Remove Stress. One Step.

The ocean has a way of removing any debris from my mind.  I forgot about how powerful the sound of the waves are and how the roll of the ocean can be truly hypnotic.

My first night of being on holiday I had a lovely conversation with Isabel (she owns the B&B a lovely little place with an ocean view and deliciously prepared breakfast everyday).  She began asking me what I wanted to do, albeit I had just arrived and had no clue.  I am not the vacationer who plans, once upon a time ago I did… that was pre kid.  Now, I show up and let it fall together. 

She had made me this incredible meal.   I ate, she talked, and I listened.  

She asked if I would like to go to the beach, and of course I said yes (it’s one of the reason I chose this destination).  We continued chatting about life and such, she is a special woman, with two daughters and a very kind husband.  They don’t live above their means, and they certainly don’t try to overdo anything, I would call them humble but rich.  When I say rich, I don’t refer to green dollars or pink pesos, I’m talking about being happy. I can see it in her eyes and on her face.  She is happy.  

When I first met my husband I saw this same sparkle.  There is something unique about this look, and not everyone has it.  

As we continued into our conversation she said something that really struck me, which is this:  “if people would go and sit at the beach they wouldn’t need all of those head doctors.”  When she said this I totally agreed, but not to the extent that I would until I actually went to the beach and experienced it myself first hand.  

Living in San Francisco, I do go to the beach, I go when I’m confused, or out of sorts so to speak.  I forget about it all other times, unless my son wants to frolic with a friend.  The ocean is magical, and powerful.  When I was four years old it almost took me out to sea, when I was 32 it almost took me again when I lived in Bangkok.  I respect the ocean and watch it carefully every moment I can, its magical.

Today I went to Palms Beach a hidden, pushed back beach with no tourist and no other human beings.  I was dropped at the top of the path and walked in a quarter mile, alone.  I had no idea what to expect or what was to be found.  As I walked along the dusty trail I looked over to see a wild horse and her foal, two incredibly beautiful creatures eating the wild grasses.  They watched me walk.  I arrived to the edge of the beach and four large turkey vultures welcomed me, I said hello, and kept walking.  The sun was beginning to burn my shoulders, thank goodness for the wind.  I continued on to the beach.  Isabel had given me a mat and an umbrella to use for the day.  I spotted my destination.  I put the stake of the umbrella in the ground and plopped down to “relax”.  The waves crashed up on the shore, it was so loud!  It reminded of the time that my husband and I went on our first vacation together and we rented a “romantic” ocean front cabana…. HOLY CRAP have you ever tried to sleep with the waves 50 feet from your door?  Needless to say the next morning we swamped the ocean front for the rear garden cabana, and we slept peacefully.  As I “relaxed” I realize that any ounce of stress that was lingering from the previous days was beginning to evaporate.  I watched the ocean by myself.  

As I sat there Isabel’s voice came to me, “Sitting at the ocean will take all of your thoughts away.”  It was true.  I had nothing inside.  I didn’t even know what to do with myself.  I sat there for a while and stared out to the endless sea, then suddenly everything went silent. 

There was nothing except peace.  I smiled.  I was in that state for probably ten minutes, not nearly as long as I would have like it but I was reached it! 

Isabel was right. 

After two and half hours of running around on the beach, snapping pictures, and writing letters that have been long overdo it was time for me to pack it up and walk back up the dusty trail.  As I walked back two other people were walking towards the beach, we exchanged, “hola’s” and smiled.  I wonder if they were headed for the silence too, this is not an everyday people’s beach.  I reached the taxi and got in, the driver had been patiently waiting.  We arrived back to Isabel’s after fifteen minutes of rolled down window driving, I felt great. 

She stood with a smile and said, “Did it force you to stop?”   It had.  The sun and the ocean both stopped me, they both stopped me from myself, my self seeking ideas and selfish ways.  It forced me to be with it, and listen to nothing, to the radio silence I was totally unaware of and needed to be happy.  I look forward to carrying this memory back with me to San Francisco, I am going to remember to visit the ocean more than when I’m out of sorts or upset.  The ocean brought me such clarity and quietness today.  

What are you doing for clarity?  How are you going about your days, are you taking a moment to be quiet? Or are you speeding off to the head doctor as Isabel put it?  I don’t have an answer for you, I just know what worked for me, today.  The magical ocean removed all my stress today.  One Step Process for Removing Stress!  

Be Bold.  

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