Hello Reader. Yes, the beach is a great source of surprisingly practical life lessons! This past week I had the honor of serving one of my besties as her maid of honor at her beach wedding. Since I was there for a week of activities, I also took the opportunity to take daily quiet time on the sand.
During those times, these came to mind and I’ve already put some into practice. Enjoy the graphics by printing them out if they also speak to you too~
Ride the waves and don’t mind the critics
It’s easy to sit on the shore but not if your heart longs to be in the water. When you do take the step into the waves, you will hear people criticizing but you don’t need to listen if it’s not helpful.
We didn’t know how to surf or to boogie board but the waves being enjoyed by others were so enticing that we grabbed the kiddie boards we found at the rental house to join the throng. Once out in the waves we laughed and splashed as we attempted to “ride a wave”. These were mostly valiant but uncoordinated attempts.
At one point one of the experienced looking surfers paddled over to us while his compadres behind him laughed saying, “Aloha. With those little boards you’ll be better off closer to the shore.”
“Thanks,” we said, “We’re just having fun.” “Cool,” said mr. surfer dude with a head nod.
The lesson? Ride the waves and don’t mind the critics. Anytime you start something new, learn a new thing, or just want to try something that’s not going to hurt you, there will be those looking on ready to give advice, to stop you or to criticize. Mr. Surfer Dude was quite kind and accepting of our afternoon adventure but don’t let the scoffers farther back deter you from a healthy adventure.
To sit and listen is a great gift
There were many moments of busyness over the wedding week but also many quiet ones too. I’ve learned the lesson enough times to take advantage of the still moments to actually be still.
We read of this powerful and needed lesson in Psalm 23 where we learn that as a Good Father, God makes us be still. Yes, makes us. He also leads us and guides us. Protects us and provides for us. A good parent will always be sure to also enforce what needs to be enforced. To sit and be still does wonders. To also listen while sitting still is a priceless gift.
In the mornings and a few evenings while I sat on the beach, most of the time I just heard waves. But then there were the moments a loved one would join me and we got to listen to each other, moments when I heard the Holy Spirit prompt me with a question, or solitary times there was the song that came to mind, or a verse that rolled across my heart.
The lesson? To sit and listen is a great gift. With nothing else distracting, we can connect to the heart of a loved one. Also our God is always speaking to us because he truly loves to be with us. When we sit and listen we might just receive the gift of hearing too.
Sun is awesome but shade is needed too
A doctor once told me that our bodies need Vitamin D and a great way to naturally get it is by being in the sun. However, that same doc also told this red head that sunscreen was my best friend and we should always be together or I should stick in the shade more than I was in the sun. The great thing about both is we need both.
I love being outdoors but the beach sun begins to burn my skin very quickly. That’s why I really liked this beach, it had lots of shady places under the palm trees and under the lanai.
The lesson? Sun is awesome but shade is needed too. In life we often like to be “in the sun” where the action is, where most other people congregate, and where we can get attention or affirmation. The “shade” is also good, because in the “shade” we find rest, we get to take off our glasses or hat and relax, we also are refreshed.
Keep your focus when you are out of your element
In some places the beach can be a bit dangerous. If it’s an unfamiliar area, just walking for a few yards in one direction looking for shells can pull me away from the trailhead or the blanket until I can’t see it any longer. Same thing with being in the water, especially if there is a rip-tide.
I went out in the waves one afternoon between gatherings while friends were on the shore and just floated on my kiddie board again. Occasionally I would pull my head up to check my distance from the shore and our group. Each time I was dramatically surprised to see how far I had floated without any effort on my part nor any large waves.
The lesson? Keep your focus when you are out of your element because a focus will help you maintain your stability and your intended destination.
My recent beach time is now another fabulous memory cemented through the shared experiences with loved ones and time with God.
I hope these few lessons put in a different context have been practically helpful for you.
Aloha and Mahalo.
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Photo curated by Pexels.com free stock images; Graphic by Author on Canva, free graphic tools