We love the flow of life when all is in movement and ‘up and running’. We exchange metaphors of movement in our conversation which represent a sense of aliveness. “Let’s get moving” is an expression for encouragement as is “make it happen” or “just do it”! These words motivate action and accomplishment.
“Keep at it”
“Keep it going”
“Get in the flow”
“All motion is cyclic. It circulates to the limits of its possibilities and then returns to its starting point.” ` Robert Collier
On the other hand, when we hear phrases such as, “Hang in there,” “Wait and See”, “Be patient”, “See where it goes”, Ride it out”
During the time of the ebb, life may not be as comfortable for some as it is being in the flow. It may be a simple ‘introvert’/extrovert’ distinction. A true extrovert would find it challenging to wait for the flow to return. What to DO with all this time? How to just BE? “Waiting for the shoe to fall.”
In a love relationship, the ebb may seem like forever. Rather than waiting it out, we begin looking for the smallest opening of time to love. Feeling each emotion in the present moment, brings us back into the flow. Until then, here are ten tips worthwhile waiting.
TEN TIMES in the Ebb: ideas for purposely passing this time more productively, positively, and patiently:
Clean and organize your closets. Getting rid of old things that are cluttering up your space, allows you to feel a new sense of clarity and freshness both internally and externally. Making a bag of throw-aways and give-aways brings an ethical awareness of sharing with others in more need and also letting go of a scarcity mentality that lurks in the back of our mind telling us to save every little thing.
Practicing Mindfulness by becoming the observer of your life. This helps to de-escalate over-powering emotions like fear, dissolution, discouragement, or insecurity that creep into the ebb times and take over the space. Mindfulness offers a breath work technique that anchors us in the present moment. It keeps our mind centered so as not to carry us away in negativity.
The space in the ebb can be a home to beautiful creations or old historic debris.
Learn to bake with health consciousness. Baking is a nurturing act of creating a hearth of warmth and nutrition. While in the ebb, learn about your own self-healing. Learn the foods that your body needs for its optimal nourishment. So often, food is taken in while on the run. We grab and go, rarely noticing what we are eating. We miss the sensory experience of eating and feeding ourselves with foods that our bodies are craving for health.
Baking also involves the hands. The hands are an extension of our hearts. Taking time to knead and blend brings the ingredient of love into our food. We become intimately involved in our nurturing process.
Write…Journal. Period. Take a special notebook or a napkin and write whatever comes to mind for 15 minutes each day. Try to do this at the same time so that it becomes a way of life. Writing creates mental movement and brings about the change of tides in a timelier manner. Avoid correcting your writing. Keep the ‘stream of consciousness’ in motion. Write until the time is up or go on longer. Keep the movement of pen to paper of finger tips to keys.
Make jam. This is a sticky, hot, messy, yet precise process. One must be focused on each step and time each step accurately. Again, we are forced by the nature of the task to stay in the present moment. We learn to work with our own sticky situations, with our own messiness. How do we clean up our messy situations? Working in the ebb brings up the sticky spots in our lives where we may need to do some clean up. Detail by detail, step by step, we complete the process and enjoy the benefits of the sweetness in life. We capture the ‘sweetspot’ in each jar of jam and celebrate the beautiful sound of the ‘ting’ as each jar securely seals and setts. Then, we can breathe, relax and admire the success of creating sweetness. Where else in our lives can we clean up a mess and contain our sweetness?
Discover a new hobby. What did you enjoy as a child? How did you spend your time? I loved making potholders as a child. Mow< I enjoy weaving. There are endless possibilities of colors, patterns, and textures to explore. Get lost in your own creativity.
Learn a new dance or expression. Dancing releases endorphins in the brain while the movement balances our left and right brain hemispheres. If you can walk, you can Tango! Perhaps, country swing calls your name? There are countless videos that offer lessons in all dance steps from Hula to Lap Dance! Take a risk and express yourself fully!
Do Yoga. Yoga poses and yoga breathing brings us to the present moment like nothing else can! We are balanced and focused BODY – MIND – SPIRIT in the NOW.
Watch new or old movies. Take this time to get away from your own world. Usually, we will identify with a character in the movie or a theme that shares a lesson relevant to exactly what we need to see and hear. Trust this synchronicity to take you to a new perspective.
Spend time in nature. A 10 minute walk in nature lifts your mood. There’s something about the fresh air and the smells around you. The trees draw us in to them. You can even “Hug a tree”! A Native American ritual tells us to hold our hearts close to the tree so it can take away our sadness or grief.
These activities are of course inspiring, motivating, and healing in themselves and can be done at any time. When going from the ebb to the flow, the activities will follow you right into the changing tides. The ebb is making the time and space for integration to take place. Once internalized, the activities move naturally into the flow and become a result of your BEING instead of DOING from a panicked urgency to try to BE or become something you are not. The ebb allows us to get comfortable with ourselves like curling up in a big cozy chair with a soft blanket. We return to that feeling of being swaddled and protected.
Janet M Ver Fine Ph.D.