Photography by Lynne Bentley-Kemp
Slack Tide: Surrendering To The Peace Within
This past week I’ve been going for my morning walks by the ocean at sunrise. And each day I see the same gentleman lounging on the sea wall. He has 2 bags full of his belongings and when I pass him and turn to smile and nod hello, he looks away, like a person seated next to you on an airplane that simply does not wish to engage. I notice that he positions himself to face the rising sun at first light. The look on his face is one that I can only describe as a look of surrendered peace. I began to contemplate the idea of surrendering to the peace within. We all have this inner peace but it seems too often to be covered with various layers of concern, worry, anxiety and “hurrying through life” attitudes.
As I contemplated this surrender being mirrored to me by my sea wall friend, I saw the ocean, standing completely still. Not a ripple in her. Just clear, serene glass on this most incredible, ordinary morning. As the sun peeked over the clouds and mama moon began to release her stage, here we were; me and this homeless man, him reminding me of what I’d temporarily forgotten: let go into your own inner peace. And if that weren’t enough, I suddenly realized why the ocean was so still. There is a time each day when the tide is not going out or coming in. The water is completely unstressed for these few moments each day. Soon enough, the direction shifts and there is movement again. But for a few glorious moments in time each day, there is stillness in the ocean; a surrendering to the peace within. You can’t make this up. There I was, laughing and crying and saying aloud, “I get it great spirit, I get it. Thank you!!”
I have heard a Buddhist teacher say that the mind is like a glass of muddy water. If you do not disturb it, the mud will settle to the bottom and the glass will be clear again. This reminds me of what I have been feeling these past few days; a slack tide in my life and an opportunity to let the mud settle to the bottom of my glass and to surrender.
Many of my clients and friends, and myself included, can attest that this time of stillness has brought up a lot of emotions. As I sit quietly with not so much to “do”, I am left with the question of who am I when I’m not doing? I am left with all my attachments and fears around not doing and just being. Questions like: “Will it be O.K. if I’m not producing in my life? Will I still have support? Who am I beyond the out-going and the in-coming tides of my life? Will financial prosperity continue to flow through my life?”
What comes to me is this: when the tide is going out in our energetic fields, we plant seeds, start projects, make connections, etc. When the tide is coming in in our energetic fields, we receive, we open our arms and say a big prayer of thanks for all that is flowing toward us. And when the tide is slack or still in our lives, we can surrender the action and float, we can look up at the sky and feel the breeze and watch the birds soar. After all, what’s the use in fighting the tide? This is a great time to sit still and be in gratitude for all that your life offers you. Remember, the questions, fears, concerns and worries that seem really valid are simply your own mind trying to control the future. But just as the ocean trusts her own rhythms, so must we trust ours. Enjoy the mirrors that life provides. After all, these mirrors are everywhere and simply placed, by our higher selves as little reminders of what we once knew and will know again: peace, surrender, trust and love my friends, that’s all there is.
May all beings benefit!