Lessons in Turbulence from Water

20th November, 2014

We all experience occasional turbulence. Some thrive on varying degrees of chaos, riding one wave to another enjoying the very process of change, whilst others seek greater stability and sameness in their lives. Fluctuation is both: healthy and essential – like a heartbeat. In the ups and downs of daily existence: challenges we perceive present opportunities for learning and growth, a chance to become more compassionate, more creative and more resilient; whilst each moment of good fortune offers the chance to express joy, gratitude and a sense of freedom.

There are so many lessons we can learn from water and if we take time to watch and listen: our lakes, rivers and oceans can act as our teachers, demonstrating their ability to harness energy with an acceptance of the changing tides, reflecting storms or calm through a variety of colours, motion, pace and intensity – acting as a reminder that we all (individually and/or collectively) naturally possess resources such as strength, flexibility and fluidity of thought and action to “flow easily with” and “lean into” our experiences.

Everything is a system:

Interconnected and Entwined.

For tides to rise and fall there is a reliance on a range of external forces, our rivers flow with the terrain and our lakes are fed though the earth and sky. A healthy ecosystem enables us to thrive and if we care to, we can choose to take responsibility for our actions on land and in the water – after all a pebble tossed into the calmest of lakes creates ripples far beyond the extremities of the immediate body of water.

Nothing operates in isolation… and whilst we are each individuals, we have collective guardianship of each other and the planet. One raindrop can appear to make little difference, yet “rain” can provide rejuvenation or devastation in equal measure. We are all susceptible to the impact of our external environment and at the same time we in turn impact upon it, so we can each take steps to tread more lightly.

The vertical face of a wave holds immense force appearing to defy gravity and yet the energy created in raising a significant body of water produces such vast potential that progress is inevitable. A once heavy water mass shifts form arising from the ocean with an explosion of pure energy surging forwards propelled by each new wave. At the peak of a wave, its curved lip reveals a new palate of blues, greens and whites, there is a freedom, lightness and ease where opacity meets transparency, the emergence of clarity from confusion and a sense of direction.

When things feel heavy, showing the generosity of heart to welcome “wonder” and “awe” like long lost friends can lift the spirit creating the space required for forward momentum. Within confusion often lies creativity and our impatience can be turned into excitement – enjoyed as part of the ride. Enthusiasm is a power to harness as it provides “the stoke” for our endeavours, and when addressing our challenges and paddling courageously, gaining external support enables greater buoyancy.

During transition, changes in energetic direction and form occur, much as waves harness power by drawing back before surging and breaking, retreating in order to advance, sometimes for us the route to “flowing” is to first “ebb”. We gather spirit, focus and direction though slowing the mind and taking the time and space to be grateful and to recognise our potential and the possibilities available to us before translating these into action.

Like swell, subtle or extreme, our progress (and perception of progress) can vary in pace and intensity it could be simply a shift in thought, externally invisible until the ripples this creates permeate into much wider influence.

Why love water?

Among numerous other reasons including basic survival and the many Wallace J. Nichols has begun to explore and share within Blue Mind:

Because it has so many lessons still to teach us. Whilst we talk about protecting the environment it would be helpful to remember – We ARE the environment. We can all be more considered in the ripples we create and more sensitive of the waves we make – we can all be more water.

Links to Explore

Surfers Against Sewage:  Eco warriors protecting our waves.

The Blue Gym: Scientific research into the positive impact of natural Blue Space.

Mellow: A beautiful track by Reef, for the ocean minded.

About Lizzi Larbalestier

Professional Blue Health Coach, mBIT and NLP trainer specialising in coastal coaching. Creating meaningful conversations, facilitating action and change for the results that you deserve. #bluehealthcoach #oceanempathy #bluemind