Today is my first full day at Sunset Beach—my favorite place to be. After breakfast, I decided to take a walk down to the breakwater and back, which is just shy of 2.5 miles. As I left, I created the intention to find a perfect sand dollar shell.
I started this game a few years back, just for fun, to see if I could do it. Sand dollars are a little more rare than many of the other shells you can find out on the beach here, and often trickier to spot. So when you can find one, and it happens to be in perfect shape…winner!
I seem to have a knack for spotting things on the beach. I don’t know if it comes from years of practice as a child, or simply the fact that my brain is good at looking for certain types of patterns or objects. But if you want to find something good on your beach walk, be sure to take me with you.
This morning, I kept up a good pace until I got further down the beach, and then slowed down so I could look at the sand more closely. And sure enough, I started finding sand dollars. But they were all broken pieces. I wanted a whole one! I kept the image of a perfect sand dollar in my mind’s eye. But still all I found were more pieces. Like, lots of pieces.
I’ve never found so many sand dollar bits on one walk before. However, I doubt this has anything to do with beach or ocean conditions, but everything to do with my practice of looking. I am practicing how I am seeing things as I walk.
I found so many pieces of sand dollars that I had to laugh. Come on, where’s my complete specimen? Finally, when I was almost all the way to the breakwater, I spotted it and took it with me. A perfect shell. I snapped a photo of all my bits at the breakwater, then left them there but kept my prize. And on my way back, I found even more pieces of sand dollars. Bigger ones. I didn’t find another complete one; I hadn’t decided I wanted to.
I’m convinced that this practice can lead to me finding anything else I want to find in life. I believe that I could find anything I wanted to, out there on a beach walk. It’s about practice, and momentum. What do you want to see in your life? Are you looking for it? Or are you focused on all the reasons why you don’t see it?
Look for what you want to see. Then delight in the finding. The sense of magic and accomplishment and joy are priceless, and they are the point of this whole thing, anyway.