Why We All Need to Float This Fall
I re-read a quote on social media, appropriately viral since 2020: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” (originally said by Jon Kabat-Zinn) And honestly… I felt annoyed.
But what if I don’t know HOW to surf?
And nobody has ever taught me?
HOW am I supposed to learn?
What gear is even required!?
I understand the sentiment, and I’m all for mindfulness (the original intent of the quote) but the sense of responsibility and required skill for surviving this year’s continued tsunami is just TOO. MUCH.
“Best to keep drifting,” I thought.
It got me wondering about this drifting feeling… that such a passive-sounding sentiment is actually quite active. Did you know that in order for something to float MAJOR forces are at play? First, the object has to take up space. Then once submerged it has to disperse the water, and THEN the combination of gravity and buoyant force keep the object at the surface.
The actual act of floating, drifting, and being buoyant holds complexity. It can become temporarily submerged, and ebb and flow with a particularly strong wave… but WILL resurface. The act of not drowning, of drifting, is a verb and is active. Necessary for its continued existence.
Besides, nobody can surf a tsunami.
What does this have to do with therapists in this season?
Please give yourself permission TO DRIFT. The waves are going to continue to come, they’re already here, and are likely to not cease for some time. AND you are here. You take up space. You move the water around you. And you float. Drift. Be. Embody the tension between buoyancy and gravity and stay. In calm waters to rest, and then moving with the waves that inevitably come. Even tsunamis do not last forever.
The image in my mind has shifted from being passive driftwood, to a mighty vessel. Dear Reader, as you drift you are nautical and harnessing forces, just by your very being.