Six months ago, if you had asked me who Dr. Wayne Dyer was, I wouldn’t have known.
Today, I am saddened to hear of his passing.
I haven’t read his books. I haven’t listen to his talks or lectures. And I do not follow him on social media.
However, as I have been learning more about myself this year, there are two quotes that have been very influential in how I perceive myself. Both quotes are from Dr. Wayne Dyer.
The first is, “Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body, rather than a body with a soul.” The day I read that was the day that I changed my thinking about how I saw myself. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin, but looking at my body as the vessel for my soul really made me feel more at ease. It’s my soul that matters, not my body, and finally I can look at myself with confidence and acceptance. My soul finally feels at home.
The second quote is, “You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.” While I have felt “stuck” for a long time, I have realized over the past few months that I am in continual process of learning who I am. And it’s been a very rewarding and beneficial journey so far.
Thanks to Dr. Wayne Dyer and his words of inspiration, I sit here today sharing my thoughts and experiences with you. SoulSEAker is a real entity, and I am navigating it’s journey.
One of my favorite writers/authors is journalist Bob Greene. I have been a fan since I was in high school, a mere 26-plus years ago.
During the summer, some of my favorite books make their way into my reading rotation, four of which are by Greene (and yes, I’m a HUGE creature of habit and most times would rather re-read a book I’ve read a hundred times rather than read something new…one of my many quirks…and it’s tough to read for pleasure during the school year).
“Once someone told me that we should regard the best moments in our lives as pebbles in a jar. The assumption should be that the pebbles are finite – even if we can’t count them by looking into the jar, we should assume that one day they will run out. We should withdraw them with care, one by one, never doing it by rote or distractedly. If we withdraw them too rapidly, we are being greedy, and will hasten the day when they are gone; if we hoard them, if we are miserly in keeping them in the jar, then we will rob ourselves of the experiences the good things should give us.
So it is with summers. If all of life were summer, then our world would have no texture, no context. Summer would not taste the way it does if we thought it would last forever. There’s no perfect way to remove the pebbles, no foolproof timetable. The closest we can come to perfection is to know just how precious those pebbles are, and to value each one.
I know that Jan [Berry] did. More than anyone I think I have ever known, he never took a single one of those pebbles for granted. He withdrew each one of them from life’s jar with gratitude, and with love.
The plane lifted off. Savor every day, every summer night.” (Greene, Bob. When We Get To Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship and Dreams. New York: St. Marten’s Press, 1998.)
When I want to really remember a moment, I will take a rock or a seashell from where I am, write the date on it with a Sharpie when I get home, and put it in my memory jar. In addition to taking the pebbles out and using them, like Greene describes, I also add trinkets that are now memories to my jar.
For the pebbles I have spent, the memories I have collected, and the pebbles left in my jar, I am eternally grateful.
With only a few weeks left in summer, my wish to you is that YOU savor every day, and every summer night. Use a pebble, then replace it as a memory.
When I stop and look around, I see a lot of beauty and history right in my own area. I bet it’s the same for you, too. “Busy” and the “to-do lists” gobble up our time like a ravenous hawk, eating our precious minutes away. At the end of the day, all we have is our memories and experiences. One of my goals this year is to make those memories and experiences less stress-filled and more smile-filled.
Number 2 on my list was to see the Statue of Liberty. I was only there twice before, first as a camp counselor in the early 1990’s, and again with my cousins and family in 1994. It is only 70 minutes away, and you’d think that I’d see it more than just twice in 44 years. But I let a calendar and list of things I have to do dictate my life for far too long. As a result, I made it a priority to see it this year.
I took my niece, who did not know where we were going (which made it even more meaningful and fun). First of all, it was surprisingly inexpensive: $7 for parking, and $27 total for ferry tickets/admission to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I didn’t realize that people buy tickets for the crown and pedestal online months in advance, so they were sold out; however, to add on those benefits is only a few dollars more.
As we rode the ferry over to the landmarks, I looked at the skyline of Manhattan, and took in all of the changes. I also thought of my cousins from Sacramento…was it really 21 years ago already that we did this together?
I wasn’t heartbroken about not being able to go inside the Statue, because my niece and I would have had to waste time standing in more lines in the heat. Just walking around the Statue’s grounds was enough for us. We also took in Ellis Island, ate lunch, bought some trinkets (including postcards and pins for my collection), laughed a lot, and learned some photography tips along the way. For a diary-type reflection of the day, please read my blog post from my Living 44 blog here.
Looking back, what made the biggest impact was the reason I went in the first place: the Statue of Liberty is right here, 70 minutes away, and here we were, among so many people who traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles just to see this historic landmark, and more people who traced their ancestors’ journey through Ellis Island.
My point is not to go on and on about the Statue of Liberty. Rather, what I learned is to appreciate the history and the special places that are close by, and to share them with my family members and friends. I now have a lot of memories and photographs from a wonderful day spent with my niece that we can both cherish forever. Instead of sitting in the air conditioning on the couch, I got out there and did something wonderful. All it cost me was a few bucks, a quarter of a tank of gas, and 500 minutes.
This week, spend some of your minutes on YOU: find a place close to you and just go there, whether it is a park, a beach, a nature center, a historical home, or a museum. Laugh and learn, either by yourself or with someone you care about The minutes you spend will return priceless dividends of memories.
Please feel free to share a similar experience you made time for this week in the comments below.
