I walk along the esplanade at my local beach most days. Why? For several reasons actually. The obvious one is to move my body, for fitness and wellbeing. The others may not be so obvious.
Nature is in my opinion the place where we can nurture, connect and heal like no other. Even at a glance, the beauty of nature impacts our senses and perception. As soon as I drive down the road that connects to the esplanade and I get my first glimpse of that expansive beautiful ocean my heart opens and I am in awe of how beautiful and endless it is.
I feel so grateful and blessed that I live in this beautiful coastal city and a 15 minute drive takes me to this stunning beach. As I step out of my car with just me and my keys, I instantly smell the sea air and feel the coastal breeze on my face. I feel invigorated, energised, grateful even before I begin.
I take a minute and just gaze at the big beautiful ocean, breathe and connect with all of my senses. Then I consciously connect with my body and sense if it needs to be stretched? Is there any tightness? Do my laces need to be tighter on my shoes? Do I need some water before I start? Then off I go on my walk. My senses feel so heightened with the connection I have created. Suddenly the noise of the waves breaking on the shore seems louder, the salty smell of the ocean floods through me, colours seem so incredibly vibrant and that feeling of gratitude washes over me. I am so aware of the privilege of having this beautiful opportunity to be at one with nature and this moment.
So that is the second reason for walking at the beach – connection, some of you may call it mindfulness. The term is unimportant, it is the action that matters.
As I observe others doing the same walk, one thing becomes very obvious to me. For many fitness seems to be the driving factor for walking and not much else. Heads down, earphones in, brisk walking, no smiles, busily tapping away on their phones, no connection.
Now I am certainly not saying that fitness isn’t a good motivating factor, I am simply saying that when you are disconnected from the moment in a state of unawareness, you are missing the magic, missing the opportunity for greater healing and increasing the potential for injury and struggle.
If you are out of flow, out of timing, because your focus is “I have to get 10,000 steps done” or power walk to “get this done,” are you listening to your body? That little niggle, those adrenals that are under stress and need you to calm down a little. Are you feeling them? Are you hearing your body asking for help, asking for water or asking you to slow down or indeed go faster? Maybe, maybe not.
When we force we increase the potential for struggle, for injury. One size does not fit all. Our mind has the ability to create structure and goals which is important, however, if that is the only thing driving you and you are disconnected from your intuition and the messages your body is giving you, how is that helping you? Structure is important, however, the spaces in between need to be fluid, intuitive. Connecting and expanding into the present moment allows us to create the most powerful expression of who we are and what we truly need.
We have been conditioned to believe “no pain no gain”. My belief is if you create the discipline, connect with the moment, flow with what you truly need, be present in a space of gratitude then you can create success beyond measure.
When you focus on all of your 5 primary senses, allow them to be stimulated by the beauty that surrounds them, it deeply and profoundly connects you to your sixth sense – your intuitive sense.
Your intuitive sixth sense allows you to move beyond your outdated beliefs, your rigidity, your fears, the part of us that has bought into other peoples belief systems and the part of us that has become a modified and limited version of our true limitless self.
Imagine the possibilities. The opportunity to intuitively understand what you truly need in each moment and the potential magic and healing that is possible. The possibilities truly are infinite.
So now for the final reason – to be the love.
You might be surprised by this one, however, it is one of the greatest gifts of existing in the present moment no matter where you are.
Another thing that I have observed on my walks at the beach is many peoples unwillingness or fear of connecting and communicating with people. Obviously this is present everywhere, not only at the beach.
Those moments of connecting with another beautiful being, whether it is a fellow human being or a playful puppy, are little moments of bliss. That smile or hello, whether you give or receive it, is pure joy. I watch people looking the other way, looking down, pretending they are looking at their phone indeed anything to avoid interacting with that other person that is walking by.
Have we become a planet of robots? Is our fear so great that we are suspicious of everyone? Is our judgement out of control? That’s another post, however, trust me when I say, that moment when a smile is given and returned is pure magic. A simple “good morning” or “isn’t it a beautiful day” can change a persons world. We all crave human interaction, community.
So my final reason as I said is “to be the love”. As a planet we have become so disconnected by our fear. If we keep waiting for someone else to do it first then we simply keep the cycle of fear going.
I do not buy into, nor am I limited by what others are doing. I choose to look at each person and smile and say hello. It is a beautiful thing when it is returned, however, I am not attached to that. I choose to open my heart and “be the change” and “be the love”.
When one person makes that choice the ripple effect can be incredible. If each of us commits to the simple art of smiling and connecting with each person that crosses their path, imagine how the world would change.
I have used my beautiful walks at the beach as an example, however, these same principals apply no matter where you are.
So as I conclude this post, here is my wish for you. Put your phones down, stretch out your arms, open your eyes and your heart, breathe, take a moment to connect with all of your senses, remember how beautiful you are and step into the moment and truly embrace the beauty, love and grace that is patiently waiting for you.
With love and gratitude