top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa

When a Wave Comes Go Deep

When I was little we used to go to the local beach which was mostly quite rough for us to swim in, but we loved it anyway. We would go in and hope that we would not get “washingmachined” or that there wouldn’t be too many waves in a row. I still remember when I was taught how to dive under the waves, that was quite the revelation. There is a distinctive flow beneath the wave especially in waves that haven’t been broken yet as the vortex guides you with a single swoop.

Funnily, although I would always try to make sure not to get water up my nose and to keep diving under the waves, sometimes, when the ocean would be gentle and I didn’t get thrown around I would miss something. So right before leaving the beach, I would dip my head into the sand to make sure that when I get home to take a shower that night my head would be getting a nice sandy scrub – I loved that sensation.

When I was first introduced to the metaphor of the wave in the context of mental health, I was immediately intrigued. It reminded me of the feeling of being underneath a roaring wave, feeling its power and yet not being tossed violently.

When it comes to change in life, pretending the wave isn’t there used too be my primary coping strategy, I would compartmentalise so successfully that I actually didn’t feel the intense emotions at all, because “it wouldn’t be useful, or rational to get overwhelmed by this”.

I had a lot of success with this method, when it came to being functional in the world, it allowed me to be extremely adaptive and dependable, but I felt perpetually depleted and often had resentments build up inside. The depletion would come especially in those moments in between when there was no big “obstacle” to transcend. So I would wander off into imaginary lands, imaginary relations, imaginary futures and face “obstacles” there that I could transcend. This probably activated certain hormones too, that I felt I needed, to not feel the aches, exhaustion and sadness inside.

Instead of going deep I wanted to hover over it or just turn my back to it. I didn’t want to feel. Often this method would mean that finally when the wave did hit me, I had not sense of direction only swimming to survive. This is something that no longer serves me.

For me 'going deep' means: Knowing the wave passes, embracing its power, being immersed in the motion without losing my sense of direction, and experiencing the movement with my whole body.

I no longer want to compartmentalise, instead I dedicate myself so wholeheartedly to my personal purpose, so that each wave is a chance to transform and become.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page