Life presents us with a lot of different challenges and opportunities. There is usually no rest in between these waves of change that keep rolling towards the shore that is our present moment. Especially nowadays – and this won’t be news for you – the waves keep coming faster and faster and it’s really hard not to get drowned. We keep coming up for air. Sometimes it feels like this is all we are actually doing. The shore itself – which could be the silent center of our being – seems to disappear in our struggle to keep our heads above the water.
At least that’s what life feels like a lot to me right now.
Surfing the Waves of Change
There is this great metapher I use myself about surfing the waves of change. The ideal is to not be drowned by the waves, but make use of them to propel us forward.
This is a lot to ask!
In order to become successful surfers we first have to learn how to swim. Then we need to find a bay where the waves come to use in a pattern and rhythm that we can actually master. There is no use to expect of us to surf with the champions or be able to surf each and every wave that comes our way. Some places are not right for us at this moment. Some waves are just too big. No need to self-sabotage by trying to master a wave that we are just not equipped to handle.
Sometimes it is right and correct to take a risk and to dare to dream big. In fact, I wish for all of us to dream bigger! We are all more brilliant and capable than we dare to imagine at times. At the same time we need to be smart about it.
If you desire to ride the big waves then you need to build your strength and your skill by starting with the smaller waves. You can probably still explore the waters of the bay you want to surf in, but start with the small waves. Start with the waves that are closer to where you actually are right now and probably also closer to the shore. You can always go deeper into the water at a later point in time – but you need to build your strength and skills first. You might also need to find a good surfing teacher AND an expert of this very specific bay you are trying to master. Don’t expect yourself to be a master from the get go. Learn from the masters and the other surfers in that area FIRST. This is the safest and the most certain way to become a master yourself.
All of that said: Sometimes the weather is just not right for surfing.
Surfing (and therefore living) requires a level of flexibility. When a good wave comes your way – hit it! Don’t expect that kind of wave to come to you every time and every day, though. This is not how nature works. This is not how life nor the universe works. Accepting not every wave is yours to surf (yet?) and that not every day is or needs to be like surfing the perfect wave is essential.
There is also wisdom in making the most of your time between waves or when the weather is just not right for surfing anyway. You can still work out on the beach. Or rest. Or play. Or hike through the forest. Build your strength and renew your energy. Don’t exhaust yourself before the actual wave comes or you will simply not be able to ride it.
Obviously when you are sick there is no point in forcing yourself to swim out into those waves to begin with. Recover first. Get rest and help as needed.
Embracing the Process
All of this takes practice (not perfection!) and I’m right here practicing with you. I’m meditating to better access the shore by increasing my capacity to be present to the here and now. I’m journaling, channeling and asking friends to help me figure out what bay might be mine to conquer next. Which are the areas where I will (and already do) excel. All of this combined with doing the actual research, diving into the materials of experts AND still doing my best at both of my jobs.
All of which is a lot! Which is also why I have been silent here for quite a while. I’m still available to take on some new clients in between, but most of the time my time and energy resources are just already spent and scheduled.
I will make an effort to share my occasional updates here and hope to be able to produce the occasional video for my youtube channel as well – but this will not just depend on my willingness and energy, but also on the windy weather and sometimes very unpredictable waves of the bays I am already having obligations to.
I’m happy to support you if you need help figuring out the whole surfing process with my skills. And I hope that you already found some helpful thoughts and advice in these words.
If you feel like you are drowing: Ask for help. Remember the waves you already mastered. Ask for help.
Build your strength. Train and increase your skills. Identify and get the training and advise you need.
Then hit those waves and make the most of it!