I live by the ocean, but never go to the beach. And just admitting this, I know the beach would be therapeutic with it’s calming sound of waves breaking on cue, the smell of sea salt and blue water that stretches to the end of the earth. It makes me feel small like a speck of sand in an expansive cosmos, giving me needed perspective, my worries shrink to a smaller size. Could it be the sticky sand that dirties my car mat, the lack of parking, or the time to drive through traffic that keeps me from going more? No matter the reasons, I want to do a better job taking care of my need to feed my inner-quiet.
As I close my eyes and visualize this safe place, I try to keep my mind present. The breath entering and exiting my body with intention. I sense the waves cracking with water cascading in and out, children running from the foamy residue on the sand, and walkers rushing past with a quick pace. I feel my body and mind relax and none of these thoughts sway me from remaining in the moment. In a Lamaze-type mindset, I open my eyes to look at a focal point in my office. My mind attempts to consider a thought I had over the way I interpreted someone’s reaction to me in a previous session, yet I am determined to drag my thoughts back to my safe place and try to feel my breath. Another few moments passes and as my mind is resting and restoring, I rejoice in small victories of knowing I can do this.
“Just as I think I have this mastered, the discipline leaves me.” This is so much harder than I often share with my clients.
Oh, to escape from my past regrets or future worries that are creeping in on me. I know my day will go better, if I can remain here for just a few minutes. I turn my inner thoughts from the ocean, and see Christ above me with open arms. I yield my arms to Him, knowing that today I am not in this alone. He will be here with me. I ask Him for his presence and His leading in my life as I trust him with my clients. As I sit, I find I do not know what direction to take things, and He gives me words. Words I need. The comfort that I have in all of this is He has been with me hundreds of days and showed up in ways I could not have predicted. I am confident, He will be here today, as He has in the past. Protecting this time to find the quiet within my own soul is key. The quiet others don’t even get that they need. Perhaps today they will sense it in me.
I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and places, I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details such as physical properties, occupations and places of residence.