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Ebb and Flow of Life

The days move past me quickly as I wake up to another.

I move in and out of meaning each day

Distracting myself with the mundane

And wowing myself with the brilliance

Of connection with plants and friends and love.

It’s like breathing with the ebb and flow

In and out connecting with the inbreath

And distracting with the outbreath

My distraction sometimes hurts me

When I fill my life with tv stress

And I sleep with my teeth clenched holding

My distraction in my body all night

My choice I remind myself and

I can change my distraction

Into something that is easier on my body

Easier on my mind. Easier on my heart

For I am in charge of my ebb and flow

I am in charge of my resilience

I am in charge of my mundane

And I am in charge of my brilliance.

The following words by Anne Morrow Lindbergh are reminders that life is constantly changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, but our challenge is to have faith in the journey. I found this on this blog.

“We have so little faith 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 that 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…
Intermittency—an impossible lesson for human beings to learn…
Perhaps this is the most important thing: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid….
One must accept the security of ebb and flow, of intermittency.”

Participants’ Reflections:

  • The ocean means so many things. There is a brief moment before we breathe out. The ocean is like that. Life is like that, people come into and out of our lives. Being in the ocean is the closest feeling to being in the womb.

  • On my hike this morning, I was thinking about tides as a metaphor. Breathing and tides have a powerful link. They are about constant change, something to embrace. I think about muscles tensing and releasing. We would like things chiseled in granite, but we have to embrace change.

  • Last week, my dream group spoke of oceans. I liked the word “Intermittency”. Ebb and flow, creating spaciousness for self, for the inner teacher flowing. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about the idea of flow. In flow, we are not aware of time and absorbed in life.

  • This is always an amazing metaphor, the ebb and flow of life. I held a polished nautilus during my ordeal this week. I had bought four and gave the others to close friends and family. The nautilus has the golden ratio. The constant phi is the golden ratio. It repeats, it is a constant change which is an oxymoron. I held it tightly for one hour, I think it helped. I could feel people holding me in love.

  • You were holding a truth, it is inspiring. You stayed present in the now.

  • I thought of the sine curve, the ebb and flow. I thought of a bumper sticker “life is a sine curve.”

  • My friend’s daughter is in labor, I’m feeling her energy. It feels like now, the ebb and flow of labor and giving birth.

  • I thought of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda of the Siddha Yoga tradition. She wrote an article about breathing. She spoke of the pause between the inbreath and outbreath. It is the spark of life, the momentary pause holds the essence of who we are.

  • During the meditation, part of my mind was telling myself to let go, and I was dropping in and out of thoughts. Then asking myself “am I present now?” No, not if I’m asking myself.

  • We build that muscle to pull ourselves back to the now when our minds wander off.

  • I am craving the ebb and flow of movement. I want to see sunrises and sunsets. After the rain, I was expecting a glorious sunset and wanted to go see it, but my dog is old and can’t more around. I knew it would be a challenge and so I am limited on what I can do. I am pre-grieving things. I am caught in the middle.

  • During the meditation, I tried to use that deepening idea from the meditation the other day (see July 8 post). It was difficult to do but I worked at it. I was reminded of the Third Step Prayer where it talks about ‘relieve me of the bondage of self.’ It is easy to accept things when they are going well (the flow), much harder to accept things when they are not going well (the ebb). Living in acceptance is relieving me of the bondage of self.

  • I was triggered from past trauma that is still very present and feeling very sad and anxious. But I felt comfort by the caring, safety and community in the group.

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