Letting Go of Control

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For the past few months, our business has been rolling along wonderfully. We’ve had time to tout our crazy-full guest calendars, revamp our welcome messages and leases, upgrade our advertisements, and put together fabulous owner packets for prospective leads. Our numbers and ratings were sky-high. In short, we had the business firmly under control.

Or at least we did, until a then-category 5 hurricane began swirling its way towards the Hawaiian islands. Guests cancelled left and right; flights were cancelled; we fielded calls and messages and inquiries and complaints all day for over a week. Our awesome numbers dropped and our chock-full calendars were marred by vacant days at the end of the month. I kept asking myself, what is happening? What did we do wrong?! Why?!

A looming hurricane felt like it had ruined everything (everything!), but the truth is that it took away our control. Hurricane Lane itself is naturally, and obviously, out of our control – but I couldn’t stop myself from running through ways of controlling the result of it. Could I open up our properties to last-minute reservations? Displaced guests? Surely one airline was still landing….

It was my fiancée that made me realize how ridiculous it all was. We had a major, potential natural disaster-level storm a few hundred miles away, and I was upset that guests had cancelled their trips? Of course they did! What in the world was I thinking?

f062b425bdf17d58915c9d0da25a3dedI realized that I love running my own business because I love having control. I love managing, watching, tinkering, tweaking things to be perfect. I dig it, and it’s been a way of life for me for a while – but it’s not really how life works.

Actually, Hurricane Lane is a pretty good metaphor for life. You can do everything on earth to ensure your life/home/business are picture-perfect and under control, and then something external and totally unexpected can swirl right through and cause some chaos and mayhem. And you have no choice but to do your best and just deal. 

As our business grows, I know the day is coming when I’ll have to relinquish control. I’ll have to trust. I’ll have to let it go – and that day is coming sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy a few days off curled up with my man and dog until the storm passes.

Wednesday Wisdom: Why Time Alone is a Blessing

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This has become one of my favorite quotes of all time. I’ve had conversations with these words as I’ve gone through life, saying things like: “Yes, you’re right! The capacity to be alone IS the capacity to love. I get it now.”

I’ve also seen glimmers of light in other people, particularly friends that I love who are thriving in singledom. They have a happiness and freedom about them that, for someone who’s been deep in the grips of love, is hard to understand. How are they so carefree, open, loving, happy? Osho knows the answer: they are comfortable being alone. They’re at peace with themselves. They’ve had the time to grow and explore without another human’s goals and dreams tied up in theirs.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been okay with being alone – until I fell flat on my face in love, got my heart broken, and watched ‘our’ carefully crafted five-year plan go down in smoke and flames. Now, I’m unsure of what to do with myself. I miss the days where I didn’t long for a man by my side; I also miss the man that used to be by my side; at the same time, I find myself subconsciously hunting for a man to be by my side.

In some sort of epiphany, I realized that I needed to spend time alone. I needed to get closer to myself, and figure out what I truly want out of this beautiful life. I needed to forgive and sort through my feelings and pluck out the lessons and red flags that would help guide me in the future. I needed to get closer to my higher self, to the world, to God. And the path to self-discovery and spirituality and love can’t be bogged down by a lust for stability.

After heartbreak, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is our own undivided attention. In most cases, there’s years of growth and change that demand nurturing and care. Who have we become? What do we truly want? What do we don’t want?

If we do decide to find love again, knowing the answers to these questions sets us up for an even greater, more open love than we’ve ever known. To enter a love with confidence, knowing: I CAN give this love to you. I can give this happiness to you. Most importantly, I can love and cherish and support this relationship without losing sight of myself. Because I KNOW exactly who I am.

Finding peace within ourselves is a beautiful journey. While heartbreak comes with its pain and its scars, it gives us the freedom and power to build the life we want. It tears down our egos, our walls, and rips away our dependency and comfort zone so that we’re forced to toe the line of self-discovery and craft futures in our own image.

Motivation Monday: Veterans Day!

First of all, happy Veterans Day! I’m the proud daughter of a tough, warm-hearted marine that’s given 20-plus years in service to my country (love you pops!)

