The Ebb & Flow

The Ebb & Flow

Posted by Cambria Connell on

We have so little fatih in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom.  - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “Gift from the Sea"

I wasn’t brought up religious.  Or very spiritual for that matter. But as a teenager, I began to search for something more, for a deeper meaning to this life. I started to find that meaning in music, books and poetry, and particularly in moments of silence with just my thoughts and a journal. I was especially drawn to any writings that discussed this idea of the light vs the dark, the yin vs the yang, the ebb vs the flow. As I got older, I dove deeper into this topic in my yoga practice, which eventually turned in to my yoga teaching, and it became a recurrent theme in my classes. 
The Ebb & Flow of Life
The ebb and flow of the ocean is constant- as the tide flows in, it will naturally and inevitably begin to recede again. This is a perfect metaphor for life.  Life has it’s up and downs; not all days will be great, but not all days will be bad either.
There is a natural give and take to life - a push and pull, a rise and fall, much like the tides. Life flows with excitement, positivity and power, but it inevitably and naturally recedes, can be challenging and rough. 

We are in a constant state of change and fluidity. It’s learning to ride the waves - being able to stay calm and know the tide will come back in again, that empowers us.  Taking the good with the bad.  Because the more we fight and struggle against this ebb and flow, the more we lose out on the beauty of life.  

Life’s challenges always give us an opportunity to learn - to learn more about ourselves and how we deal with daily life. I believe our best life can be found in our ability to learn how to adapt to the curves life throws us - how to remain calm in the eye of the storm. If we can find stillness and be fully present, there becomes enough space for us to remember that when life ebbs - it will certainly flow again.

Weathering the Storm
This is no easy task! However, there are definitely ways to find inner some peace in the face of adversity - ways to ride that storm. Here are some ways I've found that help:

My greatest gift has been in discovering my breath. Remembering to pause and take a breath - in fact, 10 breaths is sometimes all I need in the moment. 

Yoga has taught me to be present - there is so much power in knowing that this moment is all that ultimately exists.

Wearing inspirational words on my jewelry gives me a visual reminder to to pause. I wear the word “soften” on a bracelet. Whenever I feel stress or angst, I look down at my wrist and every time, without fail, I relax. I drop my shoulders away from my ears and breathe- the storm will pass.

Never forget the inevitability of the tide - the tide will turn.  It always does. 

What helps you weather the storms? 
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