Thursday, May 13, 2021

Helping patients to “surf” life

In counseling, we use a lot of metaphors to explain abstract concepts and ideas.

I have never really surfed before but I suspect that mindfulness is analogous to centering in surfing.

And to continue with the surfing theme as a metaphor, then leaning to the left may be analogous with “zooming in” to fix, and leaning to the right is “zooming out” to let go.

So like in surfing, when faced with a problem, we need to centre, know when to lean to the left, and when to lean to the right to keep on moving forward without falling. Expect to fall often and get back on the board again to restart.  The more we practice and do, the better we “surf” life, and the less we fall. Each context and wave is going to be different dependent on weather, location, tide and other variables. The process is dynamic. Life is dynamic. 

Many patients we see are good/okay with fixing, but may not be so proficient with centering and “letting things go” when required. It’s like a surfer who only knows how to lean to the left.

It’s no wonder we have a lot of problems in the mental health space.

Often mindfulness and acceptance are the two key missing part of the puzzle. 

If one is proficient at mindfulness, skills to fix, and skills to let go of the unfixable, then life should be pretty enjoyable to surf. 

If one doesn’t have one or more of the skills above, then life surfing will become a bit frustrating. 

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