Watch this short video, and as you do so, fix your eyes on the reflection of the sun in the water. Now notice the froth that floats past it continuously.
I filmed this last weekend as I sat by an estuary in the Lake District. It struck me that the passing of the froth, never-ending and steady, some of it larger and some less in size, represents the events that occur every day in our lives.
I locked my eyes on the reflection of the sun in the water and, in doing so, the froth became a ceaseless stream of activity that floated around it and over it, but never changed it.
This became a metaphor in my mind for anchoring ourselves - the true, core 'us' - versus the relentless stream of 'life' that happens all around us, day in, day out. The situations and challenges, the people, feelings, emotions, thoughts and behaviours are endlessly occurring, from the moment we wake up until the minute we drift off to sleep, and even then, they continue to take place but in our dreams. We are never without stimulus and activity.
But beneath all of this, sits you. Just you. The you who was once a small child, the you who holds values and beliefs close to your heart.
The sun in this metaphor is you.
Anchoring ourselves in this way can be reassuring and help us to not get swept away by big feelings or turbulent periods in our lives; it helps us remember that when we are in the eye of the storm, we are still us, we will come back to 'us', we simply need to let the froth float past, as it needs to.
When we don't attach to big emotions, mistakenly believing that they represent us, their significance is reduced instantly - instead of powerful feelings taking over and defining us, they simply become transient in nature; just feelings, words popping up in our heads, or situations that are forever dynamic, unfolding, moving forwards.