Wisdom in the Sand 🏖

Aug 25, 2021

Last week I got to spend some time at the beach. You know that feeling of sand moving beneath your feet? As you stand in the surf and the wave washes back out to sea? All the sudden you are in a different place with a different foundation.

It’s an amazing feeling and one that can be a bit disorienting, unsettling.

When one of my children was little, they were so afraid of this, they wouldn’t go anywhere near the water!

Does that feeling feel good to you, intrigue you, or agitate you?

And while we’re talking about the beach, do you enjoy swimming in the ocean? Do you mind being bashed about by crashing waves? Thinking of how these simple situations make you feel can give some valuable insights into your health.

So what was agitating my young child so much about this feeling of the sand moving under his tiny little feet?

Many of us travel through our days trying to stay on top of life. Managing our schedules, having a plan, constantly spinning our to-do lists through our mind. We fear if we stop planning and organizing, nothing will happen, or worse, something will fall through the cracks. Opportunities will be missed, needed items will be forgotten, we won’t be prepared.

All this planning shows up in our lives as control: trying to control life around us in a way that helps us feel safe. If we keep our footing, we won’t stumble. Makes sense until the ground beneath us moves.

Take the last year and a half as an example. All the planning and preparation could not prepare us for the shift in reality we experienced. We were forced to ‘go with the flow,’ there was no other way forward. Everything shifted day to day, week to week. Planning and control had to go, it was useless.

These experiences help us navigate life by accepting what comes along and working through it moment to moment. Don’t get me wrong, planning has it’s place: retirement planning, financial planning, grocery shop list making, goals for our businesses and homes. But there has to be room to ‘go with the flow’ if we desire a healthy body. There must be balance.

Our need for control shows up in our lungs, large intestines and skin but then can travel to influence other organs, especially the liver and adrenal glands. This is definitely an area worth exploring for your health.

So why do we feel such a need to control our world? The root of the issue, beneath the surface, is fear. Fear of being unsafe, unprepared, vulnerable, missing the boat. Fear is behind the need to control.

Here are a couple of simple practices I recommend to clients to help start to connect and nurture ‘going with the flow.’

The next time you have a day of errands, create a loose plan rather than a rigid one. Have a list of stops but don’t plan out all the details, and let your day unfold before you. Start with one errand. Then decide on the next and move forward from there. By surrendering a little, and letting go of tight control, you are nurturing this ability to let go and go with the flow, letting life support you, in an easy, low risk way.

The next time you have a disruption in your plans-a restaurant is closed you thought was opened, an appointment time got mixed up, a store you hoped to visit is closed-allow yourself to surrender to the moment and decide your next step from a place of flow (instead of rigidity or irritation).

These moments can help us start to release the tight grip we have on life from our plans and expectations.

And remember, small changes lead to bigger changes. They help shift energy in easier to handle bites that set you up for success when something big comes along. 

And next time you are at the beach, let the sand move beneath your feet!

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