5 minute read

Riding the Waves of Change


A few months back I remember listening to bestselling author and meditation teacher Jack Kornfield’s podcast. He spoke of a poster that he saw when he was in Santa Cruz many years ago. It was of Yoga Master Swami Satchidananda. The Indian religious teacher was wearing a loincloth and standing in a yoga posture called tree pose, with one leg up and his hands over his head. He was balancing there on one foot. Jack went on to say that this wasn’t anything unusual – except he is in this pose balanced on a surfboard, riding down a very large wave. Underneath it says in big letters, ‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’ This feels like life itself.


“It’s true, we cannot stop the waves of change; they are the very fabric of our lives. Yet we can learn to surf, to be aware, to balance. Then our lives are no longer based on fear, and the state of balance itself becomes a way of living with beauty and ease.” – JACK KORNFIELD.

Lately some folks have asked me, “how is it that you are so damn happy all of the time?” “And how come it looks as if all of these changes don’t seem to appear to have hit you?” “Don’t you have off days?” The truth is I have many! Today is one of those days, and on these ‘kind of days’ I understand that it’s in writing, or getting outside and breathing in and out consciously that helps me the most.

It’s in the witnessing of the restlessness where I have the chance to get back online. Online with the beating of my heart that I’m so grateful that hasn’t ever given up on me yet! Love is what heals, and by becoming gentler with myself while becoming present to the ‘off-ness’, I usually have the chance to bring in balance and calm.

Our humanity unites us and I think there is a natural inclination to want peace. This is a time to come together, pay some visits with our collective fears, uncertainties, hopes and dreams. To do this, I have decided to have a practice around being happy for the simple things – the birds’ song, the trees moving in the wind, and hearing kids play in the neighbourhood. Inside these simple moments lies the heart of humanity and the love of all beings. Every sound, every taste, touch and feeling, becomes a life worth living, realising that although the yoga postures are important, they are truly just one aspect of the bigger picture for growth and healing.

Through being mindful of the body, tension need not be made bigger. Pain in the physical body can become less and less as awareness is brought to the areas that need more breath, acceptance, and unconditional love. A new way of being is born, but it isn’t so much new, as it is a shedding of sorts, being the parts of us that perhaps were never us to begin with. Healing isn’t something that can be forced as it creates a division within, and an uncomfortable feeling inside. I find that the moment I accept something as it is and forgive myself for not being at peace, my non-peace feels seen and heard. In surrendering and being present with my off-ness, I don’t go into selfsabotage mode leading myself down the path of despair. Once I’m feeling more compassionate with myself, it trickles down to the folks around me. Have you ever noticed that the gentler you are with yourself, the easier it is to be you and live in the 1440 minutes in the day?

No matter what happens, our soul will never lose any of its luster. We will always be beautiful spirits having this wild and crazy human experience. The big question is, “How are you being asked to grow?” And, how are YOU riding the waves these days? For me, there are moments of the highest highs, and out of nowhere lower ‘feeling’ days of growth and grief that knock on the door to visit. So, although there is a lot of the root chakra fear stuff going around, the enlightening moments are there too.

Fear and love seem so far apart at times where it hurts. Here is what I do know… I am still a work in progress. I am not fully wise. I am contributing to the well-being of the Earth by healing parts of me. I am exactly where I am meant to be with hidden blessings that have not yet been revealed and some days are just plain better than others. Yet overall, I feel my best when I am not jumping back to the past or moving fast into the future. Being attentive to the simplest things in life (to me) is a life well lived.

My every day is about to consist of large amounts of time home-schooling my children, as living here in Northern California, we have been in the Shelter In Place mandate since March 16th. Having a regular routine of practising yoga, meditating, chanting and being out in nature as much as possible is what I’ve been self-prescribing myself in the hopes of healing all the negative stuff I’m feeling and seeing.

The waves can be challenging to ride! Fast and furious at times. What seems to help is also sharing my feelings with dear friends whom I know will always be there. Community is everything and to make the effort to connect is important. Hang in there human family, we will get through this! Don’t lose hope! Sometimes it is quite helpful to get a perspective on how far you have come. Have you come to any deep realisations? Have you had some time for reflection? Perhaps give yourself permission for some reflection for a few minutes a few times in a day – to clear and re-boot the mind into the heart’s energy. I sincerely hope that you are getting through these days and are leaning into learning more about who is really inside. Thank goodness we have each other! You are not alone! This time in our lives is valuable and if at all possible, try not to numb yourself away from what you’re feeling.

The majority of us have been given the chance to slow down and the others are fighting for their lives, caring for the sick, stocking our shelves, picking up trash, delivering mail, and driving trucks so we don’t ever run out of the essentials.

If you have been given the chance to re-set don’t waste a single minute, after all, these days of our lives are bringing us so much closer together than we have ever been.