When You Are Tumbled by Life’s Waves


When you are tumbled by life’s waves,

you don’t get your bearings – 

as in ‘you return’ to where you were;

you start over from where you are.

The struggle happens when we attempt to return to our original spot – usually moving against the current to get there.  We exhaust our entire beings, insistent upon our way. 

Peace happens when we realize we are in new space and if we open to explore it from the point where we landed (were tossed into) we can lean into flow and that current continues to move us forward.

My current journey is all about learning how to bring elemental energy into my physical body, daily life, personal space.  This interests me because so many practices of presence are done outside of our current physical space; yet, we are human beings living here on physical Earth, it’s as if we are ignoring half of our essence.

When we bring our practices ‘home’ we are naturally amplifying our ability to feel peace and to create with possibility. 

Elemental energy is familiar to me; there are universal principles and order to the cycles of organic growth. As I explore “how’ to bring it into daily life, I learn in physical ways.

I was in a space of energetic uncertainty – feeling like I was releasing and embracing quickly, not knowing where any of it would lead – so I brought it to Ocean; choosing to body surf with my daughter on a gusty wind/high surf day. My intention was to physically feel ‘tumbled’.

As we stood on the beach, feeling wind and looking at the waves, I was a bit afraid of the power of the elements  but, I know Ocean well, so I was also very trusting. That trust got me into the water, despite my fear.

I know with certainty if I lean into flow, the wave will carry me to shore. I also know with certainty, if I struggle, I will be tumbled.

Whether I am carried or tumbled is not Ocean’s choice, nor is it personal – the quality of my experience is completely dependent upon my trust in flow and my choice to lean in or resist.

I enjoyed riding the waves. I loved the feel of being carried!

Until…I looked at the next wave – it looked super big and my mind said  ‘oh, shoot this wave has potential to hurt me‘….and I was so busy being afraid that I forgot to lean in. Instead I dug in my feet and I stood strong and….

I was tumbled – head over heels, rolled a few times under water; I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t stand, I scraped my knee on the ocean floor then I was pretty much tossed out onto the sand.

It sucked. It hurt. A lot.

It could have been avoided had I simply stayed in ‘love’ with the experience.

I wanted to stay in the water and I really liked my previous spot. But I had been carried so far away from it I would have had to swim against the current to get there. It might have been possible but it would have been ultra-challenging.

Or….I could simply walk out a few feet from where I was (this new space) and start over from there. Still in love with the process, still tapped into flow, just in a new space.

A bit bruised, but that inspired me to lean in, even when I was afraid. And I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day!


right after I was tumbled…

this is about as natural as it gets!

Dear Reader: What is your experience with being ‘tumbled’ (either energetically or physically)? Do you prefer attempting to return to your previous space or to create from the new space you are in? And how does your preference feel? (when you share, you inspire)

Thank you for your presence! 

Much peace and abundant love,


Walk Your Heart Path with Joy: Exploring and Experiencing Peace and Possibility in Daily Life opens July 18th (my birthday – yes!! – a perfect way to celebrate ‘heart-path walking’). Registration is open now – there are 16 spaces left: is one of them yours

I Believe in Magic: *Free Summer Sampler* will run from July 13 – July 26, 2014. The theme of this free photo journey is organic growth and blossoming. Registration is open now – come join in the fun!

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Comments on: "When You Are Tumbled by Life’s Waves" (9)

  1. Joy, Thank you for sharing your story. It is a beautiful example how fear can transform into TRUST.

    I had a similar experience while visiting my brother and his family in Maui several years ago. We were all joyfully taking in the wonders of the ocean, when suddenly, we saw a huge wave came our way, and the next thing we experienced was the ocean floor being removed from under us. We were submersed in what seemed like 50 feet of water. I could see my sister-in-law bobbing around in slow motion, occasional one of my body parts slammed onto the floor, and the entire time, I was drowning in thoughts of, “when will I be able to breath again … will I be able to ever breath again?” What made this experience even more intense was the fact that my brother was under the violent water, holding his naked, 3 year old son in his arms.

    We all survived physically, yet we all have been scared in one way or another. The reality is, as in life, no matter how deeply we become summered in our fears, our overwhelmed, and uncertainties, there will be a time when we can breath again.

    • Thank you for sharing your energy, Eydie!

      The first synchronicity is that I *love* Maui and wish to live there someday – that you could have mentioned any other place in world, but you mentioned *Maui* speaks directly to my heart!!!

      The difference in our experiences is that I knew the waves were surging and I wanted to feel that power. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be ‘taking in the wonders of the ocean’ then ‘swept away’! Your brother holding his young son is akin to us holding a new dream….

