On a recent meeting for Circle hosts, Jill, the founder of Women’s Wellness Circles, spoke briefly about a book she recommends called: ‘Gift from the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She referred to it as timeless and mentioned that it reflected many of our Circle concepts.
I decided to order it. It has since inspired me to write and share the GIFTS I am receiving in my own life: the kind that arrive unannounced, in various shapes and forms, without a box or bow.
Immediately, the cover of the book caught my attention. It is a gentle sea green, with a soft pink glow that radiates from the center…like a heart center. There is a delicate shimmering silver seashell with the word GIFT just below it. The back cover describes the author and alludes to the deep reflections she had while on a brief beach vacation. What an invitation to open it and start reading!
I was only on page four when I had my first “a-ha” moment. In the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “…as I went on writing and simultaneously talking with other women, young and old, with different lives and experiences – those who supported themselves, those who wished careers, those who were hard-working housewives and mothers, and those with more ease – I found that my point of view was not unique. In varying settings and under different forms, I discovered that many women, and men too, were grappling with essentially the same questions as I, and were hungry to discuss and argue and hammer out possible answers. Even those whose lives had appeared to be ticking imperturbably under their smiling clock-faces were often trying, like me, to evolve another rhythm with more creative pauses in it, more adjustment to their individual needs, and new and more alive relationships to themselves and others”.
BOOM! These words struck such a strong cord within me. I immediately inhaled and sunk deeper into my chair, allowing the thoughts to absorb into my being. As I leaned back, I could feel my heart soften, and a whisper from within emerged as the word ‘WOW’ drifted from my mouth. She captured and articulated so clearly what my heart had such a hard time putting into words.
The meaning of the word ‘Gift’ is to endow with some power, quality, or attribute. This is what has been happening in my own life, in unexpected ways. My mixed-up emotions suddenly received the GIFT of aligning with her words and providing me with clarity.
During the pandemic, I have been given a special and unexpected GIFT: a complete halt and re-adjustment to my daily busy routine and the space for my own rhythm to be revealed.
In the early months of Covid, after I had begun to slow down and unwind, I found myself worried I would somehow get pulled back into the faster moving waters once regular routine started again. I was concerned that I would not continue the ‘creative pauses’ that I started incorporating into my life.
Yet with each day, week, and month that passes, I am given the space to sink more deeply into a new and more alive relationship with myself. I am taking care of myself better than ever and developing the habit of incorporating necessary breaks. In fact, I am finding spiritual freedom in my ‘creative pauses’, and I am less fearful of going back to what was. What a GIFT!
Another piece from the book that struck me was Anne Lindbergh’s analogy of certain sea creatures living in shells. This is similar to how we are being asked to ‘bubble’. Along with this, is the idea to simplify and, as sea creatures, ‘shed’ our existing shells. We, too, are being asked to let go in some respects of our own shells of the familiar routines that we have known so well. There are GIFTS in this transition and transformation.
The author’s simple, yet profound, noticing of how Mother Nature reflects our personal nature provides great insights. This has led me to looking up ocean waves on Spotify, because I love the beach. This GIFTS me with the opportunity to listen to ocean sounds all year round.
As I sit closing my eyes and listening – immersing myself into the rhythmic sounds of nature, enjoying a ‘creative pause’, the GIFTS of clarity, change, and growth wash up onto the beach of the shoreline of my mind.
I feel alive and aligned sharing these thoughts. Perhaps you can relate, too? What is washing up on your beach? What will sink into the sand and remain and what will drift back to sea? What are the GIFTS you are receiving, and what are you releasing?
There is a circular rhythm that emerges when we listen to nature and tune into ourselves. I see similar GIFTS in our Women’s Wellness Circles.
Just like the cover of the book, I have my own soft pink glow that is now radiating from my heart…and I recognize the GIFTS that I, too, share.