22nd, August , 2019
My purpose is to reduce people’s suffering. Why? Because I have endured my fair share of suffering as well. Conceived through date rape, deprived of joy in the womb, born six weeks premature, never breastfed or nurtured, placed in a humidicrib for six weeks where I had to fight for my life, adopted at birth, losing my adopted mum at six years old, being advised of my adoption at 8 years of age, encountered sexism, Chauvinism and hostility in the surf, felt a deep sense of worthlessness and rejection.
All of this occurred in the first 10 years of my life! I understand suffering. I understand pain. I know what it feels like to feel abandoned, rejected, undeserving of love and worthless. I also know what it means to struggle, to fight, to push through pain and suffering. I once believed this was the only valid path to success.
The only way to achieve anything I was deserving of. I set my sights on becoming a world champion to prove to the world I was deserving of love. To feel I was enough. Winning my first world title was satisfying but failed to fill the void.
The only emotion I allowed myself to feel at the time was relief! Relieved I had achieved my goal and substantiated my claim. Are you also an expert at turning pain into progress?
I wasn’t deserving of success unless it was hard, painful, intense and challenging. Two episodes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, suicidal thoughts, injuries, heartbreak, loneliness, sadness and fear, all in a days’ work. Is this really the only way to achieve anything in life? When I won my 6th consecutive world title I had indeed proven that this was the only way.
At 33 years of age, my body decided it wasn’t going to take any more. An early morning photo shoot resulted in an MRI scan, indicating a herniated disk in the C5/6 region of my neck, severing 80% of my spinal cord.
Time for surgery. Time to retire. Time to rest.
I chose option three. Lock it in Eddie! Six months of committed rehab was all it took. Quite honestly, the prognosis indicated much worse but I invested absolutely everything into healing my body. The same work ethic I had exhibited in winning my six world titles was now channeled into recovery. Massage, acupuncture, hyperbaric chamber, traction, chiropractor, inversion table, meditation, bio sync therapy, yoga, breathing exercises, strict anti-inflammatory diet, Scenar therapy, rest and relaxation. Six months later my body had healed itself and I was ready to hit the waves once again. It was the first time I had surfed without pain in 5 years!
After 10 days of training and preparation, I surfed the first event of the season. Miraculously, I made the final but once again, despite the months of mental and physical training, my self-sabotaging beliefs got in the way. I chose to believe I didn’t deserve to be there because I had been out of the water for so long. Renouncing the 16 years of professional experience and six consecutive world titles under my belt. While I lost the final, I learned a valuable lesson and moved on.
In previous years, having lost a final, my customary response were tears, disappointment and self- criticism. Now I have committed to a new mindset. Ease. Grace. Gratitude. Ease in the approach. Grace in the process. Grateful for each and every opportunity, regardless of the result. It took some time for my peers to trust in this, I knew it was going to take a while.
For me, well, it was demanded of me. Pain and suffering are my survival modes. Once I fall back into this mindset life becomes challenging. I don’t mean free of setbacks or obstacles, as these are a natural part of life. By challenging I mean hard, filled with struggle, intensity and frustration. The opposite of this is what I refer to as success mode.
Trust. Ease. Grace. Gratitude. More fun, less frustration.
Challenges present themselves in the form of growth opportunities and valuable life lessons. There is no should, would or could, there simply is, free of what if. Life is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs, it’s not what happens to us that matters, it all comes down to how we choose to respond.
My six consecutive world titles verified how to succeed through pain, suffering and struggle. My 7th world title validated there is a different way. An effortless way. A graceful way. And now I wish to share these valuable lessons with you. Lessons which have taken me 30 years to master. Lessons you can apply to every area of your life. Life hacks to short cut your progress, reduce your suffering and enhance your quality of life.
This is why I’m hosting my first ever public workshop called Evolve. For the next six weeks I will deliver a blog delineating the content of the day, based on the following acronym;
If you are open to awakening your spirit, enhancing your consciousness and transforming your life, visit the Evolve event page to learn more and register to attend the workshop.