Where is your favorite place to go wandering when you’re stressed?
Mine is the beach…or the woods…or around a pretty lake tucked up in the mountains…but especially the beach.
This weekend I got to go to a beautiful, rocky stretch of Washington coastline when I agreed to help chaperone a birthday party of giggling little girls armed with lime green plastic buckets, York Mint Patties, and Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips.
They had a marvelous time finding all sorts of treasures along the beach: crabs, clams and “Oreo rocks” (ones with black and white spots).
I went treasure-hunting too, only I used my camera instead of a bucket. I found weathered bits of driftwood, barnacle-encrusted rocks, and vivid green strips of seaweed draped along the shoreline.
And I sat. Just sat. Happy to let the sea breezes and gently lapping waves lull my stressed self into rest.
I’ve been stressing something fierce lately and don’t like it one bit.
I let anxiety about one traumatic event spill over into anxiety about everything. I let that experience cause me to doubt myself and be afraid of the future. I let a few bad things in my life overwhelm all the wonderful good.
I let those bits of darkness blot out the sun.
Being at the beach yesterday reminded me of how far I’ve strayed from peaceful well-being. With each cry of a gull, gust of salty air, and spray of seawater my body relaxed and my anxious thoughts settled. It was so lovely to feel totally, completely at rest again that I wanted to cry.
Driving home I knew that I wanted to hang onto that renewed peace and security. It was good to know that peace did not arrive because of a change in circumstances but simply through resting, being in nature, and thinking on true things. If I could find peace at the seashore, I could find it anywhere.
So this morning I drove to work early and sat in my car for a while writing, thinking, tearing up a bit when necessary.
- I wrote down my fears and they weren’t nearly so scary once I actually got them written down.
- I wrote down truth to combat those fears and felt braver and stronger.
- I wrote down good things I am going to do based on those truths and oh, the peace came flooding in.
So today is a good day. A braver, stronger, happier day. And I am grateful.
What do you do to regain your peace when it’s been rattled?