Self Under Construction

The other day after work, I grabbed Britt and my new friend Jen and headed to the beach for sunsets and chilled wine in a Bubba keg. Well, I guess just the one sunset…. Anyways. our sunset party lived on long into the evening. The nearly full moon made the waves sparkle as they danced with each other. We faced the bay and did yoga.  We lay three in a row, nestled in the sand and stared at the sky. We made wishes and pushed them out into the universe. And I thought about the 12 laws of karma. This time I focused on the Law of Here & Now: “Looking backward to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW. Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams… prevent us from having new ones.” (See them all here).

I’ve embarked on a level of self-discovery this summer that has, so far, gone way beyond all previous introspection. I’ve sinced realized several inherent truths about myself, truths that speak to and illuminate where I’ve been and why I’ve chosen certain paths. How I’ve gotten to this very moment and how certain choices I’ve made have helped and hurt me in my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. For example: my brain rarely shuts off. Meditation is all but impossible for me to date. A younger me constantly lived in the past, rethinking and rehashing my mistakes and cooking up scenarios where it all could have gone differently. As I got older, I shifted my focus to three steps ahead. I thought that was a vast improvement; it made me focus on my goals and my ambitions and helped me strive to go and move forward instead of constantly backstepping or standing still. It was better for me, at the time. But now? I’m not so sure. It’s effectiveness may have worn a bit, or perhaps I’ve put too much pressure on it.

The problem with always thinking ahead is that you end up missing the moments once you reach them. It keeps you from living and relishing the present. I’m so focused on the week, the month, the year ahead, that I don’t fully treasure the reward when I finally reach it. It falls by the wayside as I plan the next step. I stared into the infinite universe as I had this eureka… and then I forced myself to STOP – to stop thinking about the eureka, because that would contradict and belittle its gravity.

So I stopped. I released the ingrained tension in my muscles and sank deeper in the sand. I gazed at the moon and I thanked the universe for this moment. I made myself feel it, every bit of it: the sensation of my hand sifting through centuries of granulated earth, the smell of the sea: salty, dead and alive simultaneously. How the light reflected off my pale skin. The rhythm of my breath and how it complimented the breaking shoreline. It was beautiful, and tragic in its brevity, but mostly beautiful. It was one of the most pure moments of peace I’ve ever had.

The beach just makes me happy. Despite sunburns and that annoying feeling of sand hitting the back of your legs as you walk, I love it. Because it helps me, it rejuvenates me, it helps me remember what’s really important. There’s a quote that always comes to mind when I think about the ocean; it’s from the movie Shawshank Redemption, when Andy (Tim Robbins) describes Zihuatanejo to Red (Morgan Freeman):

Andy: “It’s a little place on the Pacific Ocean. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.”

I pushed away my memory that night. It was difficult, but it was like a renewal. A fresh start towards a new mode of thinking. It doesn’t happen overnight, of course, I know that… but it felt like maybe I was finally beginning to reconcile old and new me. Maybe the tug of war is finally coming to a close… *fingers crossed*

Current Jam: “Let Her Go” Passenger

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

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