REFLECT, Look For Something DIFFERENT Each Day!

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Just recently, my husband & I finally took our 1st full week vacation in nearly 7 years. Since it was our 15th wedding anniversary, we both decided the timing was necessary for celebration and reflection. Man! We both forgot what some time to be fully OFF felt like. He’s got a demanding career that never has an “off” switch, not to mention his 2nd career…helping me run MY business. I’ve been so busy building, nurturing, and growing my business that I have not stepped back and made any time for myself. I had no idea I had grown numb to the “daily grind” of long hours and hard work. It’s just a way of life for me, and I love every minute of it because I am living my passion and purpose. When you love what you do for a living, it never feels like a job. But everyone needs to take a vacation from time to time! Which took us to Atlantic Beach, NC for a little R&R.

Nothing beats getting out on the water, so that’s precisely what we did while on vacation. We timed our first outing at low tide so we could find a sandbar to anchor up to and let our dog, Siler, run and play without restriction. However, it seemed that quite a few others had the same idea. The sandbars were all packed…except for ONE, so we claimed it! We had a blast, and were floored at the amazing ecosystem we found on this little sliver of sand. There were horseshoe crabs EVERYWHERE (a RARE sight these days)! A few really big ones, but a ton of babies all on one side of the sand bar. We found a few interesting shells never found on the beach, took some great pics, and headed home fulfilled.

Our intention was to explore various little islands and sandbars each day, but as we set out the next day, it seems once again everyone else had beat us to the “bar”! Strangely, that same sandbar was vacant so we decided to try it again. We assumed we would see more of the same from the day before & we would likely be bored. WRONG! It was a completely different scene. The sandbar LOOKED the same in size, shape, even the huge driftwood tree was sitting in the same spot. But there were no horseshoe crabs. Not one. Instead, we found hundreds of conchs and hermit crabs. Every direction we looked and walked in the shallow water we saw conch shells of all sizes. Although we really wanted to claim some of the gorgeous shells we saw, they were all inhabited and we left them all to grow and thrive. When the tide started covering our little sandbar, we pulled the anchor and headed back to land.

The next day, we couldn’t wait to get back on the water, and find another cool spot to check out. We had already decided that having our own “private beach” was pretty cool, so we cruised around looking for a different one. It was almost as if that little sandbar we had been to the two days prior wanted us to come back to see what it had to show us, because all of the other islands & sandbars were packed again. Yet, the same sandbar was vacant once again…as if we had a reservation on it! We anchored up and jumped out. We were once again surprised to find different life and landscape. There were still a few conchs, but there were a lot of crabs. Big ones with pincers running around under water. Fish, lots of small schools of little fish. And ONE stand-alone sand dollar. We also found that we were not the only humans to find this little slice of heaven. Someone else had found peace on this little oasis in the sound and drawn pictures in the sand that seemed to spell out a scenario, something like you would find on a cave wall. It seemed to be a parting message of their journey, ending with the car ride home. We stayed until the ocean wanted us to leave, and with the tide rising, we left.

Time off was great, but the reflection that came with it was the real gift. It wasn’t until I had some time away to truly decompress, rest, and to feed my soul, that I could recognize how tunnel-visioned I had become in my daily life. Have I been guilty of being in a routine “daze” and missing small wonders and different treasures that were in front of me each day? The experiences on the sandbar got me to thinking how, as a society, we have become numb to the many gifts and small wonders in front of us each and every day. Just because we have the same daily routines, drive the same routes back and forth to work/school, and stop at the same coffee shops and stores, doesn’t mean that there aren’t great things in front of us along that path each time. We just get numb to the obvious and fail to see the finer details.

I want to part with two challenges for you to consider. My first challenge for you is to keep your eyes and mind open today as you embrace your routine. Look for something DIFFERENT among the normal sights. Each day is a precious gift, so we must treat each day as just that…a gift! Search for the treasures hidden below the surface. My second challenge for you is to take some time “off”. Nurture and feed your spirit. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just break the normal routine and let yourself decompress. It’s those moments that free up space in your mind so that you can let the good stuff in!

Peace & Health!

~Coach Nicole