I wanted to acquaint you with a new book I am writing. Its title is The Wave: Navigating Life’s Currents.
The mystery, randomness, and freeness of ocean waves (high and low tides, riptides and undertows, crests, swells, murky waters, etc.) serve as a metaphor for an expansive life path that closely parallels surfing or riding waves.
The book explores how we can meaningfully navigate the currents in all aspects of our lives—work, love, friendships, parenting, aging, sports and performance, and creative endeavors, and enjoy the many gifts that follow.
Formidable wave “barriers” such as control, judgment, fear, denial, high expectations, limited thinking, and unclear boundaries are examined together with wave “enhancers” such as trust, acceptance, humility, and intuition.
Below is an excerpt from The Wave. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and experiences about riding the wave.
If you wish to be kept abreast of the book’s progress and receive future excerpts, please email [email protected]
And remember to,
Let It Go-and Accept “What Is!”
” When you observe nature for any period, you can sense the presence of a natural process or rhythm. You may notice it in the way leaves fall from a tree, gently floating down to form eloquent patterns on the grass. Or as I first did, watching the way ocean waves build, crest, flow and change course in an endless variety of movements.
At such moments, we sense that the life force or energy we are experiencing is unpredictable and unknowable yet has an innate and vast intelligence all its own, one well beyond our capacity to understand.
We also realize that, as mysterious as this universal rhythm is, we are a part of it.
I refer to this rhythm as the Wave or life’s currents. It is intrinsically truthful and cannot be controlled or manipulated. It just “is”, and though it may feel ancient, it is always present.
There is a noticeable cohesiveness to it; a harmony of co-existence; a wisdom and mystery waiting to be discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson poetically described this rhythm of truth as:“There is a guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word…Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into you as life…then you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”
Before that day at the beach many years ago, I had no inkling of such a guidance. I had been too engulfed in futile battles and engagements.
Today I feel the comfort of its presence when I sit in my back yard early mornings, listening to the cheerful medleys of song birds and the cooing of doves, watching the branches of my magnificent olive tree gently swaying as they reach toward the sky, and the ground squirrels scampering around its limbs.
Indeed, I feel it in the stillness and solitude of nature most anywhere; when I hug an oak tree; inhale the strong aroma of eucalyptus leaves; or watch colorful humming birds darting from flower to flower.
I also feel it most of the time when I’m painting or channeling verses that occasionally lead to poems.
I have come to learn that the more I am able to live my life in harmony with this natural rhythm, or ride the Wave, the more I am able to discover solutions to my most pressing and troubling concerns and enjoy the unplanned, spontaneous moments in life and marvel at the beauty all around me.
That is not to say that the rides are always smooth or easy, or without low tides and riptides. I tumble often. The difference now is that it is not for as long or as severe because I am more aware of how and why I slipped and have learned some ways to return.
Like Emerson, I believe “there is a guidance for each of us.” It is up to me to lowly listen and place myself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom. Writing this book is part of my endeavor to do that and I hope encourage readers to discover their waves.
It also is to remind me that I am not the only wave in the ocean and that I need to accept, respect, and honor the waves of others, lest I find myself “making waves!”
As expressed earlier, for me the metaphor that comes closest to the vision of aligning with this natural rhythm are ocean waves. The mystery, randomness, and freeness of waves closely parallel the expansive life path I am seeking.
Think about bodysurfing in the challenges you face. There will be a great variety of waves, some building up quickly and crashing mightily, others cresting more gradually and lasting longer. Some will simply vanish. Many will change course.
We have no control or influence on their patterns, paths, and frequencies; we can only be patient and alert as we await them.
As soon as one crests near us, we extend our arms, swim a few strokes, and try to glide with it. We make adjustments along the way, if needed. If we encounter turbulence, which we often will, we can protect ourselves; for example, wrapping our hands around our head if we are forcefully thrown asunder, or pulling out of the currents or diving beneath the waves.
Much of the time, though unpredictable, the ride will be smoother and often enjoyable, and at times even exhilarating. And the lows not as severe or as long.
In a similar vein, consider how experienced surfers engage and ride waves. First, they patiently observe how the waves are building and developing near them; when they sense there may be a good–and safe—one to ride, they paddle toward it, aligning their boards with the cresting wave; if it looks too strong or dangerous, they pull out and wait for another; if it looks good, they quickly paddle some more, hop on their board, and begin their ride.
Surfers accept that the waves, and not they, are in control; that they can easily be sent flying off their boards into crashing waters if they resist their flow. They know, however, that they can enjoy exhilarating rides by aligning, and gliding, with the waves.
It is easy to discern the practices and attitudes that are essential for skillfully and safely surfing or riding waves: awareness, observation, acceptance, patience, humility, trust, instincts and intuition, and the willingness to surrender or let go of control.
It’s not as easy to discern the practices and attitudes that obstruct riding waves: control, arrogance, high expectations, judgment, denial, limited thinking, and fear.
We will see in the pages ahead that the very same factors, or wave “enhancers”and “barriers,” strongly impact how we navigate our currents in work, love, friendships, parenting, aging, sports and performance, and creative endeavors.”
END OF EXCERPT
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Loved it and the whole metaphors.Flowing sentences and easy ti wrap my head around. Looking forward to reading the next bit. Most of the poems I try to write align woth thus idea so I agree. Though application of this concept is the most difficult. Words I loom forward to reading.
Thank you Nancy for your kind words. I agree the wave concept is challenging to apply. It’s a matter of practice and progress, not perfection, and greater awareness of its benefits helps a lot.
Excellent! I look forward to reading the rest of your book. This is it ride the waves this is pretty much the direction of all of our lives in these trying times However there is always good you can find!
Thank you for your comment Tina. I agree that there is always good we can find and my hope is that The Wave will help people find it easier.
I found the excerpt beautifully written and rich with much I can understand from my own experience. Thinking some about how the metaphor of the surfer and wave relates so well to connections with people – some brief and some enduring- not something we control but we can join in the flow or struggle against it.
I recall my interest in college in Henri Bergson and Nikos Kazantzakis and the view of the current of a life force in which we swim.
Thank you for your kind words Martin. I like what you say about the connections with people. I, too, have experienced both brief and enduring connections with friends and others. Recently renewals from the past seem to be flowing my way, bringing great enjoyment. Regards, Danny
I love this metaphor! As I have grown through life, I too have noticed the patterns and rhythms of life and how to go with them. I used to “try” and “struggle” and “push” – and find life becomes more rich when I let go and align with the energy of the moment. Beautiful!
So well expressed Nijole. Thank you. You allude to the struggling and pushing many of us have experienced in our lives. In The Wave I refer to these as “Wave Obstructors,” which also include high expectations, denial, judgment, fear, and limited thinking.
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