Mary Elisabeth

on Fridays I burn my fears…

Learning from sunsets

Have you ever watched the sunset over a beach?  To me, there’s something very humbling about being near the ocean.  Then, add a breathtaking sunset and the world feels that much more amazing.

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Tonight I had the pleasure of watching the sunset on Pebble Beach in California.  Standing there looking over the water inspired a few personal lessons I’d like to share:

  • Observe.  It’s in observing the details of our surroundings that we learn great things.  We learn about others, the world, and ourselves.  Observing my surroundings during the sunset led me to discover a crab, a hermit crab, an anemone…sea creatures I wouldn’t have seen had I not been paying attention to the uniqueness of the environment around me.
Crab

Crab

Anemone

Anemone

  • Breathe.  We all know breath is vital to our life.  We need it.  But how often to we really breathe?  Deep, full bodied breath that trickles through our entire body?  It’d these deep breaths that relax us, energize us, and heal us.  Yoga has helped me discover my breath (so much that my doctor knew I did yoga by how I breathe).  Breathing in the ocean air in itself is a bit magic.  Tie that with a deep, full bodied breath and it’s even more impactful.
  • Cherish.  I was able to convince someone I love to take a break from work and join me to take in this breathtaking experience.  Fortunately, he likes sunsets and the ocean, so my job wasn’t too difficult.  Something about sharing the sunset together reminded me to cherish my time with those for whom I care deeply.  Our time on earth is limited and we don’t really know when the ones we love will leave our lives for one reason or another.  So why not act like every moment is a special sunset with the ones we love?!
  • Be.  Sunsets only last for a few moments and if we’re distracted by other things in our lives, what we did that day or what we’re doing later, we miss the sunset.  Have you ever heard that if you watch the sun just as it sets you’ll see a green light?  I haven’t actually seen a very bright green splash, though have seen green in the sky surrounding the sunset.  I wonder if that claim is simply meant for people to be focused on the sun as it sets.  Because if you aren’t, you’ll miss the green light!
  • Play.  Watching the sunset I took off my shoes, felt the (cold) water on my feet, sand in between my toes.  I had the urge to play, run, jump, do a cartwheel (which I am very poor at actually performing).  After the sunset I attempted a handstand (key word – attempted).  Something about the ocean, the waves, the beauty, the color, and the final sunset felt like a celebration to me.  And what better way to celebrate than an attempted handstand?!

Here’s to many more literal and figurative sunsets in our lives!

<3 mel