What a whirlwind of a week! I will be writing about all of my wonderful excursions and lessons I’ve learned over the past few days in upcoming posts. Until then, enjoy these Internet finds when you are tooling around or just need a break.
Summer. I’ve always loved summer and everything that comes along with it. Living at the Jersey Shore for 44 years and counting, summer has a role all of its own every year.
Summer moves to its own rhythm and is its own entity.
Summer has its own magic.
The mid-afternoon lull of the crickets and the angle of the sun has changed ever so gradually over the past few days, signs that summer is now on the downslide.
I am not going to think about it though. Instead, I intend to enjoy each and every moment and relish each day. I am going to bask in summer’s shine, and let its grasp take hold of me. I am going to just be.
What do I love most about summer? Let’s see…
nectarines * cherries * flowers * butterflies * gardening * mowing the lawn * bicycle rides * walks * birds * ice pops * the ice cream man * watermelon * baseball * beach runs * corn on the cob * fishing * the boardwalk * rides * games * breakfast * ice cream * summer music & playlists * salt water * seashells * sea glass * sunburn * sunscreen * potato salad * crabbing * fireworks * finding 4 leaf clovers * fireflies * crickets * blueberries * day lillies * writing * sitting at my favorite places and just being * sandy feet * surf shops * the smell of the ocean * shrimp * tomatoes * sunrises * sunsets * swimming * the beach * ocean waves * laughing with family and friends * the warmth * sunshine * the park * seafood * burgers and dogs * pluots * peach pie * caterpillars * sea stars * horseshoe crabs * sitting at the Inlet and watching the boats *
My friend, Cortland Coleman, summed it up best in one of his recent posts: “Beach days, patio nights, blue skies and salt water. You just can’t beat summer.”
No, sir. You can’t beat summer.
What are some of your summer favorites? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments.
Hello friends! As promised, here is this week’s roundup of interesting website and Internet finds. However, it’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in New Jersey, so bookmark this list for the next bad weather day and make some memories this weekend!
I have been thoroughly enjoying summer and everything it has to offer. Last week was a whirlwind of activity, seeing many new places and making memories with my friends and family. After the busy week, I was longing for some solace, so I decided to watch the sunrise up at the beach.
On Sunday, August 2, 2015, I set my alarm for 5:10 am. After quickly getting ready, I was at one of my favorite spots, Osborne Avenue Beach in Bay Head, NJ, by 5:30 am. Sunrise wasn’t until 5:55 am, but I didn’t want to miss twilight’s opening act.
I walked down the platform to the sand, sat on one of the bulkheads, and took it all in. The ever changing colors of the sky reflected in the ocean, on the homes, and on the sand. At least 20 underwing moths flew in from over the ocean one at a time, many of which landed right on me.
Like a little kid, I get excited when the sun is approaching the horizon, and as it did, I was shouting “Here it comes!” in my head. Two surfers entered the water right before the sun broke through, which made for some wonderful photos and mental memories.
There it was, the sun, and the start of another day here on Earth. I took a deep breath and said, “Thank you for this day.”
As the sun’s height grew, I got up and began walking south in search of a sea shell or a piece of sea glass to remember my morning. Whenever I go to the beach, I find a shell, write the date and beach location on it, and put it in my “nature’s memories” jar (note: my jar used to be known as my “shell memory jar,” but if I go to a non-beachy location, I’ve started doing the same thing with stones).
The ocean water was very warm and comfortable, and I walked along the edge where the wash surged onto the beach, letting my feet enjoy the remnants of the salt water waves. The air was permeated with that wonderful salt-air scent, and I wish I could bottle up that smell, or make a candle with that exact scent because there’s nothing else in the world like it. I drank it in, taking more than a few, deep breaths.
I paused for a moment and looked to the southeast horizon, thinking of those two Florida teens, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, who have been missing at sea since July 24, and hoped that they are still out there, alive and well, just waiting to be found. I said a quiet prayer for their safe return, and continued walking.
There weren’t many shells on the beach, even at the highest point on the sand where the overnight tide had reached. No shells and no sea glass, just a few pebbles and sand crabs. More underwing moths made their way landward, and again, a few landed right on me. I don’t know where they came from, but my husband later told me he also had them on the boat when fishing Friday and Sunday.
After walking two blocks, I still did not have a souvenir.
Something finally caught my eye, something tumbling in the waves, and at first I thought it was a piece of red brick. It is nothing new to find bricks, duct work, or pieces of shingle here and there, as parts of homes STILL wash up as a result of Superstorm Sandy, which was almost 3 years ago. However, as I approached the item, I could see clearly that wasn’t a piece of brick.
I bent down to pick it up. It was shaped like an arrowhead or a shield, about one inch long and 1/2 an inch wide, with no jagged edges. The one side was very smooth, and when I turned it over, I gasped and was filled with what I can only describe as awe. On the back was a cross, or what to me looked like a cross. I held it tightly in my hand, overcome for a moment with emotion.
After posting a photo of what I found, someone commented that it was nothing more than a piece of tile, the back of it beveled so that the mortal will stick better (hence the cross shape), and obviously another piece of one of Sandy’s house victims.
However, I see it much differently.
It is my tile cross. My gift from the sea.
And the message that immediately came to mind when I picked up and grasped my tile cross for the first time was this: Have Faith.
Anybody can find a shell. Anybody can find a piece of sea glass.