Waves are the ripples of the hard work that came before

This quote came from a thought in my head, an original fridgesays quote!

It may be because my horoscope is a water sign, that I’m a summer baby or that I live not to far from the sea but I am at home in water. I like to drink it, have bubble baths, swim, scuba dive, paddle, play, or just watch the tide…for authenticity, I don’t enjoy washing up.

Tidal waves are magnificent; the push and pull from the moon, the swish and swirls of the lapping sea as it consumes the beach in one big mouthful and then spits it’s out in a repellent manner, white foam bubbles around my toes as I timidly paddle (I’m based in the UK so even in summer the sea is like an ice box). I remember the first time I body boarded in Barbados (much warmer) and got to grips with the rhythm of the sea and where I needed to place and angle the board…hard work but so thrilling as the sea lifted me and catapulted my body to the shore effortlessly. I was addicted.

When you are working hard with a positive intention, when you know the purpose of the task at hand and aren’t doing for how it makes you look. When working hard helps others, then much like the ripple of a stone landing in a pond of still water – you can quickly see the ripple effect around the centre of where you put the action in.

I believe that when you apply hard work for the correct reasons, the ripple goes well beyond your knowing. Perhaps in time the ripples get larger or even less defined – they are still present and working for the greater good.

I once taught a sixteen year old girl in school who decided to increase her grade. She threw herself into the process fully even though her predicted grade was far lower, she wanted to take law at ‘A’ level, later through her career she wanted to help women like her mother who had struggled following domestic violence. She had a clear goal and so she threw herself into her studies and we revised daily – she would come to me for practise questions, take them home, bring them back and I’d mark them. She wasn’t happy until each question was better than the last. When it came to sitting the exam she was as calm as a tranquil lake, she knew what she had to do and I knew she could do it, how could she not?

This isn’t a suspense novel, so much like you thought – she smashed it. Her ripples went on to move her closer to her goal and now she has just completed her first year with a firm that advocates for the very cause she first threw her rock into the pond for. No doubt the action and clear vision she had at sixteen is still having a ripple effect today and everyday she helps victims of domestic violence be heard and seek justice.

The ripples don’t end in that pond, she inspired me beyond belief, her peers had nothing but praise for her and of course her mother wept on results day when she moved her grade up by four and got full marks. I retold her story and other pupils became intoxicated by the ripple effect. You see we don’t always see the full effects of our actions – she may not appreciate the gratitude of families surrounding the women she will continue to help, the pupils in younger classes who I shared her story with – perhaps even you will somehow be caught in the motion of her action. For you, this post won’t feel like hard work but flow – it may inspire you to take on a similar goal or to apply it to something aligned with your purpose, you may share this post with others and the ripples will continue.

Remember, hard work is just the first step but the legacy lives on beyond the furthest ripple.

Find your flow or drown.

Quote by Whatmyfridgesays.com

An original quote that came out of a chat with a dear friend. Some people plan every inch of their lives, others float through life like a piece of drift wood…I believe that the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.

As always, balance is the key to surfing the waves of life. I personally find that when I make plans God likes to turn up with a tsunami and my life becomes a wipe out. However, its good to have some idea of where you are going, what you would like to achieve and perhaps watch the waves as they come in and select which you’d like to ride.

Another friend of mine recently spoke to me about how’s she is making a conscious effort to listen to her intuition, that inner voice that the world often tries to drown out. It doesn’t always lead you to the best wave, but often I’ve found it takes you to much smaller rewarding moments that build up for a more meaningful existence. I found this when job hunting, whilst I thought i’d found the ideal job and completed the application, that led me to an advert for a dream job that I wouldn’t have found where I was previously looking, its a little like a coast line – sometimes you walk a little further than you thought, find a cave, its leads to another opening and bam! Life gives you a private lagoon that wasn’t on the map and you couldn’t of planned to have seen.

The sadder side of the quote is drowning. In this instance I’m not talking about death, that’s at least has a conclusion. It’s seeing people walk around drowning it bad decisions, scared to move so the waves keep rolling in. Perhaps they ‘make do’ with a relationship they are in, stay in the same job because ‘its easy’ …. easy is arm bands.

Arm bands are cool, in the 80’s I had the standard luminous orange duo with a slight pink tinge due to the sun. They kept me afloat and were a lot of fun for splashing. My Dad even taught me to swim down to the deep end with them. I attempted a few dives but the arm bands got in the way, the edges scratched me and when I jumped in they did a fine job of repelling me across the swimming pool above the water, which isn’t the desired affect of a dive.

Dad made the bold decision to remove the arm bands…I was ever sceptical and had a logical fear of drowning. He then taught me to swim under the water. I loved it.

Don’t drown in life. I also highly recommend arm bands, but at some point you also need to move beyond them. If my Dad hadn’t of made that decision I would never have swam with Turtles in the Caribbean Ocean. I’d never of snorkelled in the Maldives or body surfed, Id never of felt the thrill of a jet ski and perhaps never tried parasailing. In the future I’d like to try paddle boarding, beyond my arm bands is a ‘sea’ of opportunity.

Where am I going with all these aqua metaphors? Well, to sum up we all need to take life or in this case the sea seriously. Its hazardous and the phrase ‘worse things happen at sea’ is true. BUT to thrive we need need to take risks, try new things and find our flow. Sure, every now and then we will need someone to throw us an inflatable ring, a life jacket or even alert the coast guard, but if we find our flow and take things as they come…we may just find joy in seeing how beautiful the ocean really is. If you are drowning, ask a friend or loved one to help you. Fish swim in shoals for a reason.

You must be shapeless, formless, like water.

Quote / poem / thoughts by Bruce Lee.

Todays post is inspired by Bruce Lee, before I ramble – id like to share the piece in its entirety.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Simply beautiful.

I became aware of these words as I listen to the GABA podcast (and urge you to do the same), during a live on instagram Adam the creative and talented creator of GABA usally shares a reading, poem, lyric or thought before a meditation sound bath…one of them was the Bruce Lee reading above. It taught me two valuable things.

The first was to let go…truly let go. Today I had no idea what I would achieve, I let go of constructs such as time – we ate when we were hungry (so much simpler), at the back of my mind I repeated to myself a new mini mantra ‘be like water’….the time we have now, albeit unknown and at times concerning, is also a blessing for me personally. Grounded to home, time with my boys – a blessing that I’m also aware could be snatch back to school runs, work schedules, traffic jams and to do lists at any moment. However, through my days water experiment I found far more joy in the now, zero stress and bizarrely I was more productive. Perhaps opening ‘to do’ tabs of the mind, answering emails in under six minutes (the average response time to an email in 2020) and being productive, is ironically time consuming and unproductive?

We took ourselves off for walks amongst the bluebells (thank you Mother nature), connected with loved ones through various technologies and my sons home schooling happened much more like a running river than a mother (me) juggling and trying to overachieve whilst walking on hot coals and simultaneously smiling. It gave me a deeper sense of connection and gratitude for the simple delights of life and I’m addicted.

The second thing Bruce’s words taught me were about collaboration. Adam obviously had scribbled them down because they resonated with his creative flare, in turn he shared them with his audience and gave me inspiration for a blessed day and as many more ‘be like water’ moments and days as I can flow into my life, this is turn inspired me to write this piece….and once again, creativity seems to bring a sense of calm, restorative joy and flow to life.

I should probably wrap this writing up with a bow, a witty line or perhaps a single sentence… or you could just listen to Bruce, be like water and perhaps you will leave the confinements of being squeezed into a plastic bottle and will indeed find your own flow.