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Navigating Stormy Seas

(Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii - you can see the reflection of my t
hree most favorite people in the ocean.)

When I was in Hawaii, I took this photograph of my legs basking in the warmth of the sun as it shined on Waikiki Beach. I can still feel the unexpected softness of the sand, the welcome well-timed ocean breeze, and despite the growing crowds, feeling completely disconnected from my life back in Minnesota.

Truthfully, it was a magical way to start 2017.

In that moment, I understood why people speak so highly of the salty ocean water and ensuing breezes.

It’s buoyant. Not only will it physically help you to float in the water, it will also carry your soul.

Not only will it soothe your sun-kissed skin, it will soothe your anxiety.

As I sat in that borrowed beach chair, with my husband and children splashing in the surf in front me, I captioned the image with exactly what I felt.

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

I didn’t give a damn about the stack of contracts I had waiting for me on my desk at work.

I didn’t give a damn about my daily to-do list.

On our itinerary that weekend, our mission was simple – thaw our freezing Minnesota selves by logging as much time on the beach as possible.

Doing nothing can fix everything.

Lately, as I struggle with feelings of underachievement contradicted by how productive I’ve been, I’ve gravitated towards these calming images of the water.

 (Baltic Sea, Sweden)

(Crystal Lake, Burnsville, MN)

I’ve read studies that suggest the simple act of viewing a picture of water can calm the overactive mind. I’m hoping I can prove it true.

They say smooth seas never make a skilled sailor.

One February weekend, we were granted a beautiful break from the Winter Gray that, despite the Vitamin D supplements I take, was wreaking havoc on my emotional well-being.

After watching Landen and Madelyn race each other up and down the sidewalk on their scooters, we retreated to the chaise lounge to watch a little TV and relax. It was 9 days before Madelyn’s 6th birthday, and instead of shoveling snow and sledding, we were wearing the Minnesota uniform of shorts and sweatshirts.

I saw the lesson in the moment – that instead of dwelling where I stand in the pursuit of my goals, I must stop to enjoy life as it comes. When the seas get rough, I must go with the flow. Why let it matter more than it should, considering the tide will soon come to collect it? When I stop trying to fight the current and just float on life’s salty surface, I will reach my destination just the same.

(At the Hoover Dam, Boulder City, NV)

It’s safe to say that my favorite travels have involved a proximity to water. Now I know why.

These images have done their job, for my mind now feels invigorated. 

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