That feeling of being fully live

Learning to surf in the Southern Hemisphere winter means getting into cold water, often before the sun is fully risen.

That shock of cold water tests commitment. 

It is a temporary discomfort. Once in the experience is about the water, the sun, the waves, the learning. Busy paddling, busy catching waves, busy getting tossed around and getting back on the board. 

Like so many things, that temporary discomfort is the needed threshold to cross to engage fully with life. 

Getting out of a warm bed, getting in to a cold ocean, being the novice, the klutz.  All arms and legs and minimal co-ordination. 

Age tends to diminish our desire to step into the discomfort. To learn how to be a tech savvy person. To listen to the music of the young. To immerse in pop culture.

That feeling of being fully alive is so often only found on the other side of the threshold. There is a personal triumph to it. That deep satisfaction of knowing that in resisting the temptation to stay comfortable, to feel ‘safe’ (which is most often a delusion) we deny engagement with the wave of life itself.

This morning, now after our surf, chilled to the bone, I am profoundly happy. Tested by the ocean, the cold, the waves, and despite still being a surfing klutz, I am alive and loving every moment.

Photo taken July 18th, 2020

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About Christine McDougall


As the Founder and Chief Steward of – Christine works with leaders and enterprises globally who have a commitment to being the pioneers of enterprise change. Christine has the ability to completely re-imagine business, its role in our world, and its potential for a future for all humans. She experiences a deeper level of truth through applying synergetics (Buckminster Fuller’s anticipatory design science) and the working laws of Universe to enterprise design and human co-ordination. She has a way of articulating this so others can see it as well. Christine questions the most basic assumptions that drive our complex systems and can map that back to what is needed today. To learn more visit

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