Oceans are like our minds – never still. Each moment there is a wave, and then another and another. Continuous. Sometimes the waves are strong; the force of the wind creating friction and great crescendos of water then crash with immense power. Between each crash are moments of silence, broken quickly by the next harsh impact. The ocean bed gets stirred, agitated, and the waters become cloudy, murky with slush, and manmade garbage.
And at other times the waves are gentle, caressing the sea with the bubbling froth; calm, allowing the sediment to sink down, the water becomes clear so that the treasure of the seabed can be discovered.
The ocean is not made up of waves – it’s made up of water – it just has waves.
It’s like us – we are not made up of our thoughts, we just have thoughts – and like waves – right around the corner another one comes along. Apparently we have between 12,000 and 80,000 thoughts each day! Out of all these thousands of thoughts which ones do we hold on to?
Great surfers understand the nature of waves– Before entering the ocean; they study the surf and identify any hazards or obstacles. They paddle with purpose and choose the appropriate ones to surf so that they can enjoy riding the waves. They have either been trained or explored through experience what the right waves are.
Sadly we are not born with a manual as to how our thoughts and minds work. We go along life surfing the wrong waves and getting frustrated, putting lots of effect and energy into building these up. These swirl round and round in our mind…and just like the large waves, our minds become cloudy and we can get hurt. And these thoughts we have – we make up! That’s the ridiculousness of it all.
I was coaching a young lady recently who shared that she had been hating a person from her past. Her mind would focus on this hate and she felt like a victim. Through understanding how the mind and our thoughts work, she immediately realised that she was doing this to herself. The other person had no idea even that she hated them! She just let those thoughts go, just like a wave disappearing onto the shoreline – gone forever. And when her mind was clear, she had a lightbulb moment and could see the treasure within her – What a huge shift in her way of thinking – awesome!
We all have thousands of thoughts going through our head each day – and that’s all they are. Thoughts.
We can often get confused that the reality of our experience is based on circumstances outside of us. However, if you think about it (no pun intended) our experience comes from our thoughts; just our perception.
Realising that we are experiencing life through our thinking means that if we experience thoughts that are not useful for us, (and we are the ones choosing whether they are useful or not!) we can just let these thoughts slip away, just like water through our fingers. There is nothing to do – no meditation, no mindfulness, no turning the negative into positive – just let them go. Another thought will be just round the corner – just like the waves on the ocean!!
Lindsey Reed is an experienced coach and trainer who enables people to transform their lives and be their best selves. If you would like to work with Lindsey, contact her either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01832 280168 for a chat to see if she is the right coach for you.