Deep Lessons From Deep Sand

Sea shells and getting more out of life - what do they have in common? Nothing, right?

Well, I thought that, too, while attempting to get started on my beach run yesterday morning on the North Shore. I've been making it a point to do some sort of running in that lovely deep sand on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the results have been awesome! (I've got a lot to say about that but maybe some other time).

Anyway, I often stop while running to pick up the occasional piece of sea glass or unique shell that I spot along the way. Today, however, my starting point on the beach was loaded with good stuff and it was hard to even get started with the run!

The clock in my mind started to tick as the morning sun really started to cook and told me I had to back away from the shells and get started, but a profound thought came to mind as I carefully scanned the sand for those few minutes.

If you walk along the shore looking down at the sand for treasures and do so slowly enough, you'll find a good amount of stuff - some cool sea glass, maybe a fragment of a larger shell, or even a full shell if you're super lucky.

If you stop in one place, bend down over your knees and scan the sand even more slowly in a single spot, you'll see even cooler stuff - smaller, more worn and unique looking pieces of glass, a wider range of types and shapes of shells.

And if you take the time to actually get on your knees or even on your chest, pretend you're working on one of those 'Where's Waldo?' books, and let your eyes adapt, an entire new world of goodies will open themselves up to your eyes! My personal faves to find lately at this level of viewing are the tiny rounded cones you see below. So much detail for something so small, not to mention there are so many of them - but only if you take the time and LOOK!

The point? Life is sometimes like the varied ways described above of how one can look for sea treasures.

You can hurry through it, ignoring from a distance most of what's there, hurriedly looking only for what grabs your attention or excites you the most.

You can slow down a little bit and take a closer look, extracting a little more out of your search.

Or, you can stop rushing through life and take the time to really get down at "sand level," looking for and grasping what matters most!

Most of us think that there's no time for anything and so we have to have a hurried approach if we want anything out of life.

Paradoxically, however, when we slow life down and take the time to sort through the sand, so to speak, to find what matters most to us, we actually get more done and obtain a greater sense of meaning and accomplishment.

Yesterday I picked up probably 50+ pieces that I considered valuable to me, all in about 5-10 minutes of looking. Had I not done so down close to the sand but just walked along the beach, casually looking, it would probably have taken at least several hours to find that much, if not all day.

So do yourself a favor and slow life down if slowing is necessary, and do what is necessary to focus on the things that matter most.


P.S. - And after scoring these shells, I still had the time to work out, so get yours too! Ha! But if you're really struggling with consistently finding the time to work out or knowing what to do, I've got something for ya...