If I had to describe everything with one phrase – life, love, relationships, inspiration, existence, the world, the universe… I would graciously choose “ebb & flow”.
Merriam Webster Dictionary describes ebb & flow as “used to describe something that changes in a regular and repeated way”. From the way the tide falls back & finds its way up at the front of the shore every single day to our good & bad days as human beings, our world is in a never ending ebb & flow pattern. Based on perspective that can be a comforting fact or something that terrifies you to no end. Perspective can be changed.. keep your mind & heart open.
This post has been sitting half finished in my drafts since I first realized the prevalence of ebb & flow in everyday life & I am so excited to finally have it published. I was compelled to go a new route with my photos for this post today, using ones from the most beautiful session I have ever done in my photography business, Wander Photo Co. These photos were taken in a gorgeous Utah canyon of my sister & her best friend before he left for two years out of state.
You might not give two hoots why I chose to go this route but I am going to go ahead and share anyways. I have watched their journey from a semi-inside, semi-outside perspective for years & I truly believe it has been the perfect demonstration of ebb & flow. I couldn’t think of a better set of photos to use for this post. Cheesy, I get it, but I like cheesy.
Let’s face it, sometimes, the ebb is much longer than the flow and/or the other way around & we don’t necessarily notice this correlation, but patterns are all around us, we do not escape them.
I know what you may be thinking, so before you get defensive let’s use an example: someone who is the child of years & years of any sort of abuse, can they break this ebb & flow pattern? I think YES! We can always break patterns & habits, simply by filling them with healthier alternatives. The ebb & flow is always there, no matter how longer between cycles, no matter when/if we swap them out for new patterns.
Now, on a simpler day to day basis I wanted to share my experience with ebb & flow and how I deal with it.
I think everyone experiences life and emotions differently. I am on the spectrum of those who feel so so deeply & thanks to therapy I have become quite introspective about where my thoughts & emotions come from, how to cope with them & all that other fun stuff that comes with healing. It was around the time I first began therapy that I realized how prevalent ebb & flow was in all aspects of my life & soon after that I realized how prevalent it is everywhere.
I ebb & flow hard core when it comes to feeling inspired. For so long I fought upstream so hardcore when I was “ebbing” & milked out every bit of inspiration when I was “flowing” & that is truly exhausting.
So with that, here are my tips for you my friends!
For when you are “flowing”
- Embrace it.
- Fuel it, positive people, music, books, podcasts, etc.
- Take advantage of it, work on as many projects as feels comfortable to you in this time so you can make the most of this flow without burning yourself out.
- The above being said, do not overdo it, respect the pace you need to work at to stay healthy.
- Reward yourself, however that looks for you, for being productive.
- Journal, remind yourself what this mindset looks like.
- Inspire others when you are in a flow, share your energy with those around you both online & in person.
- Soak it in, take a few moments to get introspective, thinking about what helped onset this flow so you can try to use it to boost yourself back when you begin to ebb again.
- Share your gratitude for this flow with the universe, the energy you put out comes back ten fold.
For when you are “ebbing”
- Embrace it.
- Remember that it will pass, your feelings are not permanent but they are valid.
- Recognize the signs that you are entering an “ebb phase” – for me this usually means writer’s block, exhaustion, lack of patience, slow decline in motivation & more intense feelings of depression. Once you become familiar with these signs you will be able to embrace this phase in a healthier way.
- Recognize that this is your body & soul’s way of saying you need a break, there is no shame in slowing down/taking a break to recharge.
- Allow yourself to rest, to fuel, you are adding to your life bucket, even these not so great times may fuel future inspiration/projects.
- Don’t push yourself, the inspiration will come back.
- Don’t be afraid to seek inspiration outwardly when inward doesn’t feel so great. Keep reading those positive books, listening to that positive music, surrounding yourself with positive people & listening to positive podcasts, etc.
- Get outside, stay active & eating healthy during this time, not giving into the feeling of wanting to do nothing will help this ebb pass quicker.
- Give yourself as much self care time as possible, an ultra recharge will boost you back into a happier place.
- Remember that an ebb isn’t always a dark depressed place, it can simply be complete exhaustion or frustration in your work, learning what this looks like for you is vital to recognizing when it is creeping in.
I know many of these tips are the same on both ends & that is my point exactly. As much as you must continue with a healthy mindset & lifestyle you also must switch your mindset of how you are utilizing these pieces of your spiritual/self care arsenal.
Just a few extras to get you going:
I have had a handful of people ask me about the “positive inspirational podcasts” that I haven’t shut up about so I wanted to share those. I only listen to a few podcasts so I certainly need more, (let me know your recommendations) but what I do listen to is pretty intensely amazing. My number one is Awesome With Alison, (I die because every book she recommends is always one that has been a life changer for me, ie I listened to her most recent podcast right after posting this and she talked about The Alchemist, super cooooool) I am a regular listener & when I need extra boosts I listen to an episode or two of The Balanced Blonde Soul On Fire podcast (Jordan interviews beautiful souls who have set on the path the sets your soul on fire, giving awesome tips & getting you pumped to take on life). I also have been thinking about launching a podcast for the last year or so, so keep an eye out for that, it is a possibility in the future! Until then, I have been using twitter to share those inspirational thoughts so feel free to check me out there.
As for readings, I highly recommend:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz,
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne,
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (a bit abstract but I read it in high school & understood so you got this)
I Am Here Now, The Mindfulness Project (more of a workbook but really great)
Much love my friends, until next time.