Let’s admit it—the pace of life nowadays can be hectic, overwhelming, and relentless. As millennials in this fast-paced world, we balance work obligations, responsibilities in the home, and never-ending to-do lists.
Sometimes it feels like duties are multiplying quicker than we can complete them. We can’t ignore these responsibilities, as much as we’d like to, so we muster every ounce of strength and just keep swimming.
The Relentless Waves of the Mediterranean Sea
Whenever life feels relentless, it reminds me of swimming in the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The waves rise and crash with such frequency that I can’t keep up. I remember the first time I entered into this salty sea! After I recovered from one smashing wave, I assumed I’d have time to relax and watch the sea-foam bubble.
But, here came another wave.
And another one. Relentless.
The Mediterranean Ain’t No Pacific
The Mediterranean is totally different from the Pacific Ocean I grew up swimming in.
I remember the slow, deliberate, and strong rhythm of the ocean. The waves were powerful and authoritative. “Don’t mess with me, just roll with me,” they seemed to be saying. They curled in at a low frequency and unfolded gradually, like a slow-mo instant replay. As I treaded water out in the ocean or sat waiting on my surfboard, I’d have time to catch my breath and get my bearings before the next wave came lumbering in.
Watching each wave gain momentum and height, I had time to asses how to approach it—whether to dive under and dodge it, or let it raise me up in all its majesty, and ride it out. The calming effect of the ocean’s rhythmic push and pull was addicting.
A Wise Mamma Once Said…
Obviously, though, the ocean wasn’t always so smooth and forgiving. One time, after a fierce wave mercilessly pummeled me, pushing me down for quite a while, my friend’s mother offered priceless advice:
“If you get pummelled by the wave,” she said, “don’t tense up your body. The more you fight the surge of the wave, the longer you’ll stay under the water. The energy you put into trying to get to the surface will be wasted. Instead, loosen up your muscles, let the water knock you around, flow with it, and when the wave calms down, you’ll end up at the surface quicker.”
At first, I was surprised. But upon internalizing her advice, it made perfect sense!
Even years later, as I adult, I still aspire to live by her simple wisdom.
Have you noticed that when you’re stuck in a horribly unpleasant, intense, or frustrating situation in which you’re absolutely helpless, and you stress out and tense up, it doesn’t help, and it can even make matters worse?
I easily get lost in the murky landscape of stress-land; the more I stress the more I get stuck in its muddy waters. Getting stressed out definitely does not improve a bad situation.
Whether you are in a two-hour line at a bureaucratic office, your car got a flat tire, or you just took a look at your meager bank balance, remember this wise mama’s words:
Take a deep breath.
Relax your muscles.
You will get out of this situation, and it will get better.
Surrender to the situation.
You aren’t giving up, but you are letting that all-powerful wave take its course.
Flow with it.
You won’t be a pro-chiller right away, but practice does make perfect (almost).
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction maintains that, as individuals, we have the unique power to attract positive or negative energy into our lives based on the thoughts we generate.
The late, holy Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov spells it out quite clearly for us: “You are wherever your thoughts are. Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be.”
Simple, but a lifelong challenge, a process.
I strive daily to integrate this mantra into my life. In an age of multitasking and relentless responsibilities, I aspire to focus on what I am doing in the moment, and get in the zone, rather than worrying about what needs to get done in the future.
It’s definitely a work in progress.
Each thought we have affects the negative, positive, despairing, or joyful way in which we approach our own lives. “You are wherever your thoughts are. Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be.”
So we can choose how we fulfill our own prophecy.
Take one wave at a time, and relish in riding that sweet wave.
And if you have no choice, because the next wave is already crashing on you before you’ve had time to catch your breath, loosen up. You’ll float back to the surface faster, stronger and ready for the next wave.
Chana Azimov Chana strives to maintain inner chillness while juggling her two bright-eyed young'uns and her content writing career. She's a fresh-air enthusiast, an avid athlete, and a passionate yoga-practitioner. She enjoys eating gourmet home-cooked food, working on home-improvement and self-improvement, and whenever possible, a refreshing dip in the ocean.