So I was looking forward taking a walk this morning as I hadn’t been to the beach in a week due to art events, and the beach being “closed” last Thursday as a Tsunami precaution from the fallout of the Chilean Earthquake. I had a brutal work weekend doing an Art Show in Culver City. The weather was oppressively hot and humid, making sales difficult because customers were fleeing to air-conditioned venues, wherever possible. I was in Coronado the weekend before, also very hot and humid — but, in comparison, was infinitely better for customer sales. I had my mom with me and she was done-in by the humidity –which made the weekend fun, albeit stressful.
As I rely on these events to pay my bills, the “upside down nature” of “nature vs. nurture” got me thinking. What else am I supposed to do? Maybe stop doing shows? Get a regular J.O.B? What other paths are out there to monetize the work I’ve done and not have to “work so hard” (as in schlepping my tent around, and having my car exist as my own U-Haul enterprise, etc). I think I’ve scheduled more shows this year than ever, and the profit from them has not been any more lucrative –keeping my income the same… or somewhat less than what I had anticipated. Which, by the way, is always interesting to note because my income can determine and influence my mood and my self-worth. If I don’t make money – I equate it with being a poor business person & financial failure. Which is absolutely NOT TRUE and does not help bring gratitude or abundance into my life. Negative self-talk is not good – which is why I always write: “Never Lose SIGHT of Your Own Magnificence” on a number of my illustrations. Remember that song from the ‘70’s: “Signs, Signs….Everywhere Signs…”
So, I turn to the OCEAN for Wisdom and Signs on my walks.
Sunday I came home after packing up after the Culver City Show, took a shower at 8pm because I was just drenched in sweat and decided to “chill out” for 2 ½ hours listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Memorial Tribute that they taped on Friday in Florida. I listened to the replay until midnight. Dr. Dyer loved the Ocean and often found serendipity in the little guided moments and gifts that appear “magically” when we pay attention and ask for guidance. One of those happened on my walk.
Here was the takeaway:
I left the house with a big Dick Blick’s Art Supply Bag with the intention to pick-up trash left at the beach from the weekend. I did it 2 weeks ago because I was staggered at the garbage I found strewn over the beach after the Labor Day holiday. I was happy to see that the beach was a lot cleaner than I had last seen it. It felt good to help out – and it was my Zen contribution for giving back and enjoying the ocean.
I left the house at 8am and was so happy to be at the beach. I was surprised by the warmth and tropical weather again. Although the beach was relatively clean, I started picking up trash—my first piece of trash was a discarded balloon that said “Get Well Soon”…floating into the sea. I took it as a “Sign” that the Ocean needed healing and that between my mom and parrot, HIGHTOP, my friend Fay and myself…I thought it was good way to start healing the things that make me feel “off kilter.”
On my walk, I met a man named Sterling. He saw me picking up the trash and bowed to me with Namaste hands and said “Thank You.” He was grateful I was making the beach a little nicer. I had just read Liz Gilbert’s blog FB about how necessary & important it is to just be who you are — in your authentic voice — so the world & people will “Thank You” for providing them with the transformation they need. Your bravery in sharing your gifts give others the necessary self-confidence to keep going, to gain inspiration to see how you have “figured it out for yourself” — and really gives someone else a little spiritual “lift”. If you don’t put your gifts out into the world, you are doing the world a disservice. It is what Oprah shares and others who have been doing their “thing” and marching to their own brand of self-actualization and Soul “Aha’s.”
This man acknowledged me for making the beach — his beach –our beach — a little bit cleaner. He shared that he was 70, retired, a father of 4 boys and was very youthful in spirit and soul under his sun-protective straw hat. He told me he offers the Mother Ocean prayers daily. He shared the words he used, which were so magical and spoke to my soul. Divine inspiration at just the right time.
