Feeling, observing, and experiencing waves of emotion

I’m in Hawaii, and I've been here this morning just sitting with the ocean and watching the waves and really thinking about how much we are like the ocean.

How much our emotions are like the ocean and how we have these waves that come, peak, and pass. And they come in and they peak and they pass.

But for some reason, we get the idea that we’re supposed to do something about them. Rather than just allowing the emotions to come in and peak and pass, we try to stop them. We have rules about which are the good waves that are allowed and which are the bad waves that are allowed. And we bemoan when the ocean is stormy. And we relax when it’s calm.

But the ocean itself, and this is what we can learn from nature, the ocean itself accepts all waves. And allows them to peak and pass. And come in. And peak and pass. It doesn’t fight them. It doesn’t call some waves “good” waves and some waves “bad” waves. It accepts them all and allows them to flow.

So I’d like you to think about that. Think about how your life might be different if you could be more like the ocean. And just allow these feelings, these waves of emotion to flow through us, rather than thinking, oh my gosh, I got to do something to stop that feeling. Or I have to restrict it in some way. Or there must be something wrong with me because I’m feeling things so strongly.

Does the ocean say, oh there must be something wrong with me when it gets a little stormy? No, it just allows. And it knows that it will pass. So imagine if we didn’t have to think that oh, we have to stuff them somehow, or use food to distract ourselves from the different waves that come up. If we could really appreciate how much we are like the ocean. And how we have so many different kinds of waves. What if we allowed them all. What if we said there are no good waves, and no bad waves? All waves are allowed here.

And that we can just allow them to pass through — and accept that our nature is like nature with a capital “N”. And that we don’t have to do anything to get rid of our feelings. We can allow them to come in, peak and pass. We don’t have to agonize over how this wave is better than that wave. We don’t have to compare or measure what size is that wave? How big is it? We can just allow. And what if, just for a short period of time, you tried that?

You tried just being. Being with your own inner ocean. Being with the waves that come in and pass through it. See what difference that would make when you’re not fighting life. When you’re just feeling, observing, experiencing — without judgment. Accepting every single wave that comes in and flows through you.

Even the uncomfortable waves, they will pass. And as we have found out, even the most pleasant exquisite waves, they pass, too. But what’s left when they pass? It’s you. You’re still here. You’re still here. You’re experiencing and feeling the feelings, rather than turning to eating or food behaviors or food restrictions or exercise addiction or thinking that I have to run from these waves … or I have to fight these waves … or I have to stop these waves …or these waves mean something is wrong with me.

What if they could just be?  How peaceful might your life be?  If you were able to just stand there, be with the ocean, watch the waves as they come in. And know that this is your Nature. There will always be waves. They don’t have to be something that you absolutely have to get rid of — and if you can’t that means something’s wrong with you.

So be with your own Inner Ocean. And see how that is for you. Just try it for a short period of time. Be still. Sit. Watch the waves. Feel the waves. Notice the waves. But don’t judge the waves. They are your Nature. They are the nature of humanity. They are the way life is. As Byron Katie says, if you fight life, if you fight reality, reality always wins.

But what if you can be with them? And even, appreciate the beauty. Even appreciate the excitement. Or the diversity. Or the contrast — that your waves, your waves of emotion can bring you. So that you don’t have to do whatever it is that you’re doing with food, or fat or dieting or weight obsessions to distract you from the peacefulness that is really always there. Always there with the ocean, waiting for you. Waiting for you just to be still for a moment. So that you can be with your own inner ocean.

So, how can you feel, observe and experience your waves of emotion without judgement? Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what this brings up for you.

Till next time,


  • Wow Dr. Anita that was so amazingly beautiful and zen. It felt like a meditation listening to your soothing voice with the rhythm of the waves in the background especially when your dog appears! I felt like I was back in Hawaii. Thank you!
    I love being in tune with nature. I need to allow my emotions to come and go without running to food and other obsessions.
    Your message is just what I needed to hear to encourage me to relax and let my emotions be part of my life without harsh judgement filled by frantic action. Perfect message. Thank you!

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