• Jessica Hayden, PhD

Ride the Wave

Updated: Jan 26

The past four years have been quite the ride. I left what felt so comfortable to dive into the abyss of the unknown. This journey has brought me to places in my soul that I never knew existed. Some days I ride the waves like it was something I was born to do, and other days the waves just crash all over me, throwing me to the ground, pummeling me in the surf and sand. I’m not alone, and my challenges pale in comparison to those of others. I am lucky and I am privileged, I know this. The universe continues to test with it’s fierce and mighty power, and I am often left wondering, “what is the lesson?” Time and time again the answer appears, “Be here. Be now. Be kind. Be curious. Be grateful. Be open. Be discerning. Be easy on yourself. Be patient. Be you.”

We get tangled up in the day, in others’ drama, or the scenes we create in our own minds that have been shaped by past experiences. We make assumptions about the behavior of others, jump to conclusions, allow fear and regret to throw their punches straight to the gut and we get stuck. It’s difficult to stay in the present moment and allow ourselves to feel and just be. The stillness can be terrifying, and the urge to distract or act is strong, like an addiction. It’s so easy to just take a sip of whatever keeps us from feeling instead of just sitting still and noticing when those urges arise. It is so hard to sit in the space between, the unknown, and just be. Riding the wave is a skill most of us haven’t quite mastered, and some of us have never even been taught.

Be here.

Put down the device and connect with those you’re with. Sense in to the people around you, notice your surroundings.

Be now.

Don’t allow your thoughts to drift into the future or the past, notice what surrounds your being. When you notice the appearance of those thoughts, imagine them passing by, like a sailboat. You don’t need to get on that ship. Let the emotions come and go, feel into yourself.

Be Curious.

Check the facts

When my brain is overactive and I begin to jump to conclusions, I need to check the facts. I ask myself- “is that a judgment, a fact, or a belief”. I may not have enough information to make any type of informed decision, and it’s important to ask questions or observe my surroundings, before allowing myself to spiral down that rabbit hole.

Is this thought helpful?

When the self-doubt, self-deprecation, and shoulds creep in, I ask myself, “is this thought helpful? Does it offer a solution?”

Be open.

When I allow the chains of fear and doubt to wrap around my heart, I close myself to the many opportunities that abound. The act of being vulnerable breeds connection, I would rather connect with someone for just a minute, than to have never had that human experience.

Allow yourself to receive and to indulge in the joys of life. Allow yourself to be curious, to engage in new experiences. Be open to possibility-even though it may feel a far reach.

Be Discerning

Be open and at the same time, be discerning. Not all are welcome to swim in your depth, be aware of the disingenuous, the lost, the cunning, the energy suckers. Only those who appreciate and reciprocate are invited to share that sacred space. Have boundaries, protect your heart.

Be grateful.

Gratitude is a practice of being appreciative for all of what touches our being. What are you thankful for, what have you learned?

Be easy on yourself.

We are human. We are real. We make mistakes, we’re still learning. Be easy on yourself. Kick the shoulds to the curb, stick your fingers in your ears and nah nah nah those thoughts that bully your beautiful being. Be easy on yourself-nurture that which is still learning.

Be kind

Kindness is contagious, pay it forward. Thoughtful acts or gifts can make someone feel so special, we never know how our acts of kindness imprint on the heart of another, causing a chain reaction of good. It feels good to do nice things for others.

Be patient.

Sit in the discomfort, resist the urge to act, observe. Be patient with others, for you know nothing of their struggles. Be patient with yourself, change and growth doesn’t happen overnight.

Be you.

So many times I have put on a mask to impress another and have stifled the flame that keeps me aglow. There is so much freedom in being genuine and real. I have noticed that I attract those who I want in my life by being my true, goofy, deep, loving and vulnerable self.

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