I was actually supposed to get home and be on a phone call at 11am as I had agreed to do a favor for someone in a networking group I was in and have a phone consultation with her friend who wanted to make greeting cards. This gal was in NY and she was supposed to call me at 11am. I was in the middle of my beach clean up and didn’t feel compelled to run home to speak to her. My cell phone doesn’t get great reception at the beach. I thought about what it meant to “break my agreement” – I tried to call her but the phone had poor reception. I texted her that we would have to reschedule. I felt “called” to stay at the beach. Had I left… I wouldn’t have had the Divine encounter with Sterling – who literally “changed” my life.
It was just the right blessing/prayer I needed to hear –about surrendering to “what is”, to financial expectations, to accept whatever the universe brings you on any given day as what you are supposed to experience – that day. When you send blessings out….as a kind of prayer — they are returned as ‘magical gifts’ – he called them “BOONES”. We spoke about Wayne Dyer – I told him about the Memorial Service – he was happy to hear he could still listen to it. Gratitude.
I told him, he was my BOONE!
Trash I picked up included: a broken kite, kid’s sandals, several spray paint cans, lots of straws, styrafoam pieces, candy wrappers – not egregious –but just enough to keep going. The trash was heavy and I was heaving. The sand was hot without shoes and I was having a “Lawrence of Arabia” moment.
As to the conversation I always have with the ocean and universe about universal abundance and the observance that there really is AN ABSENSE of “LACK”– I made the association with the beach garbage that there is ALWAYS MORE. Just when I think I picked up everything—I go back and find something I didn’t initially “SEE”….then it really hit home….there is always “MORE” of everything….and always in places where we didn’t stop to take note, didn’t stop to pick up. You can think, “Oh why bother… someone else can get it/do it/etc. “
Life, for me, is about noticing the moments. I find money every day. Why is it I SEE that quarter at the post office tucked under the floorboards waiting for someone to get it? Didn’t anyone else SEE it? Or did they just think it was too much work to crouch down, take a pen, push it over to the side to slide it out. Get your hands dirty? For a quarter? Yep! I expect to find money every day… and hence, I do. I found a quarter that day in my special meter in the parking lot behind my Post Office Box – where I am usually lucky several times a week to find something.
I turned around and was walking back, looking for, (but not seeing a big trash can to dump the collected trash into) when I spotted a small round Yellow Balloon floating in the water. I grabbed it and put it in the bag. Then a wind gust came and it flew out of the trash bag and floated rapidly down the beach in the water, sucked into the ocean, carried by the wind. I had to chase it so became a game –and I got all wet trying to grab it. I retrieved it and put it back into my carpetbagger’s garbage bag. I decided to put a pin in it to pop it. I was literally dragging the garbage bag along the sand. Stopping every so often to just sit down. My heart was beating hard.
On my way up the hill back to my car, I saw some butterflies. Some Smog. There was a segment on Wayne Dyer’s memorial about plight and pattern of the Monarch Butterflies. And, excitedly, earlier in my walk I saw I Seal about 500 feet from me. I’ve not seen a Seal in ages. I thought – I don’t think Fat EELS jump out of the water, do they? I mentioned that I thought I saw one to Sterling who confirmed he saw it too. Not to mention the 12 birds flying in unison across the sky. On a mission. To somewhere. And I love the little birds that run into the water at rapid speed – knowing there will be food there. Always. No hesitation. And they never are eating “sand” – Sterling said they find little crabs.
And now, at the end of the day, I am exhausted. The next day my muscles are always sore like a good “work-out.” The beach “hikes” really take it out of me. I surrender to the universe my life, my experiences, my outcomes, my life lessons, my willingness to feel good about what goes on every single day I’m still on the planet –and my choice to enjoy, sometimes/sometimes not to “push” to make things happen. And to always say “Thank You” to my teachers who come into my life on a daily basis to remind me to keep going. Because, Yes, there really is always MORE.
Elisa Goodman is the Owner/Designer/Prolific Muse of Curmudgeon Cards, I’m Skewed! – Encouragement Art with a Twist & Perched on the Moon Designs.
Her company is dedicated to enhancing your life through Creative Expression, Impactful Communication & Inspired Art.