BEACH TIMES - #1
THE BEACH IS MY HAPPY PLACE BUT I CAN’T RELAX
If you are here, I am assuming that you, like me, count the Beach as a ‘Happy Place’. When asked, It is difficult for many people to describe in words exactly what it is about the Beach that makes them feel so good there. I personally think it is because the Beach can provide a space to just ‘be’ & ‘feel’ & turn off ‘thinking’ for a while. In our ever busy constantly ‘on’ lives, the Beach provides the opportunity to ‘do’ less & ‘be’ more if we take it, & if we know how to ‘Beach’ properly.
Yet, while this is true for many people, others (myself included) come to the Beach for their vacation or staycation after months of meticulous planning & counting down the days. Very annoyingly, their mental ‘baggage’ was shipped well in advance & was found waiting for them at the Beach! Who knew? Upon arriving, while being physically present on the Beach, they are mentally everywhere, certainly not on the Beach, & definitely not in the present moment. And don’t get me started (today) about the pressure to get the perfect selfie – which can ruin many a good beach vacation! Can you relate?
The growing body of Beach Science is clear. The Beach is great for our physical, mental & spiritual health. This makes good sense. For billions of years, life existed on our planet only in the oceans, and then gradually life came to land, evolved & became the 8 million species we are on Earth today, including us humans.
For hundreds of thousands of years, humans just like us, have enjoyed & found healing at the Beach. I personally believe the Beach is hardwired into our very being. Sometimes we go to the Beach and we can automatically feel at one with the Beach & ourselves. When this happens, we experience profound relaxation & insight without trying.
WHEN & WHY THE BEACH ISN’T ALWAYS YOUR HAPPY PLACE
Unfortunately, this is often not the case at all. When relaxation doesn’t automatically happen, we may find us beating ourselves up for not being able to enjoy the Beach we so desperately yearned for, saved for & waited so long for. Some of us will even keep a tally of how many days they have left until they have to say goodbye to the Beach & return to their ‘real life’. Good old Beach Anxiety. Many people suffer from it & are too embarrassed to talk about it.
While we may try our best to ‘just be in the moment & enjoy’, or ‘be positive’ it just doesn’t happen. This trying adds further stress which makes it even harder to let go. We may worry about not being able to get to the Beach enough in the time we have & then when there, ruminate about our work, our families, unresolved problems, what we still ‘need to do’ before our vacation / staycation ends & even where to go to happy hour / dinner (in an unhappy manner because we don’t want to ‘miss out’). Our Beach time becomes planning & to do time. Not relaxing at all. Where is ‘being’ in all of this? Where is the Beach? Where are you?
Many of us also secretly expect & hope that time at the Beach will be a transformative & rejuvenating retreat of sorts, with an unexpressed expectation of hoping to leave feeling differently than when we arrived. We yearn for new insight into our lives. And, unless we truly find & nurture our BeachMind (future post) this isn’t possible.
Here’s the thing – being able to enjoy the Beach Fully, being able to experience the present moment, being able to have a retreat & growth experience that lasts long after you leave the Beach is completely possible. Like any skill, it is something we can intentionally practice & develop. I know this both personally & professionally to be true.
Want some great news? We don’t even need to be at the Beach to do this! On this the Neuroscience is clear. When we imagine that we are at a place, our brains & bodies act as if we are physically & mentally there. This is why you can be on the Beach physically, yet mentally be somewhere else. In the same way, you can physically be somewhere else, & mentally be at your very own InnerBeach (future post).
HOW BEACH THERAPY® CAN HELP
This is where Beach Therapy® can really help. Beach Therapy® is a fun & science backed method full of fun tools (we call them mental Beach toys) that help us to be open to receive all the healings of the Beach wherever we might be. These tools help us to grow our ability to be connected & in alignment with our highest selves. In future posts, video & audio Beachitations (Beach Meditations & Invitations), we will begin to look at what you can specifically do (or not do) when at the Beach to relax, heal, grow & ‘be’ & then take it home with you. This after vacation place of sanctuary is what we call your InnerBeach.
TRY THE FOLLOWING BEACH THERAPY® TOOL
In the meantime, here’s a mental Beach toy to try: Give yourself permission to feel as anxious as you may feel, at the Beach, to remain as stressed as you feel & to fully be just as you are. Come what may. You might just find that without trying, your InnerBeach starts to grow & you might even discover your BeachMind. Or maybe just have a nice day at the Beach. In future posts, I am excited to share with you more about the InnerBeach, what exactly is your BeachMind & how to practice Beachfulness™ (Mindfulness on & about the Beach) It’s super fun & life changing too.