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The Wave Riders® Frequently Asked Questions

The Wave Riders®

Paul Burke talks to Patricia Indigo Irwin about her new book.

Why did you write the book? Where did the title come from? the high feels really good but we cant stay there can we?

This is a revised edition what's the difference between this book and the original?

A person has been diagnosed bi-polar and their first reaction is I am damaged goods, what do you feel about that?

Depression is the low point of the wave have you experienced depression first hand? After going through depression what do you think of depression?

I understand that some people don't have time to read a book

The book has lead to the program that you have available - where can we get more information on the program?

This is a revised book, when was the original book written?

You're talking to people who are bi-polar, would you advise people to go off their meds?

Teach Me To Breathe Intro

I thought you had to be really manic, running naked through the streets to be Bi-polar. How do I know if I might be a Wave Rider?
This is one of the greatest misconceptions. I believe that most of us are Bi-polar at varying levels. After all, doesn't the word bi-polar itself, mean that there are two poles? Our poles happen to be up and down and sometimes we are in the middle. Most people think that to be bi-polar you have to be extremely strange or hallucinating and violent. Not so!

Most bi-polar people are intelligent, creative and pillars of our society. They just don't know that they are bi-polar. They do great things in the "up state" and work very hard. It differs to simple depression in that almost as many men are effected as women. It is often hard to decipher as men are taught to act aggressively in business so they often feel this is part of the normal business day. Wave Riders at some point over-extend themselves. They exhaust themselves and they feel listless and depressed. This can happen mildly, and infrequently or it can be TRAINED to happen with extreme energy bursts, many times in one day.

Here are few items from the list of things that are common with Wave Riders, from The Wave Riders book.
You do not have to have all of the items listed to be a Wave Rider. You do not have to have severe attacks as they may almost be hard to detect in the early stages. These effects can start as young as ten years old or maybe not until you are past middle age. Generally speaking, most Wave Riders have an assortment of the items listed, and also have periods of what appears to be normal activity.
  • You sometimes feel like you cannot shut up. You need to talk to someone almost obsessively.
  • You have times where you over-spend, over-eat, over-dance or drink and do drugs. You find something in an attempt to maintain the "up" state.
  • Sometimes you get a lot of energy and you can multi-task at an amazing rate.
  • You sleep too much or too little.
  • You feel that nothing interests you and wonder why you cannot enjoy life like other people do.
  • You feel outside the crowd, somehow different.
  • You sometimes think, for no apparent reason, that people don't like you or that you have done something wrong.
  • You have periods of high energy and can go for days or months with little sleep.
  • You have periods of low energy and you think you and your world are useless.
  • You may or may not have thoughts of suicide, yet you can smile in a crowd.
  • People call you a go-getter, a mover and shaker!
  • You are intelligent or creative (though many of us do not believe that).
  • You occasionally feel like you have all the answers for your friend, your partner or the world.
  • You sometimes see things with great clarity, in vivid colour and contrast, then sometimes everything is covered in a grey haze.
  • People think you always have high-energy, but they never really get to see you when you are down.
  • Sometimes you just want to be left alone, you close yourself off, away from the world, and you sink into the blackness.

What is a Wave Rider thought and what should I do with it?
A Wave Rider thought is an idea that is slightly or really "out there", like a new project or invention that you have just thought up. It is a really good idea and you know it will make you a lot of money or it is going to help a lot of people. You start to get excited and pace around the room. You don't want to think about anything else. You simply must phone someone and tell them about your idea or you must sit and calculate every dollar that it is most certainly going to earn you.

Sound like you? These wondrous thoughts are to be written down and not acted upon while you are creating them...they are only to be recorded. Do not phone anyone and do not stop what you are doing to create the entire project on paper. Only briefly write it down. Why ? Because at this moment in time you are in touch with universal thought and energy that is very difficult for your physical mind and body to handle. You must breathe, write the idea down calmly and do not attempt to figure out all of the details. Once you write it down, stop thinking about it until you have brought yourself back to the middle wave. This is important because where you are at is addictive, and like an adrenaline junkie, you will want more, but it is this part of you that will throw you head first into the pit of depression if you do not learn how to handle it properly. You will exhaust yourself. You will crash and you will burn. By pacing ourselves through this period, we can avoid the plummet into darkness. If you find this part of you too difficult to bring back, then medication may be necessary. Being able to acknowledge that this "up you" is not the "best you", and bringing yourself back slightly, is that important! It is the turning point of being able to create a new and better you!

