Sand and Soul: Life Lessons from the Beach

Those who know me best know that being near a beautiful body of water is one of my favorite pastimes. There is something deeply calming yet invigorating about spending time by the shore. Whether in the states or on some exotic island I am always sure to include some beach basking in my annual activities. Even spending time enjoying a quick dip in the pool brings me great joy and delight. Shakespeare said it best when he noted that we can find “sermons in stones.” The beach teaches so many simple principles, and I want to share some of what I’ve learned from nature’s lavish waters here:

1.There is Always an Ebb and Flow. Both the waves in the ocean and the ripples seen on an EKG machine teach us that being alive imposes highs and lows, periods of abundance as well as times of need. The juxtaposition keeps us humble, hungry, and hopefully grateful as human beings.

2. Sand Castles Fade Quickly. What is a beach memory without the image of building a sand castle? We’ve all done it at least once, from the modest monument or hut to the most elaborate estate. People love erecting structures made of sand, even though they know that their efforts will be erased by a few simple crashing waves. While that may be fun at the beach, always be wary of spending effort, energy, and resources on activities that have no lasting value.

3. Make Time for Paradise. Whether it’s an impromptu trip or a planned vacation, the beach represents a special, much-needed time to rest, reflect, and recharge.

4. Even Paradise Has its Challenges. We’ve all heard the stories of sharks, jelly fish, sun poisoning, etc. Even though paradise can be a divine destination, there is always the reality of danger. The way we can remain safe, both at the beach and in life, is by personally committing to staying informed and alert on what potential peril exists.

5. There is More Than One Way to Enjoy the Water. Some tread, some swim, others ride the waves. Whether surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, or even yachting, just remember that there are levels to living a lavish life. Don’t ever be afraid to take the risk to ascend. Yes, there may be some added precautionary measures and responsibilities with each heightened experience, but don’t let any of that keep you from enjoying the thrill.