      And, this is so powerful *there will be a time when we can breath again*! Often, when we are in a vulnerable space, we hold our breath or we say something ‘took our breath away’; remembering to breathe, fully – and *trusting* that breath will be naturally available offers hope, peace and possibility. Thank you!!!

  2. Jean Sampson said:

    If you HAD leaned in instead of “digging in”, would you have experienced less tumbling and bruising, Joy? I am not very familiar with the ocean, but I was tumbled when I was a child and alone at my uncle’s cabin on the Potomac River which has tides and everything. Scared me to death and I remember getting sand up my nose. I did not let that happen again! :)

    • Yes, Jean, if I had leaned in, it would have been an intense ‘ride’ but I would have essentially been ‘surfing the wave’ instead of being tumbled.

      I think energetically we are sometimes afraid to be tumbled so we might choose to ‘play it safe’ in areas that if we only ‘leaned into’ we would find and experience abundant joy and peace, beyond what we knew possible.

      (I don’t like sand up nose, either!! *grin*)

  3. “Never turn your back on the ocean.”

    Google brought me to this website:



    When I was around Kevin’s age (12 – 17) Pacific Beach was my favorite body surfing destination. I was in a group of guys that met through out the year to catch waves together…from nice form high tide beach break during the summer to the larger further out winter storm break. On days that I did not go to school I delivered my newspapers on my bike…ran to the beach with my fins…caught the morning break…then got some hot cinnamon rolls from the bakery only a block away. One must always have “respect” for the ocean because it is a force way more stronger than us and can be very unpredictable. When a huge wave was about to break in front of me I would dive deep to the very bottom and let it’s energy pass over me. It is always good to have fins because if one gets caught in a rip tide and is carried out pass the surf zone one simply needs to swim either left or right parallel with the beach a little bit and then catch a wave back into the shore. ‘Boomer Beach’ at La Jolla, Ca. is a great place to watch some expert body surfers during a large winter storm break…kinda like going to ‘The Wedge’ at Newport Beach, Ca. Some years ago this couple that our family were acquainted with through business went out at night during a winter storm on the sea wall that protects ‘The Children’s Pool’ not far from ‘Boomer Beach’. They did not see the large rogue wave that broke over the wall and were swept out to sea…the lady drowned…can’t remember about her husband?

    Have fun Joy but be respectful…

    • Thank you for sharing, Rand. I am glad that you enjoyed the ocean as a child – this is wonderful energy to experience *let it’s energy pass over me*, you can tap into that any time you wish!

      We have local stretches of beach where pro surfers practice and compete. I have a deep love for and experience with the Ocean – from sailing and living on it to body surfing, kayaking and kite boarding in it. I understand fully the power of Mother Nature and Ocean and I love to intentionally play with/immerse myself in that power – it reminds me in a physical way who I am and what I am made of.

      There plenty of stories about people who are hurt (in all areas of life); we can choose to allow that to amplify fear or to inspire us to create a ‘different story’. I hear of injuries monthly from my local friends – but their (our) passion and the pure joy of play far outweighs any fear. I am sorry about the woman and her husband – my prayers go out to their family.

  4. A fun ‘Boomer Beach’ website:


  5. Esther Kim said:

    I love that Eydie mentioned Maui! That is a synchronicity for me too, because I actually wanted to also share a story about getting tumbled in Maui! And I am like you Joy, I want to live in Maui. It was my favorite Hawaiian island… it felt like home to me. It really has such a special place in my heart!

    I was meandering in Paia, and saw there was a beach right by the town. I found a strip of beach in the middle where there was practically no one, other than a naked couple, which inspired me to get naked too. I was playing in the water and the wave came and tumbled me and spun me several times. It was really fun though! I did it over and over again and felt like a happy little kid. I was probably kind of surprised at first, though, but it ended up being a rather delightful one. I guess this is one instance of how I just let the flow take me wherever it took me. Hawaii made being in the flow pretty easy. :)

    Ahh, this is giving me more hope about my Hawaii dreams!

    • I am smiling as I read your words, Esther – the synchronicity of Maui, the ‘more hope’ about your Hawaiian dreams – I don’t always know ‘why’ I am nudged to share what I do, but I can see why this article was written (so many different responses!).

      I love that you felt so free and joyful – as I read your words today, I turn that inward – an invitation to gift myself that freedom and joy in a fun way, on a day I designated a ‘work day’. It feels like you listened to your heart and experienced a wonderful adventure (from being in Maui to the swim and tumbling you shared in your words). How wonderful – thank you so much for sharing!

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