Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Riding The Waves

This is my first blog for a few months. Did you miss me? It’s OK if you didn’t, our email boxes are so full these days.

I have been away surfing – not the kind of surfing that includes beautiful palm tree-lined beaches, or tropical heat. The emotional kind of surfing that is required to navigate big life events. Three months ago my family experienced a “perfect storm” of challenges. Over three weeks both my elderly parents were hospitalised with major health problems, and my husband was involved in an accident which also required hospitalisation. Big stuff that necessitates dropping out of life for a bit.

As we all worked on recovery and adjustment to our new normal when I had moments to reflect, one of the things that struck me is how fundamental our habits are when it comes to riding out the waves. Are our habits supporting our wellbeing?

Do your everyday habits sustain you and build your resilience? Or do they add to your depletion?

The midst of a crisis is not the time to try to establish healthy new habits or break old unhelpful ones. However, when we come up for air between life’s waves it is important to consider what you can put in place to support your next surf.

When I reflected on some of my (G-rated) habits I was able to see those that supported me:

– a commitment to move my body daily
– daily meditation and gratitude practice
– a healthy breakfast
– reading to relax in the evening
– music that soothes
– working out what my priority is for that day – even if it is as simple as to breathe deeply
– maintaining strong boundaries around my work life

Some of my less helpful habits (those I am willing to admit to) got in my way:

– chocolate when stressed
– disconnection from those around me
– becoming “super-efficient and officious”
– trying to control the uncontrollable
– holding tension in my neck and shoulders
– tendency towards perfectionism
– shouting at my kids

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

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The more life I experience, the more I am learning to trust in my ability to surf life’s waves and remember the cyclical nature of life’s challenges. The tides in and out, the moon waxing and waning, the seasons cooling and warming.

So maybe you might consider … when life bowls the next big wave in your direction, how will your current habits support you? Are any due for a review and change?

Past blogs on habits and resilience to explore include: the Resilient Practitioner, Dancing in the Rain, Creating A Strong Foundation, The Power of The Pause, Five Overwork Patterns You Can Stop Right Now.