and then get back to my life. But my brain wasn’t fully healed, and every time I attempted to get myself back to normal, I failed.

Over and over again, I ended up back in bed. I cancelled appointments (I had no choice). I realized that surf trips were out of the question this summer (I have been traveling for surf every summer for the last five years). Business plans had to be put on hold, and even writing my precious book was not gonna happen.

My slogan over the past three months became:

Everything must go.

Planning had to go. I had no idea how long it would take to get back on my feet, so the idea of making a timeline to get my life back on track had to go.

The labels that described me — big wave surfer, abundance coach, motivational speaker and writer had to go.

Nothing was left. All that remained was the present moment.

Every time I attempted to write a blog post, I felt like I was empty, drained, and that I had nothing of value to say. It seemed that everything I tried to do, simply couldn’t be done.

I tried to fight it, but my brain was the boss saying: We are not doing anything today. Just rest, just BE.

It would be easier for me to prepare to climb Mount Everest, than to just BE. I mean, I’ve never been into climbing, but I had my fair share of big wave Everests. I know how to work hard, train hard, push my body to extreme limits, and even be in dramatic life-death situations. But if you asked me to just BE, that would be a real challenge.

I knew how to do it for a few hours, or a day, or even a few weeks (while on surf trips in the middle of nowhere). But to just BE, to do nothing, to not know when, or if I could return to my activities AND to be OKAY with it… felt impossible to me.

FEAR was part of my problem, too. Every time I tried to regain the control of my life, and I couldn’t, I went into fear mode. Negative thoughts filled my mind.

My life will collapse!

My business will turn to ashes!

My book will never be published!

I’ll never be able to surf again!

And on and on, I would go in a downward spiral of fear.

After weeks of running these fears through my mind, I found a way to transform my thoughts. I did it by asking myself this question:

“What can I do that is most Loving for me at this moment?”

Every time I would ask myself that question, I would instantly return into the present moment. Sometimes the answer was as simple as “make a green tea and watch Fashion Police” (yes, I love that show).

Other times, the answer would be to go snorkeling with my dog, Ella (yes, she swims out to the reef next to me).


When the guilt of “doing nothing” would rear her ugly face, I would just tell it: “What I’m doing now is the most Loving for me. So leave me alone. I’m doing this now.”

For now, every time I feel I should be writing a new blog post (I used to write once every week, and now I write whenever I feel moved to), I ask myself, “Is this what I really want to do now?” And if the answer is NO, I trust that the inspiration will return in due time. Meanwhile I simply care for myself and love myself in my idleness.

They say that we are exactly where God wants us to be at every given moment.

I’ve found that the only way for me to be present each moment is to rely on my joy, instead of my will.

As my spiritual teacher wisely said:

Do inspiration instead of perspiration

For the present, I allow myself to act only through inspiration instead of doing things because I feel I have to.

I always thought that I needed to make space for abundance to come my way. What I’ve discovered in the last few months is that in making space, I found the abundance that IS already present in my life.

In the joy, simplicity and quiet, I found a peace and contentment within myself that I’d never experienced before.

It’s not about what we do out in the world, what we achieve, or how we are perceived by others. It’s not about the labels, the business successes, or the personal achievements.

It’s about loving ourselves through each moment, and allowing what is to BE.

I’ve discovered that I am in abundance and am worthy of love, no matter what I do or don’t do. That’s what I’ve learned from a blow to the head, and for that, I’m grateful.

I hope my words help you. If you are feeling you should be doing more to achieve success, or that you are not being a good enough ______ (fill in the blank: mother, spouse, entrepreneur. etc), you are exactly where you are intended to be at this exact moment in your life.

Knowing that you are where you are meant to be right now, what can you do for yourself that is the most Loving at this moment?

I’d love to hear in the comments below your answer, if you’d like to share it.

With Loving (love-in action),

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