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The Inevitable Ebb & Flow

Happy Sunday Educators! We are already about halfway through the second month of 2020, can you believe it? I don’t know about you but this year has certainly started off with a bang and shows no sign of letting up. Hang in there. President’s Day is coming soon. And if your district doesn’t grant that day off, let’s start the countdown for Spring Break! Just kidding but not really. Sometimes just knowing that a moment to exhale is coming gives you the extra push needed to make it through the present. If that’s the case, why not name the moment and use it as inspiration?

So, how has the year been going so far? If you set goals, intentions, etc., are you finding yourself moving in the direction that will take you there or are you struggling to find your rhythm? Wherever you are, I would venture to say that it is all part of the ebb and flow of the process of life. There are times in life when everything seems to flow. The conversations land just right. The lesson goes almost as planned. The family situation works itself out. The person we were thinking of reaches out. A challenge dissolves without much effort on our part. I can go on and on. The point is that when we are in the flow, we know it and it feels like we have the Midas touch. And then there are the ebbs. The dreaded ebbs when life seems to move in slow motion and everything requires a bit more exertion both in thought and in action.

The definition of ebb means to recede or to fall from a higher to a lower level or from a better to a worse state.

Another reference can be a point or condition of decline. Often times we may begin to question what we’re doing wrong or why life has taken a turn for the worse when we are in the ebb but a question to consider is, can we truly have a flow without an ebb? And would we ever really appreciate the flow without the work and the grind of the former? Maybe it’s possible that the ebb is not a sign of life gone wrong but one of entering a new season which promises to help shape us and teach us lessons that can carry us into the next chapter. It may offer us an opportunity to recover from the temporary high of life and find a context that keeps us grounded and relevant to the people and challenges that surround us. It can serve as the reminder that we are indeed human and there is always more to learn about how to ride the storm out and tap into the internal fortitude that we have but may have forgotten to access.

I used to wonder where I went wrong when I found myself in an ebb season or moment. I’d retrace steps, actions, decisions, and question how I found myself in such a place. I’m starting to wonder, instead of questioning how did I get here, maybe what should be asked is what can I glean from this space? What space might this situation be setting me up to occupy in the future? And how can I ensure that when I move from here, that I have collected every gem that was embedded within the experience? Maybe relishing and appreciating the ebb is the ticket out of it and maybe…coming out of it, almost unscathed. Maybe...

I recently listened to an interview of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, by Oprah and he talked about one of his ebbs when he was in a particularly challenging time in his life financially. He looked in his wallet and counted out 6 dollars and some change that amount to almost $7. At that moment, all he had to his name was 7 bucks. Clearly his situation is different now but he has never lost sight of the perspective that experience granted him even as he's gone on to be one of the highest paid actors. His company is named "Seven Bucks Productions" and serves as a reminder of his journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Are you in an ebb right now? If not, enjoy the flow and keep this post in your back pocket, as an ebb is sure to come. If so, try taking a step back and watching yourself in this space and determine...what is the lesson or the opportunity that exists in this moment? You can emerge from this season better and wiser than you went in. The growth is there for the taking and the ebb is going no where so go for it and make it count.

How's this sitting for you? I'd love to hear so drop a comment if you'd like.

In Solidarity and Love,


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