Where do you believe that Anxiety Disorder fits in with the Wave Riders Bi-Polar Phenomenon?
It is my belief that the high energy surge, a type of adrenaline rush, triggers in some of us ideas and a feeling that we are great. This feeling sends us off into creating careers or new projects. I also believe that this adrenaline surge can send some of us off into fear. It is when our fear of not being able to control a particular situation is stronger than our desire to create that we head toward anxiety or panic. We begin to worship fear rather than faith. Ambition tries to sends us out to make something new. Fear wraps that creative energy up into a tight fisted ball of pain that seats itself deep in our gut. This is the energy of adrenaline held inside the body. Just as our ancestors would have reacted to a dangerous situation we begin to sweat, to shake and to feel that we are out of control and that something bad is sure to happen. Cave dwellers would run because danger is near, but we sit and try to hold all of that energy inside ourselves. Our brain is telling us to run and we know that the instinct is wrong but the adrenaline is surging and pounding through your body telling you if you do not do something that you will surely die. You are now focused on the negative outcome of the situation, rather than knowing that you do not have to control the situation and you will be okay.

You need to breathe and you need to not allow the negative thought... you have been thrown head first in the darkest place on the planet and the danger, the view, of the situation is not real! Just as it is not real when we are in depression and see only the bad world around us. Given the fear state that we have placed ourselves into by our thoughts, our fears are often justified as we begin to create a negative situation from a harmless environment. Anxiety and panic come when we feel it is our responsibility to be able to control any given situation or we will be punished and destroyed.

We have forgotten that we cannot control everything, nor should we. We have forgotten that through it all, our soul remains an unharmed observer of the experience.  Try to come to the understanding that even left naked, penniless and homeless, you will be okay and that somehow, as painful as it may be, you will make it though. This belief in yourself gives you the confidence to accept the harder lessons in life, knowing that it is not necessary for you to have all the right answers and to make all the right moves. Be willing to accept your mistakes as okay and do not place so much responsibility on your shoulders that you should feel that you alone must be able to turn the rivers path. Even learning to laugh at your reaction and not feeling embarrassed, can help you to disarm the strength of the surge.

You will need to do the same thing that a wave rider does when they get the flow of positive ideas from the high ride. You need to breathe and acknowledge that the thoughts are not valid; that the wave ride is influencing your thoughts and that you are okay. I know how difficult this seems, but realize too, that should you mess up in the situation and make a fool of yourself...that you still will be okay. Nothing is ever as important or a big or as wonderful or as bad as it seems. Your imperfections are perfect for what you must learn.

I live in United Kingdom and I would like to read your book. I donít have a credit card. Is it available?
Yes, I am happy to say that we frequently ship to the UK. You can mail a money order or cheque (certified cheque or money order works faster as I don't have to wait for it to clear) directly to me in Canadian or US funds.

Please make the cheque/money order out to Pat Irwin, as Indigo Irwin Kennedy is my writing name only and mail to:

The Wave Riders
P.O. Box 1112
Vernon, BC, Canada

What can I do to help?
Your help is always appreciated. We have created a poster which helps to tell people about Wave Riders, the people, the book, website, newsletter and workshops. We have made it available on the Website in either Word document format, on Web Page(jpg) and as a PDF, portable document format that requires Adobe Reader. Adobe is also free to down load. Visit our Press Materials Page. Feel free to print the poster and place it where you think the most people will be helped. We understand this means an voluntary investment of your time and supplies and we are truly grateful for your efforts. Thank you for helping to get the word out. We don't want anyone to suffer depression any more!

If instead you would like to help by donating funds to create workshops and new promotional materials to help us get these lessons out faster, please contact Indigo directly.

Is bi-polar disorder, manic depression?
The medical profession seems to now group the symptoms of bi-polar moods (up = manic) and (down = depression) in the same wording as manic depression, which gives way to the general public tending to believe that someone with bi-polar mood swings must hallucinate, have violent tendencies and be absolutely insane. Not so! Doctors understand that there are varying levels of bi-polar disorder but when we use the word "manic depression" the general public gets scared.

