Surfing the waves of life

wave of life

A friend recently shared a popular quote she’d read in a mindfulness book (sorry I don’t know which one to credit the author).

“You can’t stop the waves of life but you can learn to surf”

I thought of it earlier while out for a stroll. It was a beautiful calm day, the tide was coming in and the waves weren’t particularly big. What was for sure, though, was that they would keep on coming whether I wanted them to or not. That’s how it is with life. We can’t control the external world and our life events, we can only embrace it all as part of our experience and choose how we react. Much of the stress in our lives comes from trying to do the opposite, from trying to find a way of controlling the waves when, as the quote says, what we really should be doing is learning to surf.

So how do we learn? What happens if the waves seem too big, we don’t know what kind of board we need or the best techniques to find our balance? What happens if we’re already exhausted from trying methods that don’t seem to work? What if we feel swallowed up by an incoming tide and relentless waves which just seem to get bigger and bigger as our own strength and resilience diminishes?

Some people, through natural ability, can become excellent self taught surfers, but most of us will need some help. If we decide to take up surfing as a sport, we’ll most likely seek out a surfing coach who can help us stay safe as we figure out what works best for us out there on our board. We’ll also need to know when it’s too rough to be out there on our own.

I like to think one of my roles, as a coach and therapist at Shetland Resolve, is to help others take a bit of time out, from the day to day stresses, so they can learn to ride the waves of life with better balance.  

If the waves seem too big, or we’ve been struggling in the surf on our own for too long it’s okay to reach out for some help. 

Sometimes we might wish for everlasting calm instead.  But then, without encountering the bigger waves we’d have no contrasting experience to appreciate the calmer seas when they come.

To find out more about life coaching call me on 07502223839 or email me at

Thanks for stopping by :-).

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