Wisdom on a Surfboard

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The staff and participants of Board Meetings International, October 2013!


Last weekend I went down to Florida with my mom to participate in a program called Board Meetings International (BMI).

The two founders, Jim Shiels and Brian Scrone, are two lifelong best friends with a mission of helping families deepen their connectedness in an often disconnected world. They’re succeeding!

For Brian and Jim, who are also long-time business partners, when it’s time for a board meeting, they hit the waves.  They discovered how lessons in surfing readily translate to lessons in life, and over the years began to incubate the vision for sharing their passion for surf, families, education, business, and service into one phenomenal experience.

I went down, to Pointe Vedra Beach, FL, excited to learn how to surf.  I came home with lessons, experiences, and relationships I’ll NEVER forget.

It’s a three day course.  You go down in a pair, one child, one parent.  My mom and I went together. We already have a great relationship, so we went mainly to support the guys, as well as be around great people in a wonderful environment.

There were about 16 to 18 parent/child “couples” from around the world.  Most also already had great relationships with each other, however this time dedicated to learning and growing together was enriching and significant to all.

During the three full but relaxed days, we participated in surfing, yoga, masterminding, relationship building, and service.  There were no “filler” activities.  Each activity was simple yet profound, with the family and group cohesiveness growing more evident each day.

I have to mention Jim and Brian’s wives.  Jamie, Jim’s wife, was one of the event coordinators, photographer, and also a passionate and inspiring person.  And Coco, Brian’s wife, prepared great healthy food… basically one armed, because she was holding their adorable 4 month old son in the other.

Everyone at BMI, staff and participants, have a zeal for life and for helping others. Just being around people like that was uplifting.

Here are some of the key takeaways I got from the whole experience:

Create a Dream Board – aka  vision board: When you write down your passions, goals, and intentions, it’s one step closer to having what you want and creating a life you love.  You can draw it on paper, create a collage with photos, or you can create one on a PowerPoint.  How ever you decide to create a Dream Board, just make one.  And don’t be bashful, get all your passions down; the people you want in your life, the things you want to accomplish, and the environment you’d want to live in.   WRITE IT!

Helping Others Helps You:  We had an opportunity to help several disabled (differently-abled) people surf!  So we got to help them do something most of us take for granted, and their courage and effort was inspiring.  It was a sobering reminder to me to not take my life and opportunities for granted.

Share Your Dreams With Others:  When you share your dreams, passions, ideas, and inspirations with others, suddenly the right type of people will be attracted to you and your life journey.  You’ll cultivate life long relationships and people who will support you. And the best part, is that you get to help them as well.  Give and you’ll receive!

Start Living Your Dreams:  Jim and Brian are doing this.  They’ve taken their dreams born on the waves and surf, and they’ve made them real, and are now able to share this with many others from around the world.  So by being yourself, and living out your passions, others who have similar aspirations will be drawn to you.

There were many other lessons I learned from that whole experience, but those were the biggest take aways.

You don’t have to have a really bad family relationship to do this course.  Like I mentioned above, my mom and I have a great relationship, and we attend many courses that teach similar life concepts.  In fact, it was at an event (Brendon Burchard’s “Experts Academy”) where we first met Brian and Jim

You just need an open mind, adventurous spirit… and of course, one of your kids (or a parent!).

Thank you so much Jim, Brian, Jamie, Coco, and the entire staff for creating such an incredible event.

And thanks to all the other participants for helping make it a great experience for all and the relationships we all created!

~Devani Alderson


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