One of my goals is to reach out to people that think that they are not bi-polar just because they do not have the extreme cycles of emotion. Even small bi-polar mood swings can make us not enjoy our lives and influence how we see the world and make our decisions. The Wave Riders was not written to solve the problem of hallucinations and violence of the highest wave but to help many people whether bi-polar, or not, to create better lives by learning to effectively ride their own waves, no matter how small.

The philosophies in the book can help and have helped many people whether they are bi-polar, or not, to live better lives. I use the term "Bi-Polar phenomenon" because of the increasing number of people showing signs of the up and down mood swings. These people are not insane. They are normal, intelligent and creative members of our society.

I believe that bi-polar mood swings should be understood as the normal evolution of the mind and spirit coming in to have greater access to universal knowledge. The "problems" occur when we do not understand what is happening and how to handle each stage of the mood swing created from this evolution.

It seems to me that once you look at the bi-polar mind as a mind evolving, you will also see that many minds are included and some of these minds experience very high manic periods while the majority of these minds experience mild to moderate manic periods. Each level of emotion can effect our lives in minimal or catastrophic ways. I believe that the highest of waves will need medication because it may be beyond our current capabilities to be able to breathe down such a high adrenaline rush. The distortion from this rush could make reality difficult to understand.

The Wave Riders Book teaches us to be proud to be bi-polar Wave Riders and not to be embarrassed and miserable "manic depressives".

What should someone know or be aware of, when working with someone who is bi-polar? How dangerous is it working with someone who is bi-polar - especially when you are in the position of authority, and the person with bi-polar is not? Also, are there or is there a sign to look out for before the person has an episode?
This is a good question.
First I need to let everyone know that I am not a doctor and I am not a scientist with a handful of statistics so I cannot give you an official answer to this question, however, I can tell you that people with bi-polar disorder are as varied as people in general. Some, may have anger issues, but I believe the majority of people diagnosed as bi-polar are just like regular people and usually, they are the high achievers. Bi-polar disorder is often related incorrectly to the person being crazy and aggressive and hallucinating, though in extreme cases this is all possible.

Bi-polar sufferers are usually kind, loving and fun. (They usually keep their sadness to the privacy of their homes) Remember that bi-polar simple of up, energetic and really happy(manic episode) and one of down, low energy and sadness (depression). I believe, that you are very likely surrounded by many people that are bi-polar - just in varying levels. I know that at the extreme level of manic behavior, some people have had problems, but I am surrounded by wonderful, talented artists, writers, politicians and business people that are all bi-polar and all borderline genius.

Energy levels can swing up and down in a minor way or in a major way, and all sorts of levels in between. When a person is on the higher end of the energy level (called the manic episode) they may be forward and aggressive (not always negatively, as they might be aggressive in a business meeting that helps to close the deal). In their mind, they may believe, depending on the level that they are at, that the solutions they have found are right for all of the world and it is their duty to let everyone know. In many cases the solution is brilliant but on the higher levels it may be more like the heart when it goes into fibrilation,.beating fast but not producing efficiently - only in this case the mind is thinking fast but not efficiently...too many thoughts to decipher correctly at this stage of our evolution.

At this point they need to breathe down their energy somewhat, allowing the creative thought to flow. However, I would not tell the bi-polar person that they need to stop and breathe unless they understand why, and you have a friendship of open conversation and have made arrangements to be a "wave rider buddy", because they inside themselves want to hold onto the flow of creativity and productivity. Think of it more like an addiction to the adrenaline- their minds may want to hold onto that adrenaline burst. It is just like you would not tell a person that was diabetic to stop eating that chocolate bar. Though it might be right for them to stop eating it - it may not be your place to tell them.

There are a few people that have naturally aggressive tendencies and the fact that they are bi-polar just adds to the aggression in the burst of energy, that in frustration, they try to hold onto. These are the stories that we often group bi-polar people with, and think that they all have dangerous qualities...this is not the reality of the "disorder". I don't believe it to be a disease, but that it is simply an evolution of the mind reacting to stress and creativity growth. We have been pumped with adrenaline for years...and now it has gone amuck.

Often when someone who has bi-polar tendencies is accomplishing great amounts of work, they want to keep going, and may keep working regardless of the needs of the body. If they understand themselves well, then they are a great assets to any company or project. Often they will have ten ideas at a time and have to concentrate to focus on one project at a time. They often work so fast and so hard that their adrenaline burns out then they need to rest and work slower for a time.

