Life Lessons from the beach

Life's a beach! A bit cliche, no? From my very first visit to the beach in the early 90's, I fell in love with the sights, sounds and even smells of a beach. It is when I am at my purest self. I'm carefree, no worries and uninhibited.

The cool sand under my freshly painted toenails, the crashing symphony of the waves and the warm (often hot) sunshine on my skin always make me happy. So with all these good vibes and memories about the beach, what can one take away from the moment and apply to daily life?

1) Love the skin you are in. At the beach, you will see people in swimsuits in ALL shapes and sizes. The beauty of it is that no one seems to be concerned with their appearance but focused on the people they are with and enjoying the beauty that nature has to offer. If you're not comfortable with your swimsuit body, then take the necessary steps to change that but in the meantime, embrace who you are and what you look like. Being a depressed wallflower isn't going to change a thing.

2) Nature is a beautiful gift. For the most part, it doesn't cost to spend a day at the beach. You stake your own ground and create your own little paradise under the sun. You can play in the sand, hunt for seashells, lay out in the sun, or swim in the ocean. There you are-enjoying all that nature has to offer with little effort and money.

3) Sometimes you really do have to get away. A change of scenery can be a welcomed view. Sometimes you truly have to remove yourself from a daily routine to recharge your mind, body and spirit. It can be refreshing to partake in new scenery to think things over, mull a difficult decision or simply decompress. Don't be afraid to schedule some away time for you and always keep an open mind.

4) You have to dig through a lot of dirt to find the perfect shell. Looking for seashells is one of the most popular beach activities. My last few beach visits have been disappointing because the shells are either irregular or there aren't that many but when you find a beautiful one, you treasure it. In life, we have to come across so many imperfections and obstacles but if you keep searching for what you want, eventually you will find it and you will be glad that you didn't give up or sacrifice your personal standard.

5) Each time you go into the water, tread a little further. I don't want you to get lost at sea but did you ever notice that with each step into the water, you tend to gain confidence and venture out just a wee bit further? I have had a goal for as long as I can remember of gaining enough endurance and strength to run a mile without stopping. Plagued with asthma and a knee injury, I have always mentally discouraged myself that I can accomplish it but what if I started running down my street and each day ran by one more house? In enough time, I would accomplish my goal. Don't be afraid to step out on faith. One step at a time leads to progress.

6) If you don't protect yourself, you are going to get burned. Boy, did I learn this lesson the hard way a few weeks ago! Having failed to apply sunscreen, I came home with a painful sunburn and unsightly peeling. Just like in our personal relationships, you have to protect yourself from negative influences and associates with ill will or you will get burned. Be careful about sharing personal information or inviting people into your homes and social circles. Take the time to get to know people and always keep your guard up when red flags occur. You can be kind to everyone you met but everyone you meet does not have to become a close associate.

See you at the beach! I'll be the one in the big floppy hat.


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