Today I had a ton of time to think. I was sitting on a large porch eating breakfast by myself. The breeze and the view were amazing. I watched as the wind gently ruffled the palm trees. I enjoyed the quiet calm of the waves and how they gracefully fell against the rocks. I sat there thinking that I should do this more often. It’s nice to look up for a change. We all should. How often do you sit still and just look at the beauty all around you? How many times do you sit in a rocking chair and spend several minutes just rocking? We rush, we run, we over schedule and we are missing the really special moments that give us a chance to reconnect with who we really are. The me who is more than the thinker, the doer. The me that feels connected to each and every wave and every grain of sand. The me who just watches and breathes and feels gratitude for these moments, that once in a while, I finally pause long enough to enjoy.
I failed miserably two nights ago. I was faced with a situation I wasn’t happy about and I didn’t respond in a way I was proud of. Lucky for me, history repeats itself and today I had a second chance. Much better attitude and response today.
People will always challenge us whether they mean to or not. How we react directly influences how how we will make them feel about themselves. The sad part is usually our reaction is mostly about us and not at all about them. Breathe before you act. Think before you speak. Every word is a ripple. It touches a person directly and keeps on moving. Our moods and our attitude can spread like a peaceful, beautiful wave or the kind the knocks you on your can and violently drags you through the sand.
What kind of ripple will you send out today? Pay attention.
I often get the impression that people feel misunderstood. They really believe that people don’t understand what is really going on beneath the surface. They feel judged and think people only notice the bad things and overlook all the good.
I went to a beach a few years ago in Texas and noticed some large trucks parked in the sand. I thought it was kind of odd but didn’t really understand until I woke the next morning. I was surprised to see that there was a massive amount of seaweed separating the sand and the water. The trucks were there to take the seaweed away to make it easier for the people to get to the water.
People only see what you allow them to see. Your actions, your mannerisms and your behaviors are your surface. People do not have the time or energy to grab a shovel and dig through all the layers to see what’s inside. It is your job to make sure what is on your surface is the same as what lies beneath.
In hindsight, I really believe if that seaweed was not removed, I would have turned around, got in my car, and just drove home. Some things are just too much work. And if the appearance isn’t even something that seems pleasant, why would anyone even take the time to be there at all? And what a shame really, because once I got beyond the green stuff, the water was just beautiful.
Be consistent. Stop blaming everyone around you for not understanding who you are. It is your job to show them. If your actions paint a picture of seaweed, then that is what they will see. But, if you paint a picture of a beautiful beach, they will notice that too. People see what they see for a reason. Pay attention and if you don’t like the reflection then it is up to you to paint a new scene. You are the artist and the art. You are your own creation so what are you going to create?
So frequently I hear people say this is better or that was better. Just today, I have heard two people say it in my own home. I wish I had that house, Betty’s mom is nicer than my mom. It never stops. We get so caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves or wishing for something different that we stop enjoying what is right in front of us. Change those damaging words for I am grateful and list everything you can possibly come up with. Practice saying my life is good enough, I am good enough. You will be amazed at how your mind shifts to be present in the moments. Stop those I should have done things differently thoughts and replace them with my life played out exactly the way it was meant to be. You can’t wish things away and there is no magic pill or wand to magically make your life better. Your life is what it is in this moment and try and find a way to embrace it before the moment is gone. Believe me when I tell you this, the day will come when you look back on your life and say “If only I could be 20 again” or “I wish things were the way they used to be”. Why not enjoy life as you live through it instead of reliving it in your mind long after the moment has already passed.
Change your dialogue. Change your thoughts. Change your perspective. You will see your life in a whole new way and you will experience a happiness long forgotten. Do it now because every day we live is one less day in our hourglass of time. Every day melts away. Just like sand, our time slips through our fingertips. Hold onto it while you can and embrace every single second. Live with no regrets and don’t waste precious time wishing things were different.
This week I was blessed enough to visit the beach. I sat there quietly watching the waves gently flowing in and out. There are moments that I am completely present, where I can be at peace in the moment and experience pure joy. We know these moments when we are lucky enough to experience them, and this was one of those moments for me. I glanced over at Chase and he had written his name in large letters in the sand. I imagined writing my own name boldly in the sand. I watched as the gentle waves slowly erased the clarity of the letters. I thought about our lives here on earth and how insignificant each one of us truly is. We get caught up in our habits, our moods, our emotions, our routines while slowly time erases the memory of who we are. What do we do with our gift of time? Each moment, second, hour counts. It’s the one thing we can never get back. I think the humanness inside all of us robs us of precious time. We get so caught up in the memory of our past and the apprehension of our future, that this moment right now slips away while we are not looking. I wonder if people still notice my name. Do they see it boldly standing out in the sand on a beautiful beach? Or do they see it fading away one moment at a time where the winds of change and the certainty of the tide washes it away? What happens when the people we know and love are all gone? What happens to our name, our identity, the person we once were after our name can no longer be seen? It almost pains me to think about it. Truth is we are insignificant. This should be a lesson to our selfish selves and the me that is way bigger than we actually are. We are all guilty. We are all human. I struggle to find a way to be better and do better. I have so many answers that come easily when I am writing. But that ME, that part that resists change and stubbornly plants my feet in the sand, leaves me sinking until I am so buried I can barely move. Stuck, we become stuck when our ME takes over. Wouldn’t it be liberating to just surrender to each moment and live each one without regret. We have those moments and they feel good. If I could write something on my hand it would be the word time. A reminder to choose better in each moment, to choose better words, feelings, thoughts and interactions. Would it make a difference? Would I be better and do better? I guess the choice is now….