A company that can harness the high level thoughts and allow the down time will often see great benefits. I often start work at 6:30 am and sometimes I will work a 10 hour day on a project, without even thinking about it. I know to take the occasional 15 minute rest period and to balance the next day with a little extra rest and some outdoor activity. Because I balance, I can maintain a higher level of productivity and creativity for an extended period. The people I work for know that I exercise three times a week before starting work and that it is very important for my balance so on those days I start later. They understand that I am always consuming massive amounts of information (computer related). They understand the benefit to my being able to do this, and they also understand my need to set my own hours. We agreed to it up front and both of us have benefited from this arrangement.

I believe that people with bi-polar tendencies are the innovators of the world while people with mid-wave/straight line tendencies are usually the keepers and maintainers of the world....both are equally necessary and equally important. The division between the two is sometime very blurred as you may have a mid-wave/straight line thinker that occasional has bi-polar patterns and vica versa.

I know many loving and beautiful people, mothers, fathers, daughter, sons, uncles and aunts...all my favorite people in the world...all different levels...many undiagnosed but display the same signs.

I hope this helps you to understand. I cannot see this person in front of you so you will need to listen to your inner voice of caution as you would with any person that you do not know well whether they are bi-polar or not. If this person has been diagnosed as bi-polar they very likely have also been placed on medication that will level out their energy waves so they will not get the high energy level and will not burn themselves out. The medication is not something that will get them "stoned" it simply brings them to the middle wave of thought and energy.

A person who is about to have a high energy wave ride may start to pace, talk faster than normal, spout out many ideas all at once, have many unfinished projects lying around, need to talk on the phone or in person and feel unable to stop talking.

If you have the kind of relationship where you can talk, without stepping over employer/employee boundaries, then it would helpful for both of you to read The Wave Riders for a different understanding of this "disorder".

Are we always stuck with patterns we learn in childhood?

My friend was diagnosed as bi polar but is not yet on meds. They believe that if you developed a way of looking at or dealing with a problem such as a child, divorce, dicussion of money problems, or images, it cannot be changed as the person becomes older and more mature, broaden their out looks and experiences. Could you please tell me if that is an unchangeable attitude or is any way i can help her to see life as a growing experience,some slides backwards in old habits but generally changes as each day passes?
It is my belief that all things that happen to us in our lives are there for our development. Each experience and personal contact, "good" or "bad" ,adding to our emotional growth and understanding. I believe that we are not meant to "get stuck" in the lesson and that a problem is only created when we forget to move on from the lesson and instead we surround ourselves with the event and carry it with us throughout each day.

I believe that we can, if we choose, work continuously to observe our life's lessons and therefore change each day. Occasionally, we get stuck in the past, however a moment of change in how we perceive the event, can instantly change the event's hold on us, making a catastrophic event seem miniscule in a single moment of realization.

I also believe that we do learn how to react to problems by observing others during childhood and that these patterns become the way that we see things for a very long time. When we learn that the old way of reacting to things is no longer beneficial, then we can often see a new way, and yes, we change.

I do not believe that your mind can be opened to new information and remain unchanged. I also believe that you cannot remain the same when you start taking different actions.

I do, however, believe that we can choose to remain in the past old life lesson and not move on. This is our freedom of choice. One reader of The Wave Riders suffered from bi-polar depression all of her life. She is over 60 and had some pretty set patterns. During the last year in particular I have witnessed a major change in her. She is the reader that said, "for the first time in my life I no longer suffer from depression". She may still have the occasional bout if she steps back into old patterns but she is no longer the same...she knows that it was her actions (the high ride actions) that created the depression, and not that she is personally flawed. She now has started to take back control over her life.

Would you say "too late now"? I would say NO! Age is irrelevant. The lessons go on. I would much rather come to the end of my time here, at whatever age that may be, looking back on having taken each moment to create, to try and to do rather than to sit, to wallow and to decay.

It often takes maturity to really be able to see the errors of our past patterns and to make the greatest change, and so it would seem unlikely to believe that old patterns cannot be broken.

I believe as well that if we continue to be stuck in the past problem, that there is something that we still need to learn from that problem....and that the lesson may be simply the letting go.