I enjoyed my beach trip yesterday, and arrived home quite late and very tired. I didn’t rush off to bed once I got home. It was a pleasant opportunity to relax and take my time taking care of my basic needs, in spite of the hour. There’s something about not rushing that feels very satisfying and…something. A word for a saturating self-care goodness that is emotionally nourishing, and joyful…is there a word for that?

When I rush through my life I can't really see what's going on around me.

When I rush through my life I can’t really see what’s going on around me.

I took my time all day – and that was part of the whole point of the day I had planned. I sent one last email to my traveling partner on my way, and use my “phone” as a camera for the rest of the day. (I’m not sure why anyone would call them ‘phones’ now, anyway – I rarely use mine for that, at all, and it spends most of its time as a camera.) I relaxed, walked the beach, walked the town and enjoyed the entire day on foot. I split my time between solitary reflection walking on the beach, and interacting with actual live humans. Real ones. Using words. I spent more time listening than actually talking. I made a point of making eye-contact, and asking fairly ordinary social small-talk questions – but slowing myself down enough to let people really just talk. I was definitely ready for the quiet bus ride home, but I finished the day feeling visible, valued, heard, appreciated…a lot of very emotionally nourishing experiences packed into one day. I guess next I work on figuring out how to be sufficiently open to these interactions moment-to-moment to enjoy them more, and more often.

Yesterday's beach trip was more about the horizon than the beach.

Yesterday’s beach trip was more about the horizon than the beach.

The weather on the coast was common enough for autumn; it was misty, cloudy, chilly and hazy. Somehow the photos look backlit from every direction. I don’t mind; if I get even one really good picture I am delighted.

More about a feeling, than a view.

More about a feeling, than a view.

I walked miles and miles up and down the beach. Any time I needed to rest there seemed to be a big driftwood log handy to sit on for a while. At one point I sat awhile meditating. Something got my attention out of the corner of my eye, off to the side. Ankle deep in the ocean was a woman with a friend and a camera…trying to get a yoga picture. I watched her awhile. She was attempting an asana I can’t yet do, and I am curious how people get those awesome yoga pictures. I watched, and it slowly became clear that this particular woman doesn’t actually do yoga; she’s just trying to get a cool yoga picture to turn out. It was more than a little weird, and I found myself thinking words like ‘sham’ and ‘fraud’.  Yoga pictures are pretty cool though… I look at them and think ‘wow, someday…’ It’s easy to understand wanting to be that. There are still verbs involved. It was a strange moment and I found myself uncomfortable with making a judgment about it one way or another, but feeling sad for the woman wanting to have that picture so badly she didn’t want to do the work to get there.

A fisherman, actually fishing.

A fisherman, actually fishing.

I had interesting conversations and a couple of great coffees, and saw art that inspires me as an artist. I watched clouds cross the sky. I slowed things down until I could hear myself think, and then took more time to listen. Listening is a very good practice, even if I am practicing listening to me.

A day spent well, listening to the wind, the waves, and my heart.

A day spent well, listening to the wind, the waves, and my heart.