Waves are an unstoppable force of nature... just like our own emotions. We can't stop them, or control them but they will keep on coming.
So what do we do if we experience stormy seas?
If we try to resist and fight them...we’ll get exhausted. If we ignore them.. we’ll wipe out and get tumbled around...how can we cope when our emotions get high and unpredictable just like the waves?
We can learn how to ride them - mindfulness is like the gift of a surfing - teaching us how to ride the waves.
But you can’t just jump straight in and expect to catch the ride of your life - if you’ve ever watched a surfer you’ll know they always check the conditions and observe the ocean before they paddle out.
The surfer gets to know the ocean, the breaks and the weather for all of their nuances to make sure they have a good ride.
Watch and learn
Just like the surfer standing on the shore observing from a distance, we can practice mindfulness and pause for a little while to watch and observe our emotions. In this way we can get to know them, even befriend them and start to understand how, why and when the waves will come in our direction.
Then when they arrive, because we understand them better we can chose to ride them, find our balance and steer our way instead of fighting them or ignoring them. The more we practice - the more we learn to enjoy the ride.
Simple mindfulness meditation is a great place to start to learn to surf the waves. Using the breath as our object of awareness, we can observe what arises in our mind just like waves coming towards the shore.
By continuing to bring our focus back to the breath, we can watch them swell, break and then recede without getting swept up in them.
The more we practice and learn how to surf our emotions, the more we’ll enjoy the ride.
You can try a free guided simple mindfulness meditation here.
Enjoy the ride!