Just Coasting, or How to Achieve Peace of Mind

I recently had a great surfing session. The waves were clean, long, and within my abilities. The sun was shining. The water had a beautiful emerald green color.

I was present.

I was content.

I was peaceful.

I felt light and without a care in the world. The ocean took a huge weight off my shoulders. For two hours, my overactive brain could rest. Life was simple. Only the waves mattered.

As I sat on my board and watched the soothing scene, I felt like myself for the first time in a long time. It’s as if the real, joyful, calm “me” was buried under several layers of hard ice that melted only for rare, brief periods of time.

We feel most relaxed when we’re fully engaged in our favorite pastimes. For some it’s surfing. For others it may be creating music, dancing, gardening, or playing with a dog.

Why tension is often our default state? Wouldn’t life be easier, more pleasurable, and more fulfilling if we defaulted to peace of mind?

I can’t help but think of Nathan Apodaca, known for his viral video of drinking cranberry juice while riding a longboard to the tune of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

If he were to publish a book on how to achieve that inner ease, I’d be the first to buy it. But I doubt there are any secret strategies that made him the poster boy of the carefree attitude.

He radiates peace of mind because he’s not trying hard. In an interview for the Guardian, he said: “I always just live my life on the coast, you know? Just coasting.”

What if we chose to coast not only when doing our favorite activities, but in all that we do?