My dad’s dedication to fitness kinda comes with his job. At 50, he just ran yet another sprint triathlon, and would probably kick my ass if we ever did one together.

I think being raised by a military man has a lot to do with my all-or-nothin mentality towards health & fitness. Which is a great thing – until life gets in the way.

Today’s Motivation Monday post is a little more personal than most, both because of Veterans Day and my currently flailing motivation. I was totally on track training for my half marathon these past few months, and stoked with my progress.

And then, the unfortunate happened – I caught an awesome wave, got launched by backwash, and landed super weird on my tailbone/hips. Since then, I’ve barely been able to work or drag myself out of bed for more than a few hours. Which has translated into almost a week of no exercise and lots of rest.

I know I have to let myself rest, and my back is the one thing I will never, ever push past it’s limit. That’s something my Dad taught me – push yourself to a reasonable extent, but always respect your body.

Consequently, my all-or-nothing mentality has become a somber sort of burden. I’m not enjoying my rest days, and have had to exercise some serious willpower to actually rest. And now that I’m thinking about going on an easy, gentle run in the next few days, I know I’ll need the motivation and willpower to respect and listen to my back.

Although he’s an ocean away, I always feel so close to my father – especially when I’m working towards a goal. Fitness is a passion we’ve always shared, along with the same die-hard attitude.

And I know that whether I run or walk, my soldier will be cheering me on at the finish line – and every single step along the way.

So, today’s post focuses on the biggest lesson my father drilled into us, from diapers to college degrees – never, ever, ever give up.

Happy healing (and Veterans Day!)

Nikki

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Dating a Surfer: The Other Woman

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My boyfriend jokes that the ocean is his other woman; his mistress, first love, and soul mate. In fact, the first time our relationship became serious was when he told me that he liked me more than the ocean. Not loved me. Just liked me. And it meant the world to me.

Surfers seem to have some hot, muscly, laid-back lure about them that brings unsuspecting females into an enduringly unexpected trap. It maybe their perfect tans, ridiculous six packs or effortless sexiness that comes with riding giant waves and getting pummeled and almost drowned on a daily basis. But ladies, beware; dating a surfer (or bodyboarder, or bodysurfer, or avid skimboarder) is an entirely different ball game.

In most relationships, you’re competing with your man’s family, friends, video games, hobbies, and obligations for his precious time and attention. If he gets down in the water, you’re also competing with the ultimate other woman: Mother Nature.

Trust me: Mother Nature is a bitch. You can’t compete with her. She can and will do things that you will never, ever be able to provide for your man. She’s beautiful, mysterious, and limitless; and she will always play a pivotal (if not primary) role in his life, whether you do or not.

If you’re dating a surfer, you have to be down to sit on your ass for an unknown amount of time while he has his way with her (or rather, she with him). When my man’s not with me or at work, he’s with her. If he doesn’t answer his phone for anywhere between one and six hours, I know exactly where he is. Since we live in Hawaii where the waves are booming close to year-round, I’m prepared to spend any matter of holidays – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, his birthday, even my birthday – at the beach.

Instead of fighting a losing battle, I decided to join the love affair. And even though the crazy bitch has given me black eyes, bruised ribs, cracked shins, and any number of bumps and bruises, I fell in love with her too.  She’s even damn near drowned me countless times, but I consider it a reminder of who’s in charge. If she’s kind enough to let me in her territory, I respect her rules and take whatever beatings she’s decided to dish out.

Because of her, though, my relationship has changed. Now I blush when he tells me my eyes are more beautiful than a perfect barrel with offshore winds. Instead of jewelry, he bought me a bodyboard for my birthday. Instead of flowers, he bought me a new pair of fins for Valentine’s day. Instead of going on dates and seeing movies we spend hours at the beach experiencing a beautiful, incredible thing together. Because we share this passion and connection, something that would be a glaring issue in our relationship has made us monumentally stronger. And there’s nothing quite like riding into a perfect, crisp blue barrel; except maybe sharing it with the person you love.

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