Nature is a wonderful healer and teacher. A simple walk on the beach has the power to shift you from a place of turmoil to a place of peace. The sunshine warms our face and elicits a smile. We taste the ocean’s salt on our lips as our lungs fill with fresh sea air bringing about peace and stillness. This experience calms our minds and spirits allowing us to easily access the answers we seek.
Nature shows us through example that stillness and stressful experiences are a part of life, but it also teaches us how to navigate them. When the sea is angry and rough, the water becomes dark, the contents that never belonged in the ocean wash up. The power and size of the tides crashing on the shore dissuade us from entering the ocean. If we are foolish enough to do so, we become consumed with thoughts of survival, leaving us unable to seek answers.
When the sea is calm and the water is clear, it allows us to see the beautiful contents that live on the ocean’s floor. We feel invited to approach the water’s edge and dip our toe into the water. Feeling welcomed by the sea’s beauty and serenity, we wade further into the ocean not feeling threatened or afraid but blissfully happy to spend time in such a warm and welcoming place. As our minds become still, we can bask in quiet contemplation and await the answers we seek. Not only do we find answers but we also renew our spirit, which leaves us feeling hopeful.
The world demands so much of our time and attention. Our minds are bombarded with meeting the needs of our jobs, family, and friends. These demands coupled with other influences such traffic delays, an extended period of poor weather, as well as unsolicited and harmful opinions from others create feelings of being overwrought. The more we feed these feelings, the further we move away from stillness. We may begin to make poor choices like entering an angry sea, causing us to remain in survival mode. This state of mind becomes very unhealthy and holds us prisoner from seeing the joy in life and the many blessings bestowed on us.
We may not always have time to visit the beach, but we can begin to make it a practice to engage in stillness a little bit each day. Perhaps start the day with a prayer to bless your day and end your day with a gratitude prayer for your many blessings. Throughout the day, when your mind becomes overwhelmed with negativity, stop and take a moment to bless the challenge and remind yourself of your many blessings so the challenge does not become the predominant thought in your mind. When stuck in traffic, rather than bemoaning the traffic see it as an opportunity to reflect on your blessings. Training the mind to nimbly move from agitation to stillness will help you more easily find the answers you seek.
Renee’ Gatz has been an executive in the
ﬁnancial services industry for 15 years
where she has held a variety of marketing
and communications roles. Renee’ is a
graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey
City, NJ where she earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Business Management while attending school
in the evening and working full time. She lives in Woodbridge,
NJ not far from her childhood home.