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You Are the Wave and the Ocean

A simple way to live

View of a beach from a hill. Blue waves. White froth. Rocks and more coastline in background. Blue sky. Coastal growth in foreground.
Lowlands Beach, Western Australia, not far from Evergreen.

Sometimes life feels complicated.


It’s as if a kitten has gotten hold of the ball of wool called your life, played with it for an hour, and then stuffed the tangled mess under the sofa.


It may not happen very often but when it does it’s hard to know what to do next. Whatever you say or do may make matters worse.


So, what is the best thing to do?


You Are the Wave and the Ocean


Many spiritual teachers use the analogy of a wave and the ocean to explain our lives.


Usually, we behave like waves.


We bounce along the surface of the ocean. Our trajectory, speed, and shape are affected by the wind, as well as by other waves around us. We may be huge and powerful like mid-ocean waves, choppy and white-crested as we’re hurried along by currents, or long and smooth like those that run up and dissolve on the shore.


But no matter what sort of wave we are, a wise wave never loses the sense that it’s also deeply connected to the ocean, and always will be.


This realisation is comforting and sustaining, no matter what is happening to us or around us.


After a while, we learn to sense when we’re unsettled. We recognise when we’re bouncing along the surface of life like an agitated wave having forgotten its connection with the deep ocean.


We become aware of our jostling thoughts, increased heart rate, tight jaw, furrowed brow, clenched fingers, and thinning lips.


‘Aha!’ we say. ‘I’ve forgotten I’m the ocean, and not just a wave.’ And then we calm down.


Next time you’re a little wave bent double with stomach cramps, in mid-argument with a loved one, or crossing swords with the head of the Complaints Department at the electrical store, remember that you are the ocean as well.


Doing this probably won’t take away the pain, make the difference of opinion disappear, or result in an immediate refund of the faulty item’s purchase price, but it will bring immeasurable calmness to the moment.


In an article on Medium titled 25 Infinite Spiritual Perspectives, Story Waters wrote: 


Whenever your day becomes overwhelming, or events feel like they are going wrong, STOP and feel your center. Feel yourself to be the calm eye of the storm.


Waters went on to write:


Take time to consciously connect with your spirit, for within that experience is the remembrance of the feeling of trust for the flow of your life.


Enjoy the wave that is your life but remember that underneath it all you are also the deep ocean.


Feel the depth of your being.

That will make such a difference.

It's the simplest way to live.


With love, Marlane

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