One of my very favorite places is the beach. Sure, the threeSís are an ... sun, sand, and seafood. But the maindraw is the ocean. The ocean ... all of ... many ... that
One of my very favorite places is the beach. Sure, the three Sís are an attraction: sun, sand, and seafood. But the main draw is the ocean. The ocean symbolizes all of life, carrying many analogies that help me stay in tune with the meaning of life.
Reason One: The ocean calms. It infuses with the peace and tranquility of understanding and insight. Subconsciously we say, "Oh, this is what life is all about. It isnít so mysterious after all." Someone recently said to me, "Itís natural to be at the ocean." What that means to me is that the ocean is one of the places my soul wants me to be-- because there I can more easily see my truths about life.
Reason Two: The ocean is vast, mysterious, and multifaceted. It can be peaceful one moment and terrifying the next. The ocean is deep, unexplored at its deepest reaches. Filled with an incomprehensible array of life, it is simultaneously complex and simple. Our lives are also vast, mysterious, and multifaceted--weíre peaceful one moment, terrified the next. Seeing a reflection of life outside of me helps me to accept the many unknowns about life.
Reason Three: The ocean reminds me that life is eternal. The ocean is relentless, ever changing yet always the same. Each moment of the ocean is different from the moment before. Colors change with the shifting light. Waves change with the shifting wind. Water temperatures fluctuate, sometimes abruptly. Yet with the constant change there is also a familiar continuity. This reminds me that life goes on. Though a wave may crash upon the beach and appear destroyed, the inherent life force of the wave silently retreats to eventually form a new wave.
Reason Four: I remember that to co-exist successfully in life I must join an oncoming force at just the right time. Waves can batter or propel, as can lifeís new circumstances. Standing firm in the face of a wave requires me to be rigid, muscles tensed, and body braced against the battering onslaught. I can stand firm against each wave, but the energy required eventually takes its toll. Or I can catch a wave at its peak, join with it, and ride it out. The ride can be exhilarating and joyous. Such is life. Accept and join with the force of a new life circumstance--the ride can be exhilarating and joyous.
Reason Five: Being with the ocean is satisfying in itself. At home, Iím doing things most of the time. Yet at the ocean I can just sit and be with it for hours on end. I donít have to accomplish anything to feel the day is successful-- success is simply being there. Absorbing the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the ocean environment satisfies my inner desires for accomplishment. Each day of life can bring the same inner satisfaction--just by absorbing my surroundings.
Reason Six: The ocean supports a near endless variety of life forms. No one form seems favored, none is chosen. There is no single way to succeed within the oceanís depths. Life forms take different approaches to feeding and reproducing. And the ocean accepts them all. We tend to search for the one right way to succeed in our lives. Self proclaimed experts tell us their way is favored, their way is right. But observing the ocean reminds me that any way that works for us is right--weíre all right.
Reason Seven: I feel connected in and around the ocean--not only to other people, but also to all of nature. We remove our protective barriers, exposing more of who we are. We shed our clothing and spread our bodies to the elements and each other. Contrast the body posture of people at a beach with those on a subway or city bus. On the bus, people turn inward with shoulders hunched, eyes down or set upon some distant place to avoid contact with others. Arms are folded and legs are crossed. On a beach people turn outward, arms spread wide, legs wide apart, and eyes easily making contact with other people.
Perhaps Iím closer to God at the ocean--or Iím paying more attention there, being more open to her communications. ----------
Copywrite 2003, all rights reserved. Jerry Lopper is an author, personal coach, and consultant. His workshops, ebooks, articles, and coaching are available through http://www.yourcoachtosuccess.com where you can sign up for complimentary articles and coaching.