Summer is fully here and before you know it, it will be gone. Another year has passed. We are blessed to live in a cool weather when the rest of the world is suffering from the record-breaking heat. But more importantly, we live nearby many beautiful beaches that are a hop, skip, and a jump away!
I would like to suggest that we use these beaches as an opportunity to unwind, distress, and allow the expanse of the beach and ocean to heal and nurture us. I like to imagine the ocean as the womb of God where I was born out of.
Mark Coleman, a mindfulness teacher and author of “Make Peace With Your Mind” wrote:
“One of the reasons we love the seaside is that so many things invite us into the present moment: the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the flight of sea gulls, the moist, salty air and the feel of sand between our toes. By bringing attention to our moment-to-moment experience, the beach can be a wonderful place to practice mindfulness, and by doing so, enhance our joy and appreciation of the present.”
As you arrive at the beach try to open up all of your senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, taste and touch. What calls for your attention? See if you can stay present without getting lost in thoughts or judgments.
Try lying down on the sand and letting your body relax. Feel the supportive quality of the earth as your body settles into the ground. Allow your muscles to release any tension as you let go of thoughts and simply come into the physical present.
Sit next to the water’s edge. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Let your attention expand to the farthest thing you can hear. Can you be present to the sounds without thinking about or visualizing them?
Take a mindful walk along the water’s edge, letting the cool water gently wash over your feet. Notice how the sand massages your toes and feet as you walk, inviting you into the present. Feel the various textures of the sand as the waves soak into it. Feel the tiny grains of sand beneath your feet and the cool spray of mist; hear the sea’s rhythmic roar as the waves meet the beach and retreat; smell the tang of salt in the air. Watch the sun’s rays play over the ocean’s surface. Spend a few minutes drinking in the ocean’s beauty and appreciating its vast splendor.
Each time you inhale, can you smell the salty, fragrant air? Breath and live!
Take time to gaze out at the horizon and take in the vastness of the seascape. Look at the clouds, the expanse of water and the space all around you. Notice what happens when you take these vistas in.
And then you come to your senses. “How can I focus on my texting if I’m watching the waves? Wait a sec, you aren’t suggesting I turn my phone off, are you?”