Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quit your job and become a full-time scuba diver...

I can teach you how...  At least with the scuba diving part.

As part of my introduction at the beginning of a new class, I always tell everyone a little bit about who I am and how I got here. After 10 years in banking and living an unhappy and unfulfilled life, I quit my job, sold my house, cashed in my stocks, bonds and mutual funds and bought a travel trailer.

Within a month I was in Amsterdam and from there took the train throughout Europe. I rediscovered who I was, where I wanted to go, and knew that I had things to try and do...

I traveled all over the US and visited friends and family. During that time, I also learned how to scuba dive. Some friends had done it and I thought it would be a cool thing to try. Little did I know that I would fall in love with it! The rest of my travels revolved around dive destinations and live-aboard dive boats.

I've dove all over the United States, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Australia, and Chuuk (Truk Lagoon). My certifications include most of all the recreational specialties, I've taught through SDI, SSI, and NAUI as a professional, and taken technical diving specialties like Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures, Advanced Wreck, Trimix, and Full Cave.

When I'm in the water, I leave all the worries, stressors, anxieties, fears, and uncertainties of day to day life behind. Rediscovery is not an easy process. I've done it several times, and even when I think my journey is starting to slow down or take a direction I don't like, a new path presents itself.

Like many of us, we are inspired by music, movies, art, sports, and even literature. Many of these inspire us to reach outside ourselves and dare to challenge our perceptions and beliefs. Some of us are changed by them, influenced to follow our hearts and live life to the fullest! Some of these motivational experiences are below. I hope you find them enjoyable as I do. In the last of these, comedian Jim Carrey addresses the graduating class of 2014 from Maharishi University. One of the quotes from his speech comes to mind every time I teach someone how to dive. "You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love." It is not going to make me a lot of money but my life is graced by those that come to me to learn how to dive. I am privileged to teach them, share my knowledge with them, and encourage them to challenge their fears and misconceptions.

When I look back at that moment that changed my life from one of taking to one of giving, I never could have imagined where I would be today. There are many of you that cheered me on and congratulated me for following my heart. I wish the same for you.

Today is the beginning of a new day. The sun is rising. Feel it and embrace the changes that can start as of right now.

1997
Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
The lyrics are taken from a famous essay (written in 1997 by Mary Schmich, a columnist with the Chicago Tribune) which gives some amazing advice for life and made into a popular song and music video of the 1990's.
(watch it on YouTube here)

2000
Pay it Forward
A movie about a young boy who creates a good-will movement, where he helps 3 people with something they can’t do themselves. The recipient cannot return the favor and must “pay it forward” by helping 3 other people. The film starts off a little slow, but does pick up mid-way. 3/4s through the film, everything starts to fall into place and the ending is a tear-inducing one. I like how the things unexpectedly reconnect throughout the film. It’s a film of kindness, generosity, warmth and gratitude.
(watch the trailer here)

2007
The Bucket List
A movie about two terminally ill men who cross paths in a hospital after they were diagnosed with lung cancer. Through their treatments, they befriend each other. They decided to embark on a trip to fulfill their bucket list – a list of things they want to do before they die.
(watch the trailer here)

2012
Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience -- and promises to add 10 extra years to your life...
(watch it on YouTube here)

2014
Jim Carrey - Official Commencement Address Graduating Class of 2014 from Maharishi University of Management
"My soul is not contained within the limits of my body. My body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul — one unified field of nothing dancing for no particular reason, except maybe to comfort and entertain itself. (applause) As that shift happens in you, you won’t be feeling the world you’ll be felt by it — you will be embraced by it. Now, I’m always at the beginning. I have a reset button called presence and I ride that button constantly."
(watch it and read it here)

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