Finally, I knew it was time that I halt my everyday routine of managing too many issues coming at me from multiple directions all at once. I love what I do, but every once in a while, I get overwhelmed. My BEING says to take a break, but I fight it because I feel very responsible and want to keep my promises. Maybe you can relate to taking on too much and then wondering why you can’t get it all done in impossible timeframes. Silly thinking, and yet it’s been my default position for way too long.
On this particular day, I was feeling hard-pressed by my roles as Chair of a non profit, a MasterMind facilitator, and a coach and consultant to my clients. Plus, my book publishing deadline was fast-approaching. When Mark, my partner, told me that he had made reservations for our favorite Oregon beach resort, I was more than ready to jump in the car for the ninety-minute drive.
I love the sun and the ocean’s rhythmic waves, and I could feel myself relaxing immediately. Getting closer to nature soothes my soul. Walking several miles along the ocean’s edge, I connected with my seagull friends. I just know one of them is Jonathon, whom I discovered after reading Richard Bach’s Jonathon Livingston Seagull. My imagination roamed to commune with creatures beyond the human realm, even the whales that I saw spouting just a few miles out to sea.
Exhilarated and hungry, we started walking back to our car to head to our favorite seaside diner.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young family packing up their car. Dad was putting the bikes on the back of the blue Subaru. Their golden retriever puppy was running circles in the sand. And Mom was tucking a 4-year-old into his carseat.
Drawn to the little one, I took a step toward their car. “So, who do we have here?” I asked as I peered into the back seat.
Mom answered proudly, “His name is Paxton.”
Stooping down so I could be at Paxton’s eye level, I introduced myself to him and smiled.
With a smile that could light up the whole planet, Paxton shared with me some of his shells that he had apparently dug up with the bright yellow shovel and matching pail that sat on the seat next to him.
“So, did you take your parents to the beach today, Paxton?” I coaxed.
“Yep!” he exclaimed.
“Looks like you found some cool shells and rocks! Did you have fun?” My voice was full of enthusiasm.
“Yep,” he said as he showed me his colorful red rain boots and brushed the sand off of them.
I looked up to Mom and said, “What a brilliant young man you have. Of course, I’m sure he is your teacher…”
She laughed and patted her tummy. “Yep, and we have another one on the way.”
My message, top of mind as I had been working on the final manuscript when Mark suggested the beach, came tumbling out, “I really believe all children are here to teach us.”
Dad was listening as I shared the name of my book, and both parents glowed with happiness and pride as they nodded in understanding.
Just before I turned to get into my car, I got the intuitive nudge to lean in one more time. “Hey Paxton, I gotta go now, but I thought I would ask you: Is there anything you think I ought to know or remember?”
His huge blue eyes stared straight into mine, and then he looked down. I wondered if he was thinking or already distracted with a million other thoughts. Then he looked directly at me again, took a big breath, and said: “Patience!”
I stooped down and asked: “Paxton, I am not sure what exactly Patience means. Can you tell me more?”
He smiled and calmly said in a very soothing tone, “Be still.”
Both the parents looked at each other and then to me, and the Dad said, “I like that answer!”
I thanked Paxton and Mom and Dad for the magical moments and slid into the front seat, giggling softly at another confirmation that wisdom knows no age and that Love surrounds me (and us all). All we have to do is step out of the DO, DO, DO and step into the BE, BE, BE.
Who will you BE with today, and what message might they have for you?